I think mini ITX format now means the vast majority of platforms based on Intel processors or Atom S1156. There are several AM3 Socket based motherboards available in the market, but there is the shadow of Core Duo i3 / H55 that remained. Still among all these, one more model is on paper at least as interesting as the stars of the market, the Asus Deluxe M4A88T-I. Compatible with the Phenom II X6 (95W) along with Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and USB3, it need not be ashamed to face 'stars of the market" like Gigabyte H55N USB3 or last-ITX Zotac -USB3. We will see if it can become a credible alternative to the latter in this review.
With a quiet arrival in the market when other boards/chipset like h55/57 or Atom / Ion had the control on the market, the Asus M4A88T DELUXE-I however appeared as an important alternative. For starters, it can receive all AM3 market which is less than 95W TDP which according to the official list allows the use of PHENOM II X6 1055T clocked at 2.8 GHz, a first in this format!
Less space was used in the PCB level. Based on the AM3socket, the card has 3 ports S-ATA 2.0, USB 2.0 connector (the second is used by the WiFi card, two fan connectors (1x and 1x 3pin 4pins), one 16x PCIe slot and two SO-DIMM DDR3. The 24-pin connector and 4 pins are pushed onto the processor side of the card as in the gigabyte-H55N USB3 and Intel DH57JG. This is an advantage for operating with an air flow from front to rear.
The 880g is passively cooled by a blue radiator, but the template seems perfectly designed to avoid limiting the choice of radiators. Similarly, the socket processor is ideally located and allows the installation of heaters in large surface. Unusual in this format, two small switches are located on the rear section. These are owed to functions and unlock CORE II TURBO KEY.
The rear panel also reveals some unique features like a Bluetooth receiver and an optical output coaxial (rare in Mini-ITX) in addition to the usual optical out. As per the Video, there is a DVI and HDMI. We also found WIFI two outputs (with remote antennas) and a PS2 port mixed (keyboard / mouse). Finally, all connections are present because you can note the presence of two USB 3.0 ports, 4 USB 2.0 ports and one eSATA port, which have most comprehensive market in this format.
The alternative of the SO-DIMM is bad, but can save space and maintain a PCB and well stocked. For example, if one had to regret a single thing, probably the limitation to 3 S-ATA ports which seems to lack the largest in restricting the use NAS. Even if that number meets the majority of customers potential by allowing the use of an optical drive, a SSD and a disk storage competition has accustomed us to minimum 4 ports. Aside from that, it would be difficult to expect more from 289 cm.