VIA VE-900 Mini-ITX Mainboard Review
Ten years have passed since Via announced the Mini-ITX form factor, and I've been a fan of the compact motherboard platform since. To mark the 10 year anniversary, Via announced their latest product based on the Mini-ITX standard, the VE-900. Sold for only an affordable $89 USD, it promises to deliver a high-performance multimedia experience in a small package.
Powering the VE-900 is Via's own dual-core Nano X2 processor clocked in 1.4GHz. The Nano X2 is Via's first 64-bit dual-core processor, and it is meant to compete against Intel's Atom CPUs in both performance and power consumption. Intel's family of Atom processors are known for their low power consumption, but they aren't known for their performance nor their ability to deliver high-definition content unassisted. The VE-900 also houses Via's latest VX900 chipset, allowing this board to support up to 8GB of DDR3 RAM, and provide excellent hardware acceleration for the latest video formats in resolutions up to 1080p.
Via has been very friendly with the Linux community in the past, and most of their products tend to work in Linux out-of-the-box. Will Via's latest offering follow suit, and does it in fact provide superior performance against Intel's family of Atom Processors?
The Via VE-900 came to me in a fairly standard Mini-ITX cardboard package. The outside of the box is reminiscent of Apple's brushed aluminum interface. The front of the packaging has a thin-strip of the motherboard displayed in the center, hinting at what's inside. Under this are a list of the features the VE-900 offers.
The rear of the packaging has Via's logo front-and-center, and top or bottom are additional product / packaging information.
Inside, I first found two SATA cables, the backplate, a manual, and a driver CD for Windows. Under these was the VE-900 itself wrapped in an anti-static bag.
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