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  • StormyParis - Saturday, October 01, 2011 - link

    Mobile Llanos use a different socket I think ? For cheap mini-itx nettops, I'd rather have that, especially because desktop llanos need 65W and up, which is a lot. Reply
  • Taft12 - Sunday, October 02, 2011 - link

    At idle, these desktop parts draw about the same amount of power as laptop parts. Also, please observe the difference between TDP and actual system power draw Reply
  • CharonPDX - Monday, October 03, 2011 - link

    For cheap systems, you don't want to use more expensive mobile chips. A little extra heat on the desktop is possible to exhaust more easily. Reply
  • Z Throckmorton - Saturday, October 01, 2011 - link

    Thank you very much for the very informative review, Ian. I've been waiting way too long for ITX FM1 boards to appear, and there's finally some proliferation in the field. Hopefully the field will continue to widen both in terms of APUs and boards.

    Any word on why OC'ing in AHCI is abysmal and in IDE, very impressive? Is this an issue with this board in particular, or this chipset in general?
  • Taft12 - Sunday, October 02, 2011 - link

    I'm with you on the need for ITX FM1 boards. I'd argue that there's really no need for *ANY* FM1 system to be larger than micro-ATX (and only then for the benefit of 4 memory slots). If you need more video processing power than Llano integrated, you should be buying AM3+ Reply
  • mariush - Saturday, October 01, 2011 - link

    Read all the article...

    In my opinion that bit about being unable to overclock shouldn't be on the first page, it may put off the reader and stop him from reading further.

    On the page where you actually discuss about overclocking, you should remind people that it's a beta BIOS and just maybe they won't have to switch to IDE mode in final versions of the motherboard to get good overclocking.

    Maybe it's just me but I would have appreciated a test showing the power consumption of the system with just plain 2 GB of memory, with wireless disabled and a simple budget ssd drive or a 5900 rpm drive - probably the configuration people would use for htpc or for an office machine.

    I see the system uses 122 watts of power when playing Metro but how about the case when there's no additional video card - would I be able to run it from let's say a 120w pico-psu combined with a 19v laptop brick?

    It would also be nice to see how low the voltage of the CPU can go and still keep the system stable, just in case someone would like to make the system as cool as possible and make it silent

    You also say the power is measured at the wall but you're using a 1000w power supply - this is ridiculous.
    The Silverstone Strider Plus 1000w is reported to have only about 80.8 efficiency at 100 watts, see
  • just4U - Saturday, October 01, 2011 - link

    As an enthusiast.. this would likely go into a small formfactor for the TV.. I don't even see why Overclocking would be a deal breaker at all. Reply
  • mdk777 - Saturday, October 01, 2011 - link

    "The Silverstone Strider Plus 1000w is reported to have only about 80.8 efficiency at 100 watts, see "

    correct: It is really much worse for the idle !

    Most likely at half this wattage the efficiency is closer to 70 %

    Hence that 50 watt idle at the wall translates into 35 watts direct.

    With a proper 400 watt gold rated PSU you would pull 38 to 39 watts.

    Hence a horrible reporting error of what ? over 24%

    What a joke. Why didn't you just use a 1500 watt bronze unit to try and skew the results even more.????
  • Arnulf - Sunday, October 02, 2011 - link

    Yup, undervolting would be interesting, not the silly 1.5V on 32 nm chip. Reply
  • tecknurd - Sunday, October 02, 2011 - link

    If the computer consumes 122 watts and the power supply rating is 120 watts, this is will hurt the power supply trying to use more power than the power supply is rated for. It is best to select a power supply that has more power than the device is trying to use. There are 160 watt pico power supply units that will be better suited for the setup. Using a pico power supply is best to use with lower power processors like an A6-3600 or A4-3400.

    Yes, using a 1000 watt power supply for this setup is over kill. Probably this is the power supply that author has in their junk box. Sure might be good, but where is the ripple voltage or quality of the power that the Silverstone power supply is providing at the low power. Efficiency is part of a good power supply, but the quality of the power matters more when caring for stability of the computer.

