It’s smaller than a regular desktop, but no less powerful, and it's perfect for some tasks. Here's part three of John Gillooly's guide to Mini-ITX PCs
[This extract is taken from the September 2010 issue of PC Authority magazine.]
One thing that is important to check is what kind of RAM is supported by the motherboard. This should be clarified on the motherboard packaging, but the rule of thumb is that Atom systems will use different RAM to ones using a desktop CPU.
Intel's NM10 chipset for the Atom supports single-channel DDR2 667/800. This means that even though the board will likely have two RAM slots, you don't need two matching sticks of memory to get the best performance.
Desktop processors will likely use dual channel DDR3. Often they will only have two memory slots and to get the best performance you will want to use two matching sticks of RAM (often sold as dual channel ‘kits').
Mini-ITX has evolved from its initial implementation as a low-power industrial computing platform. Nowadays you can find embedded products built in Mini-ITX as well as fully-featured desktop components.
Building a Mini-ITX system takes a little more thought and planning than a full-size desktop PC. But make the right choices and you can get a huge amount of computing power into a package that is both unobtrusive and portable.
...Read the rest of this article in the September 2010 issue of PC Authority magazine.