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Zotac A75-ITX WiFi B-series review

The perfect miniature accompaniment to the Trinity platform is right here

Our Verdict

For

  • Improved graphics courtesy of Trinity APUs
  • Upgraded memory support to 16GB
  • No trouble competing with full-sized boards

Against

  • No mouse support in UEFI BIOS
  • Not many overclocking options

The mini-ITX mobo has definitely come of age. In fact, ever since board designers decided to ditch those mobile components that blighted the format so and instead picked the best mainstream desktop components, the tiny format has never looked back.

When it comes to mini-ITX boards, Zotac is a major player. It offers boards supporting the latest CPU technology - in Intel and AMD trim - and we've reviewed a number of them, including this board's predecessor.

The original A-Series supported AMD's first generation FM1 socket, which in turn supported the original A-series Llano APUs. The A75-ITX WiFi B-Series though offers support for AMD's Trinity APUs using the newer FM2 socket.

From the outside, the new board looks identical to the A-Series, but under the skin there are a couple important advancements. The Trinity core brings with it improved Radeon HD7xxx series integrated graphics, and support for DDR3 to speeds of 1,866MHz (depending on the APU).

Interestingly, the first A-Series board only supported a maximum 8GB of memory via its two DIMM slots, whereas the quoted maximum for the B-Series board is 16GB. For AMD's APUs, memory capacity, bandwidth and speed are important factors for performance - especially in terms of the graphical speeds. This updated A75 board's boosted RAM is therefore an important enhancement.

Technical analysis

To test the Zotac A-75-ITX WiFi B-Series, we used the A10 5800K Trinity CPU with a Zalman CNPS 8000B top fan cooler. For memory we used 16GB of Crucial's new Ballistix Tactical Low Profile 1600MHz DDR3. This memory is extremely useful - it fitted easily into the DIMM slots, even with the compact cooler in place.

Benchmarks

CPU rendering performance
Cinebench R11.5: Index score: Higher is better

ZOTAC A75 B-SERIES: 3.31
SAPPHIRE A85XT: 3.21
ASUS F2A85-V PRO: 3.16

Memory bandwidth performance
SiSoft Sandra: GB/S: Higher is better

ZOTAC A75 B-SERIES: 13.0
SAPPHIRE A85XT: 12.9
ASUS F2A85-V PRO: 10.5

CPU encoding performance
X264: FPS: Higher is better

ZOTAC A75 B-SERIES: 21
SAPPHIRE A85XT: 20
ASUS F2A85-V PRO: 21

Mighty mini-ITX

The benchmarks show just how impressive these tiny boards are. The wee Zotac has no trouble keeping up with the Sapphire Pure Platinum A85XT or the Asus F2A85-V Pro (full sized FM2 boards), or the Asus Sabertooth Z77 with an Intel i3 CPU in it.

The other thing about the Trinity APU is the integrated graphics performance. We tested it with a Radeon HD 6850 in the Batman: Arkham City benchmark at 1080p, which gave a result of 60fps. When we tested the integrated HD 7660D core of the A10-5800K we used for benching, we got a playable 30fps at the same HD resolution. For an integrated solution that's damned good.

The BIOS looks like it might be a UEFI-based one, but it doesn't have any mouse support. It's a bit light on overclocking options too - just a couple of memory speed and voltage tweaks. But in Zotac's defence, these boards aren't about overclocking, they're about putting together a powerful system in the smallest possible space.

The small format does force some compromises. You only get one PCIe slot and two DIMM slots, but if you think about it, how many tower systems are out there with full size motherboards and only two DIMM slots used? Or, for that matter, housing a single graphics card?

If you're looking a tiny board as the basis of a gaming-capable machine sans discrete graphics, the A75 B-series is a great choice. And if your little chassis has enough space, then a cheapo GPU paired up in hybrid CrossFireX mode could get you an impressive wee gaming PC.

Tech Specs

Product TypeDesktop Motherboard
Chipset ManufacturerAMD
Chipset ModelA75
Multi GPU SupportedNo
Onboard VideoOn-board Video Chipset
Number of PCI Express x16 Slots1
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Processor SocketSocket FM1
Brand NameZotac
Form FactorMini ITX
Total Processor Supported1
Maximum Memory8 GB
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityRoHS
64-bit ProcessingYes
Number of Memory Slots2
Graphics Controller ManufacturerATI
Graphics Controller ModelRadeon HD 6000
Audio Channels7.1
BluetoothYes
Gigabit EthernetYes
Wireless LANYes
Number of SATA Interfaces4
RAID SupportedYes
Number of Total Expansion Slots2
HDMIYes
DVIYes
Number of Network (RJ-45) Ports2
Network (RJ-45)Yes
Total Number of USB Ports6
PS/2 PortYes
Number of PS/2 Ports1
Total Number of Onboard USB Ports2
Number of Onboard USB 2.0 Ports2
Total Number of PCI Express Slots2
Memory Form FactorDIMM
Width170.2 mm
Depth170.2 mm
ManufacturerZOTAC International
Product ModelA75ITX-A-E
Product NameA75ITX-A-E Desktop Motherboard
Package TypeRetail
Controller TypeSerial ATA/600
Manufacturer Part NumberA75ITX-A-E
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.zotac.com
Marketing Information

Maximize CPU and GPU synergy with the AMD APU-compatible ZOTAC A75-ITX WiFi mini-ITX platform for a revolutionary system that combines multi-core processing with up to 400 AMD Radeon cores. The ZOTAC A75-ITX WiFi packs an AMD FM1 socket ready to accept AMD APUs with discrete-class AMD Radeon HD 6000 series graphics processors for outstanding Microsoft DirectX 11 visuals and world-class high-definition Blu-ray and streaming Internet video playback.

The AMD FM1 socket is accompanied by class-leading expansion capabilities with the ZOTAC A75-ITX WiFi including a PCI Express x16 slot, 4 SATA 6.0 Gb/s ports with RAID 0, 1, 0+1 support and up to eight USB 3.0 ports. The ZOTAC A75-ITX WiFi also packs superior networking capabilities including dual Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11n WiFi and Bluetooth 3.0 for connectivity with your wired and wireless network, and wireless devices and peripherals.