    Increasing the voltage over than the stock voltage of the processor can hurt the processor. Some motherboards may do this already and increasing voltage just adds more problems. Use a multimeter to check the voltage. If you do not know what you are doing where to place the probes for the multimeter, just do not do it.
  • mariush - Sunday, October 02, 2011 - link

    Well, see, here's where you're wrong and that's why it would have been nice to test that.

    This hardware was using 122 watts WITH an additional video card, on a 1000 watts power supply that has 80.8% efficiency at such low loads.
    So realistically, the system uses about 110 real watts on full load WITH the additional video card.
    I would have liked to know how much is the system actually using WITHOUT an extra video card - my guess is the consumption would drop by about 30 watts in load and about 10-15 watts in idle.

    An 120 watt pico PSU has about 87% efficiency and can only deliver about 6-8 Amps on 12v line, when powered from a 19v laptop adapter (it's irrelevant how efficient this adapter is for this talk).

    So assuming the pico psu can do a maximum of 6A on 12v (72w), it really makes a difference if the consumption drops to about 85-90 watts in total without an additional video card (because memory/ uses the 3.3v lines and 5v is used by the USB port/lan/wireless and the SSD, so the rest would probably fit in those 6 Amps of 12v power)

    As for the ripple paragraph, both the laptop adapter AND the pico psu power converter do filtering so they're quite good and provite quality power to the system, see :

    As things are now, as the tests were made with 1000w psu and only with an extra video card (would you like future systems to only be tested in Crossfire or SLI?) ... there's really no way to form an opinion.

    And as for the middle paragraph...I own a Seasonic X-650, which according to tests can manage up to 92.5% efficiency. The results would have been much closer to the reality and the tests could still be done on other systems even with two power hungry video cards
  • mariush - Sunday, October 02, 2011 - link

    Oh... and a last thing...

    The system was tested with the Corsair water cooler - the pump itself uses 2-3 watts of power and you also need a fan to cool the radiator, which is at least another 2 watts...

    The stock cooler for the processor probably uses less than 3 watts at full speed.

    I know, it's very little but it adds up, and the majority of the people buying these things won't buy water coolers for them and 1000w power supplies.
  • pinto76 - Monday, October 03, 2011 - link

    The whole review is subpar. Aside from the language I'm sure all of 3 people reading cared for water cooling comments or the above mentioned power consumption figures off a 1000w PSU. There's no word about wifi. Not what it is or whether it even works at all. For the future, guys, please, boot up from an Ubuntu live CD, type 'sudo iw list', 'sudo lshw -C network -sanitize', and 'sudo lspci -v' and save outputs as an attachment to the article. Trust me it'll be far better help to at least half the people reading the articles and actually thinking of buying this stuff.

    And you do have to get on their butts about not providing a vertical mini PCIe slot, it costs them more to do it because they have to make a bracket since mini PCIe cards won't stay up by themselves; in the low profile fitting you'll be limited to half size cards only replacements. And you'll want to replace it if what Zotac puts in their boards is any indication - and not that I'm knocking them for it, I'd much rather have mini PCIe with a vertical bracket than anything in the slot anyway.

    No word on bluetooth either.
  • Death666Angel - Saturday, October 01, 2011 - link

    However, I think the AsRock A75M-ITX can be more appealing, because of it's different CPU socket position. I have that board because it will fit a Scythe Big Shuriken (awesome low-ish profile cooler) and still have the PCIe slot uncovered (not using it at the moment but it's nice to know I can). Designs such as the Asus here have the problem of having the CPU socket too close to the slot. If you want to use the PCIe slot you either need quite a small cooler (read: loud) or go with a water cooling all-in-one and that brings a whole other pack of problems.

    Still, it's great to see ITX boards being offered for new systems! The more the better!
  • just4U - Saturday, October 01, 2011 - link

    Considering the features on these baby boards.. I don't quite understand why they command a premium. One would think they'd come in at a lower price point then some of the value MATX boards. Reply
  • DanNeely - Saturday, October 01, 2011 - link

    They're more expensive because packing everything in so tightly requires using more compact controller chips for 3rd party features instead of the larger, cheaper versions on full size boards and because squeezing everything together so tightly means having to use more layers in the PCB to connect everything. Packing everything together so tightly makes avoiding EMI problems between components more difficult as well.

