Board Features

Zotac Z68ITX-A-E
Market Segment Small Form Factor
CPU Interface LGA 1155
CPU Support i3/i5/i7 Sandy Bridge
Chipset Z68
Base Clock Frequency 100 MHz by Default, 100 to 300 MHz in 0.01 MHz increments
DDR3 Memory Speed 1333 MHz by Default, 1067 MHz to 2133 MHz supported
Core Voltage 0 mV to +1020 mV offset
CPU Clock Multiplier CPU Dependent
DRAM Voltage -0.10 V to +0.16 V offset
DRAM Command Rate N/A
Memory Slots Two DDR3-DIMM
Maximum 8 GB, Non-ECC Unbuffered
1067, 1333, 1600, 1867 and 2133 MHz supported
Expansion Slots 1 x PCIe x16 (x16/x16/x0 or x16/x8/x8)
1 x mini-PCIe/mSATA
Onboard SATA/RAID 2 x SATA 6 Gbps (RAID 0, 1, 5, 0+1)
2 x SATA 3 Gbps (RAID 0, 1, 5, 0+1)
Onboard 2 x SATA 6 Gbps
2 x SATA 3 Gbps
2 x Fan Headers
2 x USB 2.0 headers
1 x USB 3.0 header
Power/Reset buttons
Debug LED
Front Panel Audio header
SPDIF output header
Front Panel header
Onboard LAN Dual RealTek RTL8111E Gigabit Ethernet Controllers
Onboard Audio Realtek ALC892 8-Ch High Definition audio CODEC
Power Connectors 1 x 24-pin ATX
1 x 8-pin 12V
Fan Headers 1 x CPU
1 x SYS
IO Panel 2 x USB 3.0 Ports (VIA Controller)
4 x USB 2.0 Ports
1 x PS/2 Port
2 x Gigabit Ethernet
2 x Antenna
1 x Clear CMOS button
1 x Optical SPDIF output
Audio Jacks
2 x HDMI 1.4a
1 x mini-DP
BIOS Version 08/04/2011
Warranty Period 1 Year standard, 2 Year Extended (+3 if registered with Zotac)

There are a couple of points we can tell where Zotac have tried to save money to keep the cost of the board down - the dual Realtek NIC and Audio controllers, and the VIA USB 3.0 controller support this idea. However, as mentioned previously, putting dual gigabit Ethernet, power/reset buttons, a debug LED and a mini-PCIe/mSATA on a mini-ITX is impressive for the price of this board.

In The Box

4 locking SATA cables
USB 3.0 Rear Bracket
I/O Shield
Two Antenna
8-pin 12V Power Extension cable
mSATA Stability Bracket
MiniDP to DP Video Adaptor

In a mini-ITX product, these are a lot of extras - particularly the 8-pin power extension cable (possibly to compensate for the position of the 8-pin 12V on the board) and the video adaptor, which by their presence would usually necessitate losing a SATA cable or two, or the USB 3.0 rear bracket, at the $170 product asking price.

Software

As we found out with our previous Zotac review, there isn't any extra software from Zotac for anyone to use - no overclocking or fan manipulation utilities for consumers. This is a double edged sword, as while there is no software to go wrong, it means consumers have to find other software to control their fans, etc.

In terms of the driver install, again Zotac software has no easy 'Install All' option - each one of the drivers must be installed manually and one-by-one, which is unfortunate when most of the other motherboard manufacturers have this utility.

BIOS and Overclocking Test Setup, Temperatures and Power Consumption
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29 Comments

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  • DaveSimmons - Thursday, September 22, 2011 - link

    SilentPCReview has covered the Silverstone and Lian-li cases for gaming builds, and CyberPowerPC will build you a SG07 system with a GTX 570 if you want one.

    But yes, some SFF gaming build tests from AT would be welcome as well.

    My gaming system is usually just a single card and 2 x HDDs (or SSD + HDD for my next build) so most of even a micro-ATX case sits there empty taking up space.
    Reply
  • TrackSmart - Sunday, September 25, 2011 - link

    Thanks for the heads up about the articles. I'll check them out. Reply
  • LeftSide - Thursday, September 22, 2011 - link

    Is there any way we could get some power numbers on a power supply that more closely resembles the power load these small HTPC motherboards will be using. I don't understand why you can't review these smaller boards with a good 80% 300 watt PS. Most of the people interested in these boards are interested in HTPC usage and idle load is the most important number. Your power numbers are typically useless, because of the low efficiency a 1000 watt PS will run a 50 watt load.

    The reviews on Anandtech are generally great and very informative, but I don't understand why you even test power consumption when the results are so skewed.
    Reply
  • TrackSmart - Thursday, September 22, 2011 - link

    As a fellow reader of these reviews, I understand that you can't have any consistency in the results unless you test under the same conditions every time. And that means having a powersupply that can handle any build.

    That being said, I agree that some tests with small form factor appropriate hardware would be of interest to folks... Not good for comparing performance differences between boards, but to see what you can do with a real build in terms of performance vs noise , heat, and actual power usage. Maybe they'll do an updated small form factor article. Their last guide was based around low power stuff (look it up), but a higher performance update to that guide would be cool.
    Reply
  • IlllI - Friday, September 23, 2011 - link

    this board got abysmal feedback over on hardforum.
    some guy had 19 of them die (1+18 replacements if i recall). his company decided to ditch the entire brand due to reliability.
    Reply
  • moolman - Friday, September 23, 2011 - link

    I didn't try this board but I tried two of the H67 boards. Both boards had defective displayports, they wouldn't work, everything else worked fine. Just beware, I posted and called Zotac for help and it seems they know of the problem but who uses display ports for integrated graphics, so I was probably the only guy complaining about it. But I have a 30" monitor so no choice in the matter. Luckily I bought from Fry's and hence able to try out 2 boards. Ended up with the Intel H56 ITX, glad I did, quieter and uses less energy. Thanks Zotac for sucking. Reply
  • lwatcdr - Friday, September 23, 2011 - link

    I could see this as a one box server solution for a small business.
    Two nics so configure this as a fire wall.
    WiFi= Wifi access point for the office "If it supports it."
    Two SATA 6 ports Two big drives in a RAID.
    Two SATA 3 ports boot drive/swap/
    MSATA cache.
    Install Asterisk for your phone system, vTiger CRM, an email server, what ever else you want or need.
    USB ports Backup drives, printers, scanners.
    You have the makings of an all in one small business server.
    Reply
  • Shadowmaster625 - Friday, September 23, 2011 - link

    Does that thing even have a specified efficiency at 50 watts? I dont think the 80 plus applies unless you are at 10% load. Reply
  • waldojim42 - Friday, September 23, 2011 - link

    I see no reason to drop in a new bios just to compete with other manufacturers. If the others want to compete with Zotac, add in the "out of spec" options for people! I find it odd that it was more "fair" for you guys to kill off one channel of ram, than leave the thing to its higher clock rates.

    I am more interested in how well it handled running 4x over on all cores using stock cooling, than running a crippled machine.
    Reply

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