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  • wysiwygbill - Saturday, March 06, 2010 - link

    There is apparently a problem with this motherboard that won't allow turbo boost to function. This wouldn't affect the i3 processors where you compared performance with the i3 but you didn't test any i5 processors or compare i7 performance with the DFI.

    I'd be interested to see how much difference the turbo boost would make by comparing i5 performance with the i3 or by comparing the i7 performance with a different motherboard.

    That's assuming you aren't concerned with the DFI bursting into flames should you put an i7 in it. :-)

  • Shadowmaster625 - Friday, March 05, 2010 - link

    $150 for this board is pure insanity. MAYBE if they soldered an i3 to the board it might be worth that much. What is the reasoning behind paying over $300 for a mob/cpu/RAM combo for something like an HTPC? How does this possibly justify a 50% premium versus a similar AMD HTPC setup? Reply
  • ROID R4GE - Wednesday, March 03, 2010 - link

    What I am most interested in (and haven't seen anyone mention) is finding out if this motherboard along with and i3 530 can handle playback of a 1080p .mkv file.

    have you done any testing of this type?
  • ROID R4GE - Friday, March 12, 2010 - link

    ok, if anyone is interested. the core i3 and this motherboard can handle a .mkv 1080p movie Reply
  • justniz - Monday, March 01, 2010 - link

    The tests would have been A LOT more informative if you had included figures from the same tests on a full-sized motherboard with the same ram, cpu and graphics card, so we could see exactly how much of a penalty (if any) the just switching to the smaller size board brings. Reply
  • ScavengerLX - Monday, March 01, 2010 - link

    From my experience power consumption between an mATX and its mini-ITX counterpart is generally around a ~5 watts higher. Not a huge difference. I think it would be interesting to see how an ATX system compares to a comparable mini-ITX system though.

  • willtriv - Monday, March 01, 2010 - link

    DFI had a x55 series ITX board on the market for a few months.
    Unless we are talking about h55 and it was a p55...
  • ggathagan - Monday, March 01, 2010 - link

    Yes, this is an H55 chipset, allowing for the use of the i3/i5 on-die GPU, whereas DFI's board is P55, requiring an additional GPU card. Reply
  • karlkesselman - Monday, March 01, 2010 - link

    it seems to me that actually for IDLE power consumption the DFI motherboard is better than Zotac, is it not?
    We have:
    Zotac H55 i3 530 (not igp) = 53 W
    DFI MI-P55 i3 530 (not igp) = 43 W

    So the DFI is 10 W lower on IDLE than Zotac. Can you confirm this? (I assume they use same video card in this case)
  • Ben - Monday, March 01, 2010 - link

    Something in a banner ad in this article just tried to install a fake Antivirus on my computer! Reply
  • 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.
  • 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.

  • yyrkoon - Monday, March 01, 2010 - link

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


    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 ).
  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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. :)

  • michal1980 - Sunday, February 28, 2010 - link

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

  • Duwelon - Sunday, February 28, 2010 - link

    Wrong. Reply
  • GeorgeH - Sunday, February 28, 2010 - link

    Actually, very not wrong.

    After a quick search, it looks like PCP&C 610W is only about 50% efficient at 30-40W (AC power) and about 70% at 70-60W.

    This means the DC idle/load wattage numbers on the IGP are ~20W/50W. With a power supply rated at ~85% in that region, the measured power would be ~25W/60W, which is hugely different from the stated 35/76W - 30% "error" on the low end is pretty crappy.
  • michal1980 - Sunday, February 28, 2010 - link

    really? tomshard was able to get idle power down to ~25watts">

    now whos wrong?

    have an address I have some crows pie to ship you.
  • mariush - Monday, March 01, 2010 - link

    I'd rather use a bigger power supply (possible a Zen 400W passive one) and have the system use 40W instead of using that 220W power supply tom's hardware uses, with a 40 mm NOISY fan, just to get 22W.

    The difference in watts is so small my cell phone charger eats it when I leave it plugged in over night to charge my phone.
  • Duwelon - Sunday, February 28, 2010 - link

    So efficiency does or doesn't matter with you? Reality shows efficiency is all that matters as long as you have a stable and fairly priced PSU... Reply
  • michal1980 - Sunday, February 28, 2010 - link

    efficeny matters. But I doubt that a 610w power supply is very efficent @ 30watts.

    have you ever heard of the right tool for the job?
  • mindless1 - Sunday, February 28, 2010 - link

    Have you ever heard of gathering more evidence before jumping to conclusions?

    The purpose is a relative, not necessarily absolute power measurement. Think about it, they are not trying to match every possible system configuration a user could have.

    For that, a 610W PSU is fine.