    On top of the engineering challenges miniITX boards are sufficently low volume parts that you start paying penalties in manufacturing costs and have to fund more engineering time per board.
  • just4U - Saturday, October 01, 2011 - link

    I didn't realize the boards had more layers.. when I see these reviews I think of barebone boards like ones made for OEMs and such. Makes some sense I suppose.. Still I think all in all I'd be more likely to pick up a feature rich MATX in the same price range over something like this.. Yeah your casing might be marginally bigger but even so. Reply
  • Death666Angel - Saturday, October 01, 2011 - link

    I have a mini ITX case with these measurements:
    185x240x70 mm
    I have barely any space left and right (mini ITX is 170x170mm) and the space that I have in front is used for the built-in PSU dc/dc converter. This case has 3.1l volume. If I were to have the exact same case, just with a mATX mainboard (adding 74mm to the width and depth), I would get:
    259x314x70mm, resulting in 5.7l volume, almost doubling it.

    That's not something I'd refer to as "marginally bigger".

    You really can't compare (m)ATX to ITX in my opinion. :-)
  • ckryan - Sunday, October 02, 2011 - link

    The difference between mini ITX cases and micro ATX cases is substantial. It doesn't take much effort to chop the two inches off of an ATX board to make it micro. Making a micro into a mini is entirely different. Mini ITX boards are 6.7 in x 6.7 in, and most of that gets taken up by the CPU socket/VRM area as well as the DIMM slots. Add in the PCIE slot and you don't have much to work with.

    Most uATX cases are still 17" deep and 8" wide by at least 13" tall. Many mini ITX enclosures are closer to the size of a Nintendo Wii. Most people don't need such a small system, but if you do it's usually worth the premium. BIOS/UEFI options on a small board are worth their weight in gold, as are competent WiFi options. Under volting is a must have for AMD systems, but 1155 Intel CPUs don't have much to gain from it. With a feature-laden ITX board, a powerful but low tdp processor, and some solid state storage, there's not really many compromises to make. With the right case and mobo you can toss in a powerful GPU, further expanding its range of uses. Or toss in an InfiniTV Quad tuner card and record 4 hd cable streams simultaneously. That's why these boards are great -- there's not much of a limit to the possibilities.
  • Death666Angel - Saturday, October 01, 2011 - link

    First off, the numbers are in favor of ATX and mATX boards, since they just sell more volume. Then, you generally don't have extra stuff like WLAN on most of those standard boards. The layout for the bigger boards is significantly less crowded resulting in easier manufacturing as well.
    You cannot look at ITX and think "hm, they took an ATX board and just cut stuff off". You have to think "hm, they took an ATX board and just condensed it into this mini board". Offering the same things on less space is generally more expensive. This applies here. The few (RAM, PCI, PCIe) slots you lose unfortunately aren't big money savers ;).
  • jensend - Saturday, October 01, 2011 - link

    Glad to see at least one manufacturer put two usb3 ports on the back and included a header for the A75's other ports. ASRock's board wouldn't allow for any front usb3 ports or any internal usb3 devices (usu. card readers).

    But $145 is a bit steep for my taste. Hopefully they'll come out with a cheaper version sans remote.
  • Death666Angel - Saturday, October 01, 2011 - link

    "this board has not been released"
    I can buy this board at 14 different online stores and they have it in store. Unless Europe/Germany has a different ASUS F1A75-I Deluxe, this thing is released as can be. :-)

    Also, it costs 45€ more than the AsRock I got and the only difference I see is the AsRock has no WLAN, no remote and no DP. For me, I made the right choice. :D
  • Iketh - Saturday, October 01, 2011 - link

    Why in the world is a 1000W PS being used for this system???? Use a 350w silver or even less.... I stopped reading when I saw that Reply
  • AnandThenMan - Sunday, October 02, 2011 - link

    The make Llano look bad, there is no other logical explanation. Well except gross incompetence to use such a PS for this platform. Reply
  • Death666Angel - Sunday, October 02, 2011 - link

