On the flip side, here are a few limitations on the technology which you should consider before implementing a mini-ITX solution:
- Not Upgradeable: To reduce the cost of manufacture, CPUs are permanently installed on the mainboard. The ZIF (Zero Insertion Force) socket on most modern motherboards makes up a significant part of the manufacture cost. In VIA's EPIA (Embedded Platform Innovative Architecture) architecture, the company integrated the mainboard and CPU and removed the socket to streamline production and reduce costs.
- Limited Expandability: Typical cases have limited real estate—that's the cost of going "small." Power supplies can be as small as 60 watts, limiting the addition of peripherals. Also, these boards have minimal PCI slots available.
- Higher Cost: The cost for an integrated mini-ITX mainboard is likely to be higher than a comparable ATX motherboard/CPU bundle.