    Further, you don't factually know what the right tool for the job is because neither Tom's, nor most reviewers, test long term with minimally sized PSU (that tend to fail prematurely when ran at a higher % of total load rating).

    The right tool for the job is not really the most efficient without considering anything else. Think about it, if you really cared about efficiency you would turn off the computer you are using instead to post on the internet!
  • michal1980 - Sunday, February 28, 2010 - link

    what false conclusion? Did you even look at this review?

    except for the 860 cpu, @ load the system used less then 110watts of power. Using a PSU thats rated 6x that is a waste, on both ends, idle, and peak.

    PSU's certified for 80+, have tragets at 20, 50, and 80% of loads. The efficency of most, if not all falls significantly below a 20% load.

    a quailty 200W psu would be a much better fit for most systems builds then any 600w psu.

  • Duwelon - Sunday, February 28, 2010 - link

    Have you ever heard of admitting your original statement was wrong to just move on? Thanks for admitting efficiency does matter after your first blunder and then acting like a turd to defend it. No doubt you can find a better PSU, but at least now we know you're smart enough to realize efficiency does matter and you don't think it's pulling 610watts out of the socket or something. Have a nice day. Reply
  • michal1980 - Sunday, February 28, 2010 - link

    wrong about what?

    a 610 watt psu is overkill for a system running ~30-150w.

    If you cannot understand that, you are too stupid to even continue this disscussion
  • Duwelon - Monday, March 01, 2010 - link

    Lol you're hopeless. Reply
  • Devo2007 - Sunday, February 28, 2010 - link

    This might also make a decent candidate for a smaller Windows Home Server box as well (with something similar to the Acer Easyshare H340). Heck, if it weren't for the requirement of a CPU heatsink/fan, I'm pretty sure someone would find a way to swap out the board in the Acer with this. Reply
  • Orville - Sunday, February 28, 2010 - link


    I don't think I've read anything by you before. I guess you are new? You must be a gamer, though, because compute performance is mostly all you write about. On that subject, why doesn't Zotac spec the max power draw allowed for the CPU. I guess it must be at least 95 Watts? But why don't they stand up like a man and say what it is? There must be something rotten in Denmark. All you gamers would want at least 130 Watts, wouldn't you?

    You must not be an HTPC guy because Blu-ray never showed up in this article, even once. Isn't Blu-ray (play from media, play from server, RIP and burn) the main thyme of HTPC? On that subject what are the key differences between the H55 and the N55 with respect to HTPC needs? Also, what NIC MAC/PHY does this board use? I don't think I saw that. Anyway, does the NIC support jumbo frames? If so, what size? I wouldn't buy this board for a either a media client or a media server without excellent jumbo frame support. Also, how does the Core i3 530 IGP work in an H55 motherboard setup. Somewhere I thought I read that HTPC was the realm of the N55?

    I must confess that the power numbers you published here are very impressive. Imagine what they'd be if those hog HDDs you used were replaced by an SSD. Any idea how Zotac beats DFI so bad in power consumption. I mean 30 Watts less on 75 Watts total is pretty damn snazzy. How do they do that?

    I'm waiting with baited breath for your response.
  • MadMan007 - Monday, March 01, 2010 - link

    The DFI is a P55 board and so *must* have a graphics card, you are comparing IGP versus discrete card to get the 30W difference. It's actually an 8W difference (98 vs 106) when you look at discrete vs discrete. Reply
  • Lonyo - Monday, March 01, 2010 - link

    I would assume an i3 CPU in a motherboard supporting it would be as capable at Bluray as an i3 CPU in a motherboard supporting it.

    Maybe it's a bit of an omission from this particular article, but AT has already done articles covering the i3/etc performance and included h264/Bluray playback numbers.

    This is a motherboard review, and on this motherboard there is only sound which has any relevance to HTPC performance. Any commentary on Bluray playback ability would be more related to CPU/GPU performance, rather than the motherboard.
    Most of the tests are just "this motherboard performs equally to other motherboards".
  • lowteckh - Sunday, February 28, 2010 - link

    So where's the test for the wireless benchmark?

    And why not compare it to what everyone is probably most interested in - the LGA775 NV9300 board?
  • lowteckh - Sunday, February 28, 2010 - link

    And where's the VGA port...? I wouldn't consider an adapter a port. Reply
  • mariush - Monday, March 01, 2010 - link

    It has DVI to VGA adapter. Reply
  • Stokestack - Sunday, February 28, 2010 - link

    A PS/2 keyboard connector? DVI?

    Why? Seems like a waste of space.

    Given that you're OK with the on-board graphics (so you don't need a case big enough for full-length cards), what's the smallest case that would work with this thing?
  • CurseTheSky - Sunday, February 28, 2010 - link

    PS/2 works on interrupts rather than polling. Even though USB keyboards feel "instant," there's actually a very short delay that can potentially cause problems. PS/2 eliminates that.