    It's the curse of a standardized test system:
    you save quite a bit of time and have overall the better comparison between tests, but you do end up making some things look worse than they are, since one size doesn't fit all.
    I think you are reading too much into this. If you want to see how this (obvious HTPC board) fares with a HTPC setup, go look for another site that specializes in it. :-)
    Intel Motherboards are tested with the same setup btw and they are looking about as good as Llano here, I think. And when you look at the initial SNB review, you have idle numbers for the i3 3100 of 73W (they don't list the used PSU in those reviews), which is quite a lot worse than Llano and some Athlons in that test.
  • Soulkeeper - Saturday, October 01, 2011 - link

    1.35 V is the lowest dram voltage it will let you select ?
    Any idea if future bios can/will allow lower ?
  • Soulkeeper - Saturday, October 01, 2011 - link

    Does this keyboard function like a standard wireless usb keyboard ?
    IE: it doesn't need special drivers and will work in linux ?
  • hp79 - Saturday, October 01, 2011 - link

    AMD really sucks. 50 Watt of power in idle with integrated GPU is really terrible.
    I have a intel i3-2120 with 8GB ram, 1 SSD, 1 HDD, GTX 460 1GB on a intel mini-itx board, which is housed in Lian Li PC-Q11 and that uses only 45W power on idle. When playing games, the case stays really quiet and takes around 100W to 140W. By the way, I have a Antec 380W 80 plus power supply.
    Imagine what it'll look like if I take off that power hungry graphics card since intel HD2000 has no problem handling multimedia stuff.
    50W idle for AMD Llano is really a shame. Especially since energy usage is directly related to heat, and space is a premium for HTPCs or mini-itx cases, 50W idle is really not a good choice.
    One thing I have to thank AMD is for it wasn't for them, intel would have been less innovative, and who knows we might have been stuck with Pentium D's today. I don't expect much from AMD's but I hope they can continue to offer some mid-end, low-end competition so we can buy intel's good stuff for cheap. i3-2120 plus H61 motherboard for $110 is an amazing price.
  • nubie - Sunday, October 02, 2011 - link

    Um, did you see the guy above you complaining about the 1000watt power supply?

    Maybe that is the cause of the power draw being so high.

    These results only are comparable with a computer using the 1000watt power supply.

    I would love to see a PC using the Xbox360 power brick for example, 203Watt was the highest spec they came in, newer ones are close to 100watt.
  • hp79 - Sunday, October 02, 2011 - link

    Yes, I read his comment after reading the whole article. I also thought the 1000W power supply was awkward, but still shouldn't be the reason using that much power. It's a 80 Plus PSU, and an expensive one.

    I also have a AMD Athlon X3 435 which uses 55W on idle with nforece integrated graphics. Another reason I don't like AMD is that the performance was lower than a cheap ass $30 Celeron E3300 when I tested playing games with a GT240 graphics card on both of them. No more AMDs in my house.
  • jensend - Sunday, October 02, 2011 - link

    You're totally wrong. The 80 Plus standard tells you how efficient the PSU is at 20%, 50%, and 100% of its rated capacity. PSUs are usually most efficient at around 2/3 of their capacity, and though they can be almost as efficient at full load, efficiency inevitably drops off sharply for loads which are ~15% of the full load or below.

    For a 1KW PSU like the one used in the review, they only had to meet efficiency targets at 200W to get certified; it's probably operating at only ~60% efficiency when these machines are idling at around 30W. Even an 80 Plus Platinum 1000W PSU is likely to be no more efficient than a non-80 Plus-certified 300W PSU for the sub-100 wattages most computers use most of the time.

    The 80 Plus certification program is badly designed. Too many people think they're getting an efficient PSU when the PSU is only efficient at wattages they'll never use, and manufacturers make more high wattage PSUs because it is easier to be high efficiency and get certified at ridiculously high wattages.
  • nubie - Sunday, October 02, 2011 - link

    Exactly, the only way to be sure what the BOARD draw is would be to measure the 12v 3.3v and 5v lines going to the board.

    Re $119 deal, I don't think that is available to anyone anymore, $139 for just that processor on Newegg.

    Nforce graphics are notoriously power hungry, I should know I have had half a dozen of them. That comparison is silly.

    Did you try the true Dual Core AMD without the latency-adding L3 cache? The Athlon II x2 2x1MB Lvl 2 models are decent. You can find them for around $35 if you keep a lookout, I wouldn't knock it.

