Since we aren't really reviewing the motherboard itself but more of what it is capable of doing, we decided to showcase the board and features and get right into the car PC. First off the board uses a Mini IXT layout measuring 17x17cm. This format was started by VIA for its C3 and C7 processors but Albatron has gone one further.
The K15IPV-754 uses AMD's K8 technology. That's right, it's a Socket 754 based board which supports the older AMD Athlon 64 754 processors or the newer Socket 754 Sempron based processors. Being Socket 754 based means it only has a single memory channel, which is just fine since the board only has room for one DIMM socket (and performance isn't critical in this environment), you aren't missing out on Dual Channel memory support, simply because 754 chips don't support it anyway.
The board itself packs a hell of a lot of hardware onto the small space. The chipset is nVidia's GeForce 6150 Northbridge with the MCP430 as its backup. The Northbridge integrates nVidia's GeForce 6 series graphics core to what is already a great chipset. This gives you some of the best 2D graphics and some basic 3D graphics - we're not talking PREY or F.E.A.R. worthy but for running some basic 3D rendering. It's one of the best DVD playback engines available.
The MCP430 integrates four Serial ATA ports, two IDE, FDD, PCI Express and twin Gigabit Ethernet ports for your convenience. The board makes use of all of these features bar the PCI Express as there simply wasn't enough room on the board to have the extra slot. Nevertheless, for such a small form factor motherboard, it is loaded with features.
As always we like to see what you get at the rear I/O panel. Overall you have the perfect setup, which includes support for dual monitor - if you want to setup a HTPC, you can use both the CRT and DVI interfaces. The rest is pretty simple.
Expansion wise you only get a single PCI slot on the board. For adding a TV tuner or Wireless card, this is perfect. If you want to add both at the same time, you're out of luck, but this is what the Mini ITX standard calls for, only a single slot. Taking up very little space, you can only ask for so much but it still manages to include many features.
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