    Additionally, PS/2 supports full N-key rollover (allowing you to type / hold as many keys simultaneously as you wish without skipping any) while USB can only support a maximum of 6.

    I personally use strictly USB devices, but PS/2 still has the advantage. Plus, I've had problems getting older OSes to install using a USB keyboard rather than PS/2.
  • mindless1 - Sunday, February 28, 2010 - link

    The real question is why not. It's always amusing when some short-sighted person comes along and suggests a motherboard should be stripped of every possible feature that particular individual doesn't want to use, as if there is some gain in removing legacy features.

    More features mean a wider customer base, more sales, lower per unit cost.
  • MadMan007 - Monday, March 01, 2010 - link

    I think one PS/2 for keyboard is fine. It's not as if this board is lacking in USB ports. I'd say that by now most people use USB mice at least so no PS/2 mouse port shouldn't be a complaint. Reply
  • therealnickdanger - Monday, March 01, 2010 - link

    I still use an old AT-plug keyboard (with PS/2 adapter). It's made of metal and heavy plastic and weighs about 7 lbs and you can hear me typing on it from anywhere in the house.

    I love that thing.
  • JonnyDough - Monday, March 01, 2010 - link

    On the other hand if you got used to a softer quieter keyboard you could annoy people less and still love typing! :) Practice makes perfect. Old habits are tough to break, but sometimes worth the effort. i.e. smoking? Reply
  • vol7ron - Sunday, February 28, 2010 - link

    I know it's a lot of work, but you guys have been making great strides with the Bench area. Is it possible to get gpu, memory, and motherboards on there too?

  • Saosin - Sunday, February 28, 2010 - link

    Does it undervolt and/or underclock? And if that's the case; What's the range and how small are the V steps? Reply
  • ScavengerLX - Sunday, February 28, 2010 - link

    The base clock can be dropped down to 100MHz and Vcore can be reduced to .10V under the default voltage. Hope that helps.

  • hybrid2d4x4 - Monday, March 01, 2010 - link

    Thanks for the info. -0.1V is pretty weak, but I guess it's better than nothing. Reply
  • jigglywiggly - Sunday, February 28, 2010 - link

    Looks like a solid motherboard, too bad I have no use for a htpc. Reply
  • oc3an - Sunday, February 28, 2010 - link

    On Page 4:

    "An abundance of on-board SATA ports are provided by the P55 chipset."

    I'm pretty sure it's H55.

  • Rajinder Gill - Sunday, February 28, 2010 - link

    Hi Patrick,

    Sorry about that, we'll get it fixed asap..

  • FaaR - Sunday, February 28, 2010 - link

    Anandtech admins, you have some adbanner that irregularly appears on the site that uses javascript I believe and forcibly forwards users to "http: // / index.html" (spaces inserted to prevent people from ending up there inadvertently). It just happened to me when trying to access this motherboard review. It also happened to me once on the Anandtech forum...

    Not sure what, if anything, you can do about this. Just wanted to mention it.
  • Ryan Smith - Monday, March 01, 2010 - link

    I've talked to our ad people and they've pulled a ton of stuff. Please let us know if any of you guys are still getting redirected. Reply
  • JonnyDough - Monday, March 01, 2010 - link

    Now that's service. How does that happen in the first place though? :( Reply
  • damianrobertjones - Tuesday, March 02, 2010 - link

    ..and how many people have been infected by this?

  • Duwelon - Sunday, February 28, 2010 - link

    This has been happening to me too on anandtech only (as far as I recall). AVG catches it and prevents the transfer to the site listed above. I've run Malwarebytes free and done AVG scans, nada. I'm a pretty safe surfer too so I don't know where i would have gotten infected anyway. Reply
  • Etern205 - Monday, March 01, 2010 - link

    Run HiJackThis and analyze your log to see if there are anything else Malwarebytes and AVG haven't found.
    Another is GMER and ComboFix.
  • barkeater - Monday, March 01, 2010 - link

    My wife was surfing (mostly on Facebook) last night and received this same message. I wrote down the address and it matches perfectly with the one you provided:


    She woke me up and said my laptop has a virus. I had her set the laptop aside until I had a chance to look at in the morning. I closed out the browser, and ran ccleaner, then ran anti-malware, and now running anti-virus scan (CA Antivirus Suite). So for nothing.

    I think it is a scam to get you to click on the exacutable which will then infect your computer. This has happend to us before and caused a great deal of grief.

    I plan on reporting the web site/event to the folks at Microsoft to see what they recommend, as well as my own ISP and provider of my Anti-Virus software (CA).
  • PsychoPif - Monday, March 01, 2010 - link

    The adds are definitly becoming more intrusive. I'm getting a lot of muscle adds and last week, I got my first popup on Anand, a popup that told me I was infected and to get an anti-virus.

