VIA: $89 Processor & Motherboard for Custom HTPCs

If you’re like most “techies”, you’ve got big dreams when it comes to HTPCs but a not so big budget. If you’re workin’ with a small budget (that’s what she said), then check out VIA’s VE-900 processor and motherboard combo. It houses VIA’s 1.4GHz dual-core Nano X2 CPU on a compact mini-ITX motherboard. Working with VIA’s VX900 dedicated media accelerator, this unit easily handles video up to 1080p. The board has a single PCI slot, capacity of 8GB DDR3 RAM, two SATA pin headers and four USB 2.0 ports. The rear panel has HDMI and VGA video outs, three analog audio jacks (pause to catch my breath), Gigabit LAN, four more USB 2.0 ports and other standard features. The $89 price tag, however, won’t get you digital audio outs or USB 3.0. Bummer.