U.S. Debut: Fujitsu Mini-ITX

Fujitsu D2703-S

Fujitsu D2703-S

In the past, our customers never quite took to Mini-ITX boards designed around the AMD mobile processor platform. We carried a few AMD-based mainboards with some Geode and Mobile Turion 64 X2 options, but the demand for them was slim. When a supplier would introduce a new platform that used an AMD mobile processor, we would give the board/system due consideration. But when we compared this board/system to a similarly priced Intel Core 2 Duo option with comparable features, it just didn’t make sense to bring it in. And, our customers didn’t seem to mind.

And, the focus here is on mobile processors, not desktop ones.

But, now enters Fujitsu, a major technology provider with a strong global presence. They announced their first Mini-ITX board in June 2009, the Industrial D2703-S. Our product team eyed this board with great interest. Yeah, it was an AMD mobile platform, but it was so packed with unique features, we couldn’t resist bringing it in. And, it was a Fujitsu board. German engineered and German manufactured—this makes a huge difference in quality. I know, because I have a 1996 VW Jetta, and that car is incrediby reliable and well designed. I am always baffled by how much trunk space I actually have because, from the outside, it doesn’t seem like I would be able to fit a refrigerator in there, but I’m pretty sure I can. Okay, maybe a mini fridge…

The D2703-S was not available from any U.S.-based distribution channel until now. We’re carrying just one version for the time being—the D2703-S with an AMD Mobile Turion 64 X2 1.8 GHz (TL-56) processor. A fanless Mobile Sempron version is available for project customers. We hear there will be more Mini-ITX options coming soon, so our hope is to offer a larger selection as these boards become available.

Here’s a quick run-down of the specs:

  • Temperature-dependent cooler controlling and monitoring via internal microcontroller
  • Dual Gb LAN
  • Trusted Platform Module (TPM 1.2)
  • PCI- and PCI Express-Support, (PCIe x1)
  • 4x SATA connectors with RAID 0, 1, 1+0
  • 8x USB 2.0 support
  • CompactFlash Slot (vertical) – this is awesome because so many motherboard manufacturers put CF slots on the bottoms of boards without realizing they’re creating a possible incompatibility with many of our Mini-ITX enclosures
  • 2x IEEE 1394 FireWire 400 (one back panal port and one onboard connector)
  • GPIO
  • LVDS connector and LVDS inverter, DVI-I, VGA
  • Integrated ATI Radeon X1250 Graphics

Power is supplied by either an external 24-volt supply (board has integrated power) or an ATX-power supply unit. This was such a draw for us! Typically, mainboards with integrated power are much more expensive than ones without and most Mini-ITX enclosures come standard with a power supply, so you pay twice for a power source. The D2703-S allows for either/or, without such a hefty price tag. With a 1.8 GHz AMD Mobile Turion 64 X2 TL-56 processor, this board comes in at $319. A 24-volt, 120-watt AC adapter can be added for $35.

And, for project customers looking to standardize on a platform, the D2703-S features an extended lifetime of up to 5 years. Not to mention, the technical support and automated product change notifications are really impressive.

Some other items to note: The D2703-S also offers a Silent Fan Function. A microcontroller controls and monitors all connected fans based on temperatures (processor and chipset), and provides for silent and stable system operation without failures due to overheating. Using the Silent Drives Function, HDDs and ODDs can be switched into a quiet mode via the BIOS, thus considerably reducing the systems noise level.  Also, it features a BIOS Recovery Function, so BIOS recovery is possible even if the system BIOS fails.

We’ve also tested this board in most of our enclosures: you can see which Mini-ITX cases it’s compatible with here. Our only real beef with this board so far: the height of the heat sink and fan combo isn’t ideal.

About Kristina Bond
Kristina Bond was the Marketing Director for Logic Supply from 2007 to 2012. She graduated from Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia with an M.F.A. in photography and a B.F.A in photography and communication from Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, WV. While technology and Logic Supply remain close to her heart, she moved on from the company in June 2012 to do marketing for the restaurant industry. To get in touch with Kristina, please contact kristina@kristinadrobny.com.
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8 Responses to U.S. Debut: Fujitsu Mini-ITX

  1. Richard Moss says:

    Kristina, Tony, in the case of German engineered Fuji-ITX, the link “here” takes me to a product page with two tabs. The right tab, as you note, lists compatible cases.

    I can’t get the same functionality from Zotac Ion-A page. How do I determine which cases would support it?

    Thanks,
    Richard

  2. Kristina Bond Kristina says:

    Hi Richard,
    This link will take you to a page similar to the Fujitsu one, but listing information regarding the ZOTAC A-U. http://compare.logicsupply.com/matrix. Scroll down the page and you’ll see a row titled “Supported Cases.” Click on each manufacturer’s name and you’ll see each tested and approved case (we don’t list the cases it hasn’t been tested with or it isn’t approved to be in). Hover over the cases and you’ll see any notes regarding compatibility and things you would need to keep in mind if building this on your own.

    I hope this provides you with the information you’re looking for!

  3. Richard Moss says:

    Thanks Kristin. In fact, when I returned to the Fuji tab, the Zotac specs had appeared in comparison. I must study these–you really liked the Fuji and glossed the Zotac Ion with cautionary words about its prospective short life–projects.

    Richard

  4. Kristina Bond Kristina says:

    That’s very true, Richard, I do like the Fujitsu board… alot. It’s not that the ZOTAC IONITX boards aren’t very exciting or interesting–they are. We can’t keep these boards on the shelf, there’s such a demand for them. But, the Fujitsu board offers our customers features that the ZOTAC IONITX boards do not, and that’s a wide range of legacy I/O, great technical support, and transparency into the board’s life cycle. Because many of our customers are project based, they require a higher level of support than other kinds of customers. They also want to be sure that the board they are prototyping on and standardizing on will still be relevant in 3 years. We get that guarantee from Fujitsu. Unfortunately, we do not get that from ZOTAC. However, in ZOTAC’s defense, I don’t believe project customers are their target market. So, they create a great board, but they’ll be replacing it with something even better in less than a year–probably.

  5. Oleg says:

    I’m looking for a Mini-ITX board to build a server. I’m wondering if this board supports ECC RAM. I have a Tyan board that uses socket 939 opteron X2 and it does support unbuffered ECC.

  6. Tony Fiset tony f. says:
    Logic Supply

    Oleg,

    Unfortunately, the D2703-S does not support ECC RAM. There are very few Mini-ITX boards that support ECC RAM – even when the CPU is capable, manufacturers do not add this option. Lippert is the only manufacturer I’m aware of that has this support.

    Additionally, I have never seen ECC SO-DIMM RAM before. I’ve never actively looked for it either, so it might be available, but I haven’t noticed it.

  7. Lemmo says:

    Thanks Kristina, it says on your product page that the board has a VGA port and a DVI-I port on the rear panel, but I can only see DVI in the pic…??

  8. Tony Fiset tony f. says:
    Logic Supply

    Lemmo,

    This board does NOT have VGA without an adapter. I’ve updated the product page and compatibility database. Thanks for your help!

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