Performance summary

App and Gaming Performance

We found that the H55-ITX performs comparably to the other H55/P55 motherboards on the market during system benchmarking.

Application Performance - WinRAR 3.90 x64

Gaming Performance - Dawn Of War II


Power Consumption

For our system power consumption tests we measure the watts being pulled out from the wall socket by the entire system. Keep in mind that power consumption at the wall can vary for a specific system based on the efficiency of the power supply being used. For these tests every power saving option in the BIOSes were turned on.

System Power Consumption - Idle Power

System Power Consumption - Load Power


The Zotac H55-ITX put down some of the lowest idle power consumption numbers that I have ever recorded on a desktop. System consumption under 100% CPU load was very mild as well. Numbers this low would make the H55-ITX ideal for a system that is rarely shutdown, like a HTPC.

Audio Latency

During our battery of tests we also measure DPC latency. This will be of particular interest to the audiophiles of the world.


Overclocking

While testing the H55-ITX we decided to take a different turn for the overclocking segment. Instead of pushing the board to its limits in order to find its maximum frequencies we chose to find the perfect balance between speed and voltage. The fact that the VRM for CPU Vcore is very restricted and that the BIOS offered no adjustment for CPU VTT voltage helped point us in this direction.


To reach our final overclock on our i3 530 I simply raised the Bclock to 150, lowered the Vcore to the default, 1.20V, minus .025V and adjusted the Vdimm to 1.65V. 1.175V was the lowest Vcore we could use to maintain a 150 Bclock. All other available voltages were untouched. For system memory the timings were manually set to 9-9-9-24-72 and the frequency was set at 1500MHz. On a side note, I ran this system in a Silverstone SG06 and using the factory Intel heatsink core temperatures rarely got above 50 degrees Celsius.

We chose not to overclock the i7 860 to avoid any risk to the ZOTAC motherboards power circuitry. The H55-ITX simply wasn't designed to power a heavily overclocked quad core.

Index Board Features
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  • YellowWing - Monday, March 01, 2010 - link

    It happened to me too this morning, going from page to page. Looked to me like nasty malware. Reply
  • ggathagan - Sunday, February 28, 2010 - link

    Since you are now putting the performance summary at the beginning of the article, you need to make sure you also make note of relevant system details at that point.
    For instance, the performance graph doesn't make note of what add-in graphics card was used. You have to get 5 pages into the review before that information is supplied.

    Other than that, good article.
    Reply
  • ScavengerLX - Sunday, February 28, 2010 - link

    Thanks for the discussion on power consumption guys. Ideally, this system would work best with a low wattage (~200W) power supply that had better efficiency under 75W.

    Joshua
    Reply
  • yyrkoon - Monday, March 01, 2010 - link

    Jashua, Sparkle makes just such a PSU. Well actually, its 220W but an 80Plus PSU.

    ---> http://www.silentpcreview.com/article773-page1.htm...">http://www.silentpcreview.com/article773-page1.htm...

    However, 220W, or even 200W is still over kill. Unless you go with discrete graphics. In which case an nVidia 9600GT, or larger in this system would draw too much power for it to handle.

    My Core 2 system with 4GB 1.8v memory, and a 9600GT peaks around 226W in some games. Generally, those games that make most use of the GPU and CPU. Such as world in conflict. These number do include a 19" WS LCD monitor too, but it only uses 23W consistently.

    Anyways, as another has already mentioned, any PSU is best loaded at 50% capacity for the best efficiency. Especially 80Plus PSUs. SO with IGP, and the i3, that would be ~150W. Good luck finding such a beast. And before any car enthusiast start mentioning these pico supplies . . . they are junk, and often not powerful enough to begin with( for this application ).
    Reply
  • strikeback03 - Tuesday, March 02, 2010 - link

    The pico PSUs would probably be fine if you weren't using a discrete GPU. Reply
  • ScavengerLX - Monday, March 01, 2010 - link

    Thanks for the link.

    Actually the PSU that comes with a Silverstone SG06 is nice, too. 300W, 80+ and SFX form factor. That case would be nice for the ZOTAC H55 + Discrete system.

    Joshua
    Reply
  • juampavalverde - Sunday, February 28, 2010 - link

    After seeing the pictures of the board, almost instantly i tought.. with that small space such powerful htpc... it wont be hard to fit an i3+h55 inside an ultraportable or netbook like, and the thing would be freakin fast in comparison with the atoms! Reply
  • mschira - Sunday, February 28, 2010 - link

    Hm, interesting board.
    I wonder if it would make sense to slot a fast RAID card into the PCI slot and a small Core i3 integrated VGA CPU and build a decent Linux mostly file centric server.

    Comments?
    Cheers
    M.
    Reply
  • nikclev - Monday, March 01, 2010 - link

    I suppose it would depend on the particulars, but for a linux file centric server I'd skip the raid card unless you need more than 6 sata drives or need to leave the cpu free for other tasks. Just use software raid.

    In a way, this -IS- hardware raid, just not in the traditional sense. In effect, a decent hardware raid card is nothing more than a processor, some cache ram, a pci/pcie to sata interface, and perhaps a battery. All of these things can be duplicated without the card.

    The i3 becomes your raid processor, it happens to be much more powerful than you need for this application. (so you have room to do other tasks as well.)

    The system ram becomes your cache ram, (again, more than you need, so there is room for other tasks)

    and so on. Cap it off with an appropriate sized ups, and you have a nice home raid server (with no raid card!) with all the features that you would get in a midrange hardware raid card, and the ability to do a great deal more.

    All in all, a fun project. One thing to note: if you just want a decent speed home NAS, it's cheaper to either use microATX or purchase a Qnap/synology/etc pre-made. Not nearly as much fun though. :)

    Nick
    Reply
  • michal1980 - Sunday, February 28, 2010 - link

    your power supply is over kill, waste too much energy no matter the efficency.

    Reply

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