The Mini-ITX form factor was developed by VIA in 2001 to promote its C3 CPU, but technology has come a long way in the last decade. CPUs are smaller, cooler, and faster than ever before, and desktop chassis makers have embraced the ultra-compact market. Needless to say, the Mini-ITX platform is no longer limited to anemic low-end solutions.
Today we're looking at a new breed of Mini-ITX motherboards from Asrock called the Z68M-ITX/HT and A75M-ITX. The former is an Intel Z68 board that supports Intel's second-generation Core processors (Sandy Bridge), while the latter utilizes AMD A75's chipset to support Socket FM1 processors, namely the new Fusion A-series desktop APUs.
In addition to comparing Asrock's boards, we'll spice things up by selecting Intel and AMD's $140 CPU offerings. In other words, this review will also serve as a comparison for the Core i3-2120 and AMD A8-3850. Let's move on then.