    The 5 watts you may potentially save is nothing compared to what your monitor or an inefficient sound system may draw.
  • hp79 - Monday, October 03, 2011 - link

    Yeah, before I upgraded the AMD system to X3 last year, it had a AMD BE 2300 in it. It sucked around 40W at the time and I was happy about the power consumption. But the thing was too slow even for normal web surf and stuff so I upgraded the CPU.

    I know the 80 Plus does not mean it's all-the-way 80% or more efficient. I was thinking that it can't be that far off even if it is at 10% load. In this case, it's even lower than that, and thinking again, it does make a lot of difference in such a small load.

    Comparing this AMD system again with Intel Sandy Bridge system, unless you need to play games with so-so graphics of Llano, I don't think it's worth it to use it for HTPC usage. I read reviews that idling at 20W is normal for Sandy Bridge systems. I believe my desktop power usage will also drop to those levels if I take off my GTX 460 graphics card. Sure, if it was 5W we are talking about, it's not a big deal. But 50W AMD vs 20W Intel is a lot. Yes, I agree the test is flawed so they should redo the test using a lower wattage PSU.
  • Death666Angel - Monday, October 03, 2011 - link

    Just a quick info: my HTPC build with these components:
    60W pico psu
    AsRock A75M-ITX
    A6-3500 (triple core)
    2*2GB 1866MHZ (8/8/8/T1)
    500GB 2.5" HDD Toshiba (still need a MicroSATA adapter for my 1.8" SSD)
    draws ~51W when using Linx with 3 threads (it goes to P0 with 2.1GHZ). It draws ~56W when I set P0 as the B0 with 2.4GHz. With medium activity (web browsing while installing windows updates) I get ~35W. In idle I have between ~25W and ~30W.
    Btw. this is all with K10Stat lowering the votlages by betwem .2V (P6,P5), .3 (P4) and .4V (P3-P0 and B0). Which is kinda ridiculous and makes you wonder if AMD did this on purpose to not conflict with their Brazos line....

    Anyway, I think those voltages are pretty sweet.
  • jensend - Tuesday, October 04, 2011 - link

    What case are you using? I'm planning on doing a very similar build (though with a higher capacity picopsu) and I'm having trouble settling on a case. Reply
  • Roland00Address - Sunday, October 02, 2011 - link

    1) The item to my understanding is not on the market yet. Made more evident via an estimated price instead of a real one.
    2) Uses a pre-release bios
    3) Item was shipped via ASUS, when previous we were told via Anandtech motherboard reviews (not neccessary other items such as laptops) would be bought on the open market.
    We were told these policies were going to be implemented due to the disaster that was testing on the x58 roundup less than 3 years ago.

    I do appreciate this article and I enjoyed reading it, but I believe it should be called a preview and not a review.
  • Nihility - Sunday, October 02, 2011 - link

    It would be nice to know how long it takes EFI on different motherboards to finish loading.
    Especially with Windows 8 and its faster boot speed, it's an important metric.

    Some older BIOSes when set to AHCI and RAID would take 20 seconds to load, I'd like to be able to avoid such products in the future.
  • Death666Angel - Sunday, October 02, 2011 - link

    All that really counts is that you can see how component x (ASUS mini ITX) fares against a competing component y (AsRock ATX), so you can make the decision what is better for your usage model. This standardized test setup delivers that. It does not show the performance, power consumption etc. that you will see at home, but it does show the difference between different components.
    If this motherboards draws more power vs. the other tested FM1 from AsRock, it is true to say that the same would be true for you at home, same thing with different performance deltas.
    I think this is the best setup if you want the biggest overall comparison size while still not devoting all your time. Because time really is the #1 constraint here.
  • AnandThenMan - Sunday, October 02, 2011 - link

    You're just making excuses. Other sites are using proper better testing methods, what is the problem here? No one, and I mean no one, is going to pair this system with a 1000 watt power supply, and I don't know about you, but I like to read reviews that reflect how a typical system is actually going to be configured and used. Reply
  • Death666Angel - Monday, October 03, 2011 - link

