Date: June 9th, 2003
Article by: Nathan Glentworth
(Owner, Head Editor & Hardware Reviewer)
Product was donated by: Via
<--Shop for this item
The VIA Platform Solutions Division (VPSD) is an autonomous new
business unit established by VIA. Its aim is to provide our customers
with a complete set of innovative platform building blocks for building
high quality, high performance servers, workstations, PCs, and Total Connectivity
devices that meet the needs of all market segments.
VPSD products include both mainboards and reference system designs such
as the Information PC and InformationStation. Based on VIA's industry-leading
chipset technologies, they not only deliver the highest levels of performance
and reliability, but also come with the most advanced features and technologies
such as DDR266 SDRAM support. As a result, VPSD products help OEMs and
System Integrators increase their competitiveness by speeding up product
time to market and reducing validation cycles.
To ensure the highest levels of quality, reliability, and compatibility,
VPSD products undergo stringent testing during both the design and manufacturing
phases and are built using top quality components. Boards are subjected
to an extensive battery of stringent thermal, emissions, stress, environmental,
signal quality, and BIOS functionality and compatibility tests across
a full range of operating system platforms before being released for production.
Manufacturing is carried out using state of the art equipment, and rigorous
QA and QC procedures are applied at all stages of the production process.
VPSD products are backed up by a full range of support services through
the company's branches and service centres in Taiwan, Europe, and the
USA. Distributors and SIs are provided with hot swap RMA, while technical
support enquiries can be handled by phone hotline or email.
In the past three or four years, motherboards have changed dramatically.
They are faster, incorporate and support faster processors and peripherals,
and lately pretty well include everything that a year ago would have to
be installed as a separate add-on card such as ethernet, 6 channel sound
and/or RAID support. But one noticeable fact that goes against everything
that is the basis of technological advancement is the fact that motherboard
manufacturers have stuck to same bulky ATX form factor. Isn't electronics
supposed to make things smaller, faster and more efficient with increased
capabilities? This by far has been one of my major pet peeves and I would
really like to know what is holding these guys back from evolving. Is
it the cost of retooling the production lines? It can't be the cost of
material because that would be pretty well cut in half. To boil it down,
in my opinion I think it comes down to money and the fact that companies
don't want to retool their facilities. Too bad, in the long run it could
save them some major money.
Going against the grain, Via has been pushing their new EPIA series of
motherboards out onto the market and are getting a tremendous response.
The motherboard, as you will see further on in this review, is so small
that with some ingenuity, it can be pretty well be inserted or incorporated
into anything slightly larger than itself to make a unique one-of-a-kind
PC. So, grab your toaster/gas-can/toolbox/lunchbox/cat or anything you
would like to make a computer out of because here comes the review of
Via's latest EPIA Mini-itx offering, the m10000.
*Disclaimer: No cats were harmed in this review nor will any part
of Tweaknews.net be responsible if an outside party hurts a feline by
assimilating it into a computer.*
Heh, just had to get that in there ;).