    I'm mostly browsing at work, so I'm locked in IE 6, I would love if the adds could be about something I would actually click, not some muscle pills.

    That and I would be less inclined to copy/paste the text to notepad so it doesn't look like I'm browsing gay porn...

    Not that there is anything wrong with that.
  • damianrobertjones - Monday, March 01, 2010 - link

    Again, it couldn't possibly be anything to do with Anandtech or Toms :)

    As I posted before, clean machine, fresh install, then updated behind a firewall, AV installed, no other machines on the connection

    Bam... re-direction.
  • damianrobertjones - Monday, March 01, 2010 - link


    Windows 7 Pro, latest flash installed, IE 8
  • Etern205 - Monday, March 01, 2010 - link

    I've been on this site for years and have not encounter what you're getting. Reply
  • Voo - Sunday, February 28, 2010 - link

    Never happened to me, you're sure it's not something nasty on your PC? Wouldn't be the first of its kind.. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Sunday, February 28, 2010 - link

    It does sound more like an infection rather than one of our ads, though I could be wrong. If you can provide specific details on the advertisement, that would be helpful. (Not that I have nothing to do with ads, but I could at least pass the information along to the appropriate person.)

    Assuming it's an infection (very possibly a rootkit), here are a few suggestions:

    1)">Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware
    2)">Ad-Aware Free
    3)">Spybot Search & Destroy

    If you run those and get an infection, and still have issues after cleaning, you might need to try">GMER.exe... there's a particularly nasty rootkit going around right now that infects your ATAPI.SYS file, and GMER.EXE will fix that one. I don't recommend this as a first option, though, as it's not user friendly and can be a powerful (re: dangerous) tool in the hands of an inexperienced user.

  • damianrobertjones - Monday, March 01, 2010 - link

    It's always the user hey...

    Tomshardware has recently been diverting my laptop to a malware page so... I asked a forum to check and it happened to them. I then created a clean vm, updated, installed AV, bam, same thing.

    New machine out of a box, the only machine on the connection, updated, AV, bam... re-direction.

    Please resolve your banner situation and I've already sent a mail to Toms with no response. It's not always the users
  • The0ne - Tuesday, March 02, 2010 - link

    Toms is not a good site to go to nowadays, especially if you don't have the capability to turn scripts off! If you do use some sort of script blocking plugin, take a look at all the fcking junk that Toms has on their site. Truly amazing and disgusting. Mind you I'm not saying they're bad, just a lot of junk the visitor aren't aware of. Reply
  • banthespam - Sunday, February 28, 2010 - link

    I believe FaaR is correct. I was browsing over and got the exact same page (obvious ad-redirect to malware). So I googled the malware url and found this page. First time I brought it up, it redirected me to the malware site. But it's a one time thing. I tried to reload, clear cache cookies and so on, could never get the malware site again. They're hidding it well. There's probably even some random stuff thrown in so you never know when it'll brought up.

    And yes, just in case, I did scan my comp, absolutly nothing was found. I am not running as administrator thus cannot be infected by rootkits.
  • SilthDraeth - Monday, March 01, 2010 - link

    Not running as admin is definitely safer than running as admin, but it does not make you immune to being infected by rootkits. Reply
  • PianoManDan - Saturday, July 09, 2011 - link

    I know this topic is a bit old, but I've just come across it as I'm looking into this board as a change to my current setup.

    Firstly, my use is quite different, and a bit specialist. Hopefully, even though this topic is over a year old, someone will be able to offer some advice.

    My PC is used for Mobile Audio work, as well as a home server with multiple virtual machines. I would like to take advantage of my current equipment and also use it as a relatively decent gaming machine.

    I currently have an i7 870 CPU which I'm using with Gigabyte mATX board. It was in a 2U Rack case (because of my mobile usage), and as the 870 doesn't have on-board graphics, I'm using a Low-Profile ATI 5450 1GB GPU.

    I've just switched to a 1U Case, which mounts the GPU horizontally instead, making room for a full size GPU. This does mean though that the GPU and heatsink is on top of some PCI & PCIe Slots on the mATX board.

    I'm looking at an ITX board instead so the extra space is available for the HSF on the GPU, plus it means I can hopefully take advantage of a full size, better GPU that will be good for gaming. It can't be dual size though (2 PCI Slots in height). I'm not after anything amazing - but just to comfortably manage modern games with good detail.

    So, now you understand my usage, my questions are:
    Can this board handle relatively decent gaming?
    What GPU would you recommend without being overkill for this MB?

    Long-winded I know - but sometimes you need to know the uses before you can comment and make a suitable recommendation. I appreciate any help anyone can offer.

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