Date: June 28th, 2004
Article by: Nathan Glentworth
(Owner, Head Editor & Hardware Reviewer)
Product was donated by: VIA
<-- SHOP FOR A VIA EPIA BASED MINI-ITX MOTHERBOARD HERE
For such a small size that I will show you in the pictorial, this unit
is PACKED full of features.
The one major improvement over the m9000 is the CPU upgrade.
Not only is it 67Mhz faster, which is not a huge deal, but the core
architecture is vastly improved. The 933Mhz C3 processor incorporated
into the m9000 was based on the Ezra core which was held back by the
CPU's FPU (Floating Point Unit) only running at half of the core speed.
The upgrade to the Nehemiah 1Ghz core brought the FPU unit up to full
speed and the outdated AMD 3DNow instruction set was replaced by Intel's
expandable SSE optimizations. Now this does not pole-vault the M10000
or the MII10000 into the performance ranking of the P4 or AthlonXP series
of processors which is not its intention, but significantly improves
the performance over the m9000.
To accomplish everything the MII10000 is capable of doing,
the chipsets had to pull up their socks and take on more tasks than
the standard motherboard. To accomplish this, the MII10000 includes
the CLE266 (CastleRock) northbridge chipset which acts as more than
a controller for the CPU and system RAM. The CLE266 chipset has an included
MPEG-2 decoding capabilities and a integrated VIA Unichrome onboard
2D and 3D graphics processor. Seeing that this is a multimedia motherboard
and the included CPU is not overly fast, the MPEG-2 decoding is handled
by the northbridge which leaves the CPU available for other tasks.
The Via VT8235 southbridge is a very common chipset used
in motherboards such as the P4PB
Ultra or the Soyo
P4X400 and adds USB 2.0, 10/100 ethernet and 6 channel sound
Now what really sets the MII10000 apart from the M10000 is the inclusion
of the Ricoh R5C476 II / R5C485 CardBus Controller. With this one chip,
you add full CardBus Type I & Type II capability along with native Compact
Another feature not seen on the M10000 is the inclusion of onboard
VIA VT6307S IEEE 1394 controller aloowing full firewire support for
digital editing and media downloading from newer DVI camcorders.