It's that time again where we move from our high-end overclocking kings to the other end of the spectrum, the miniature PC segment; and no one has a hold of this area quite like VIA.
VIA was once the biggest chipset supplier for AMD when Slot A was the go; AMD Athlon was here and Intel was all about threats. VIA was one of the few to initially support AMD in its quest to remove Intel as the top CPU, and through the years VIA's chipsets were amongst the best; that was until NVIDIA moved in and brought out some killer chipsets that couldn't be beat. This was when things went downhill for VIA in terms of chipsets.
While this may discourage some people, VIA did manage to move onto other ventures which began by picking up the aging 3D graphics chipset company S3. All of VIA's integrated graphics chipsets have been made using graphics controllers from the S3 company which solely produces IGP based solutions; these have made their way into previous generations of EPIA boards.
Our first look at the EPIA boards really opened our eyes; while others were criticizing the board for its lack of CPU power, EPIA was never intending to take the place of high-end CPUs. In fact, its aim is to make its way into the silent PC and HTPC market, and with the newest generation of features.
Today's test candidate is VIA's newest EPIA kid on the block. For quite some time there has been criticism that no graphics card upgradability was offered, but today that changes thanks to the EPIA-SN.