    I would like that as well, but I understand the time constraints behind it, because testing every system according to their usage will mean testing every system at least 2 to 3 times. This ITX mainboard could be used in a HTPC with a pico PSU, but it could also be used in a Lian Li case with 6 3.5" HDDs for a selfmade mini-NAS, which would need more power. You would also need to test other motherboards with this little pico PSU, because otherwise you cannot compare the motherboards to one another.
    In a perfect world, we would have 5 different setups for this motherboard, the HTPC with pico PSU and undervolted. The HTPC with a pico PSU and an additional graphics card. The mini-NAS with 5-8 3.5" HDDs. The gamer PC with a powerful graphics card and overclocked CPU. And maybe the 5th can be overclocked CPU with pico PSU as HTPC with better decoding capabilities.
    Every one of those usages probably has readers who are interested in it. And then you would need to have all those test setups applied to every other FM1 motherboard or else you cannot decide which one uses the least power, has the best overclock etc. You see the problem you start running into without a few standardized test setups?
    I'm not making excuses, why would I? I have no affiliation to this website and am just a reader.
  • bijeshn - Monday, October 03, 2011 - link

    How good is the onboard wireless 802.11 b/g/n implementation on this board? Reply
  • mitcoes - Monday, October 03, 2011 - link

    I do think this devices are ATOM competence.

    As they provide a remote control, pobrably to be used as set top boxrs attached to TVs.

    Google TV, Android, Desktop Linux, and even Hackintosh are the OSs that will run better.

    MS WOS is for AMD Phenom and bulldozers or iNTEL I3 to i9 not for Llano or ATOM.

    At this kind of devices nix works far more better than MS WOS.
  • Death666Angel - Monday, October 03, 2011 - link

    And why exactly is that?

    Also, can Linux play commercial blurays, yet? Can I legally install MacOS on a non-Apple PC? Does Google TV or Android have an easy installation routine and easy navigation on a PC?
  • CharonPDX - Monday, October 03, 2011 - link

    *SEEMS* good. But to use a USB dongle, rather than either CIR (standard WinMCE protocol) or Bluetooth seems dopey. Heck, I'd like to see it use CIR for the WinMCE side, and Bluetooth for the keyboard/mouse half... Reply
  • MobiusStrip - Monday, October 03, 2011 - link

    When these babies have Thunderbolt, they're gonna rock. Reply
  • justniz - Tuesday, October 04, 2011 - link

    Please stop using 1024x768 for gaming benchmarks.
    I'm pretty sure practically no gamer uses a 4:3 monitor or plays in such a low resolution.
    Whats wrong with 1920x1080?
    Furthermore with any modern GPU, at such a low res th'eres a strong chance all you're maxing out is the DMA bandwidth to/from the GPU, not its rendering muscles.
  • mariush - Tuesday, October 04, 2011 - link

    Actually a better resolution would be 1280x720.

    Since it's 16:9, various wide format monitors would not distort the image and since it's HDMI native TVs would probably upscale it just fine to 1920x1080.

    Such resolution is suitable to test on board video cards (and cpu embedded video cards) - with higher resolutions you may get into memory bandwidth issues and then you're not really testing the gpu anymore..
  • ddrum2000 - Wednesday, October 05, 2011 - link

    I agree with many that this review is a bit flawed. I'd like to see this board compared to the AsRock A75M-ITX and the Zotac A75ITX-A-E . In addition the A8-3850 is not the best HTPC CPU because of the high TDP. The A8-3800 with a 65 W TDP (I think) would be a much better HTPC comparison. Thanks to the person who said that the Scythe Big Shuriken will not fit as the was the cooler I was planning to use. Thoughts? Reply
  • AnnihilatorX - Thursday, October 06, 2011 - link

    I am looking for a power efficient mini-ITX build
    I was hoping to see some power consumption benchmark :/
  • Soulkeeper - Sunday, October 16, 2011 - link

    I think your motherboard review would be improved if you included the following:

    A table containing the bios min/max for all voltage, fsb, mult, etc. settings
    Tomshardware does this when they compare motherboards and it's really helpful :)

    Also I can't help but wonder if the wifi can be removed and replaced with a mSATA/'miniPCIe' SSD and used as the boot drive.

    Thank you
  • fromage2323 - Tuesday, November 22, 2011 - link

    i just want to say i cant get the remote to work on win7 64-bit no matter what i do. drivers install automatically just fine but it does nothing. same result on two different systems so far. other than that i love the board. Reply

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