We see just about every manufacturer trying to differentiate its boards by offering a couple of unique features, but Albatron's really going out on a limb with its all-new K3780E - a board that literally comes in two parts.
According to the Taiwanese manufacturer, many of its customers have their own requests when it comes to an I/O interface, and a board's design is rarely a one-size-fits-all scenario. What customers really want - and system integrators in particular - is a board where the I/O interface can be adjusted as needed.
That board is the K3780E. Pictured below, Albatron's unique offering comes as a combination of two boards - one featuring all the I/O parts, and another system board sitting on top.
The K3780E's system board, pictured above on top of the larger I/O board, makes use of AMD's 780E north bridge - complete with ATI Radeon HD 3200 graphics - and an SB710 south bridge. There's support for a single or dual-core AMD ASB1-series embedded processor, and the board measures 146mm x 102mm.
That system board then clips on to a larger I/O board. Albatron's reference I/O board measures an unusual 170mm x 147mm, but given the flexibility of the design, it can be resized to suit mini-ITX, ATX or literally any form factor.
Albatron reckons changing only the I/O board can save time and costs, and it's K3780E reference design features the following specification:
|Processor Support||Onboard ASB1 Series Processor|
|HTT||Hyper Transport 800 MHz to 1.6GHz|
|Memory||2 x DDR2 SO-DIMM 667/533/400 MHz (Dual Channel)|
|Onboard Graphics||ATI M72-based Graphics Engine (HDMI / D-Sub / LVDS)|
|Slot||1 x PCI-E 2.0 x 16 slot (8X)|
|Storage||4 x SATA II 3Gb/s Channels,1*ATA 100 Channel|
|RAID||SATA RAID 0, 1,10|
|COM Port||6 x COM Port (6 ports by optional cable)|
|Audio||Realtek 5.1 Channel HD Audio|
|LAN||Realtek Gbit Dual LAN|
|USB||4 x USB 2.0/1.1 Ports|
|Form Factor (System Board)||3.5”(146mm*102 mm)|
|Form Factor (I/O Board)||170mm*147mm|
|Application||POS, Digital Signage, NAS, Gaming, Media Center|
The K3780E's certainly unique, and it'll be interesting to see if Albatron's initiative gathers much interest. What do you think, readers? Is splitting the I/O and system components a logical step forward? Share your thoughts in the HEXUS.community forums.