French hardware website Cotcowland has published an exclusive picture of a new MSI motherboard, the Z77IA-E53. The board is of the mini-ITX type and stands out thanks to a relatively powerful power design. Usually, the power design on such boards is only barely sufficient, simply because there's no room left for additional phases. MSI was able to raise the bar for its competitors, as the Z77IA-E53 has a 7-phase power design with DrMOS technology and tantalum capacitors. There's also an 8-pin 12V CPU power connector, where 4-pin is the standard on most mini-ITX boards. The 24-pins ATX connector provides power to the rest of the components on the motherboard.
With the rise in popularity of small and efficient gaming systems, a motherboard with good overclocking options is a welcome addition. MSI's creation has two DDR3 slots, a PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slot, four SATA ports (2x 6 Gbps and 2x 3 Gbps), 1x eSATA and 1x mSATA. The mSATA slot is intended for small SSDs, to save even more space in the chassis. This slot does share some of its room with a closeby mini-PCIe slot, which can be used for a wireless network card. This means that only one of the two slots is available at any time.
MSI's Z77IA-E53 features frontpanel USB 3.0, plus two additional USB 3.0 ports on its I/O panel. Also present are VGA and HDMI outputs, a number of USB 2.0 connectors, 5.1 onboard audio (Realtek ALC892), Gigabit LAN and Bluetooth. The board uses a graphical UEFI with ClickBIOS II. Additional details will be released soon. This is a board to look out for, as a mini-ITX gaming rig with an overclocked 'Ivy Bridge' chip can make for a really interesting system.
MSI has developed a new mini-ITX motherboard with extra powerful VRM