MB870 - P4 Mini-ITX

Author: Jani 'Japala' Pönkkö
Published: 04.08.2004
Manufacturer: iBASE
Product group: Motherboard

Up And Running



MB870 is really tightly packed unit. With everything installed it still feels incredible compact. I can imagine this opening a whole new world for case modders and builders. No need to settle for VIA Epia performance when you can get full benefit from Intel P4 processors. Just imagine; Mini-ITX Car PC that could run Doom 3!


2.5" HDD

Just to show you what you can benefit from having 44-pin IDE connector right on the motherboard. Laptop HDD that handles shocks better and is a lot smaller than a regular desktop HDD, can be easily hidden inside the case mod, ATM, a car etc. Combine this with a slim optical drive and you can do wonders.


How does the unit match up against similar desktop setup? To find out I took the motherboard for a spin. The following components were used:

iBASE MB870:
ProcessorIntel P4 2.4C
RAMCorsair XMS4000 512MB
Hard DriveSamsung SV0802N 80GB
OpticalPlextor PX-708A

ProcessorIntel P4 2.4C
MotherboardDFI LanParty PRO875
RAMCorsair XMS4000 2x512MB
Hard DriveSeagate Barracuda 7200.2 80 GB
Seagate Barracuda ATA IV 40 GB
OpticalPlextor PX-708A
Graphics CardATi 9700 Pro



To give some idea about the calculation power of the CPU. Lower time is better.

MB87040.74 seconds
Desktop37.86 seconds

Both systems are running with the same 2.4 GHz CPU without overclocking. Difference in time is a clear indication of the better memory bandwidth of dual memory channel setup on i875 motherboard and the fact that MB870 system is sharing some of its memory with GFX system. On the other hand the difference isn't all that great so the MB870 system is keeping up quite nicely.



Product of Futuremark and this time we get memory subsystem results as well as CPU rating.

MB870 CPU/MEM5894 / 5004
Desktop CPU/MEM5741 / 8025

Quite interestly the MB870 got the better marks on the CPU side of the benchmark. Memory part of the test tells us the fact why the Pifast test was won by the desktop setup. Faster memory management - more stuff to crunch and possibility to output the results faster.



One of the most popular benchmarks ever. Still a valid tool to check performance of the video cards that doesn't have all the bells and whistles.


While the 9100IGP is DirectX 8.1 compatible, perhaps this wasn't as fair test as we would have liked to see. 9700 Pro is clearly a lot faster and the result was predicted even before the benchmark was started. Result of 5300 is still good for integrated video because the typical value for popular Intel's Extreme Graphics 2 (found on many smaller form factor motherboards) would have been around ~2600 marks with the same setup.



Again a test that you must have seen somewhere before. While the plain numbers may look low, I decided to add these results if you want to compare your current system to what this Mini-ITX solution can offer.


Still set for Doom 3? Perhaps not quite but this is still clearly the best what Mini-ITX can offer at this time. I really don't even want to start guessing what would have been the numbers with Epia setup. i865G system would score around 120 marks.

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