ASUS E35M1-Deluxe

When I started this review, I mentioned that this board has won quite a few awards around the world for all the extras, despite it being the most expensive Fusion board on the market.  Even when I contacted ASUS for a review sample, they said they were very proud of how this board performed.  Undoubtedly, I can see the virtues - completely passive, ready connected onboard wifi with room for space-age looking antennae and a detailed UEFI with working fan header control.  However, a couple of things are on the negative side - it was quite a long process to correct a failed overclock when boot recovery wouldn't initialise, there are only three ports of audio out on the back panel, the HDMI port is only 1.3b, and performance compared to other boards (particularly the ECS with that 33% overclock option) let it down.  A board with an award has to be above the rest - one that I would use myself on a daily basis with no fuss or some minor room for improvement, but also competitively priced.  The board is good, and people will buy it and love it, but $175 is too much in my opinion.

ECS HDC-I

The main thing about the ECS that's hard to ignore is that automatic overclock option.  Having 33% free of anything is usually a good idea, so when it comes part of the package with very little increase in power consumption, it is a good thing.  As a result, all the benchmarks and all the games had much, much higher scores than the other boards we tested.  A couple of areas let the ECS board down though - the front panel connectors are in an odd place, there's no physical connector for the wifi aerial (have to use a spare PCI card holder), and the other boards we tested were passive (I don't find this much of an issue personally as the fan was inaudible, but others may suggest otherwise).  If this comes onto the market at its suggested retail price, it's a serious option for people wanting to go down the Fusion route with a little more horsepower under their belts.  It's not enough to win an award, but it's worth a look.

Zotac Fusion-ITX Wifi

It's been quite a long time since I've dealt with a motherboard that required SO-DIMM memory.  But a system such as Hudson-M1 which can only support DDR3-1333, it makes sense as long as there's no price difference between the normal memory and SO-DIMM.  It allows the manufacturer to free up real estate on the motherboard for other bells and whistles.  Unfortunately, Zotac haven't taken advantage of that.  The main positive of this board is the passiveness of the heatsink which works well, and becomes something to consider with aggressive pricing (currently $125 with rebate on newegg.com at time of writing).  But the performance of the Zotac leaves something to be desired, there's no overclocking and no utilities to deal with (that could be a positive or a negative depending on your perspective). 

That PCIe slot, and how Overclocking effects gaming
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  • sprockkets - Thursday, July 14, 2011 - link

    I have the AsRock board. I get 18w idle and 24w under load via a killawatt device. Granted it uses an 80w power supply, but I'm kinda wondering how you got 59w for something that is practically the same setup in each board. Reply
  • IanCutress - Thursday, July 14, 2011 - link

    I was using a less than ideal power supply for the power draw tests which was very inefficient in this range (<20% of maximum power), and unfortunately I don't have anything more appropriate at hand to test with. The comparisons (I believe) between the boards are more than relevant though. I will hopefully rectify this in future reviews of lower powered systems.

    Ian
    Reply
  • formulav8 - Thursday, July 14, 2011 - link

    Why didn't you wait to do power consumption tests then? Reply
  • bah12 - Thursday, July 14, 2011 - link

    While not ideal, I'd say the whole point of this article was to illustrate the differences in the boards. Thus as long as they all suffered from the same inefficient PS, the information is not useless in that you can still draw a conclusion based on the differences at the board level. All and all, not ideal but useful. Reply
  • BushLin - Friday, July 15, 2011 - link

    I once tried to reason with the fanboys at AMDZone on Anands behalf, defending that the reviews here were objective... I think I'm starting to believe that their might be some truth in their beliefs that the odds are stacked against AMD when their products are reviewed on here.

    At best, this review is a misguided. It focuses far too heavily on areas these systems are not aimed at, misinforms (or fails to inform) on areas that it's market are interested in and answers stupid questions that no-one is asking. Testing a GTX 580 with an E-350 at 4x PCI-E... really? Why not test out how well these work as a HTPC compared to something like ION and the latest Atom?

    At worst, this review could almost be seen as a deliberate undermining of a technology that's potentially superior to it's Intel's offering and how often could you honestly say that since Core2?. Most of the tests are irrelevant (or become irrelevant when comparing to much higher TDP chips), the one test you did manage to do which is very relevant (power consumption) was so high that it prompted me to look at other reviews and take the time to write this comment!

    This review has idle power consumption as at least 36w, Xbit have it at 7.3w even with a 880w PSU. One of these reviews has it very wrong, I know which one I'm more inclined to believe.
    http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/amd-e...
    Reply
  • IKeelU - Friday, July 15, 2011 - link

    I have to agree with your assessment of the review.

    - These boards are aimed at HTPC market, but the review was focused...elsewhere (frankly, I can't tell what the focus was).
    - How is the audio quality? I was very interested in the ASUS board until I noticed it doesn't have 6-channel direct out. This is important!
    - Another, less important, point: The features/specs for each board should come first. Double points for a feature comparison table.
    Reply
  • AnandThenMan - Friday, July 15, 2011 - link

    It is extremely unfortunate that Anandtech has sacrificed their integrity when it comes to reviewing some of AMD's products. I really hope that more and more people are made aware of what is going on, these reviews are downright dishonest.

    The most important question people need to ask is, why is this happening? What is the incentive for Anandtech.com to publish these misleading reviews?
    Reply
  • ET - Saturday, July 16, 2011 - link

    Can you explain what is dishonest or misleading about this review? I agree that it could be better, but I don't see anything to indicate that anything was falsified here. Reply
  • medi01 - Sunday, July 17, 2011 - link

    Seriously?

    Cough "This review has idle power consumption as at least 36w, Xbit have it at 7.3w even with a 880w PSU. ", cough?

    Oh, it's irrelevant, because we're comparing motherboards of the same platform? Orly? What if I read this, say "OMG it consumes so much energy" and go buy Atom?

    Tell me how to get that 36w idle thing, what kind of PSU should be used, to justify 7.3w (with bloody 880w PSU!!!!) vs 36w please?

    What are 5850 580gtx doing in this review?

    Shameless...
    Reply
  • Finraziel - Thursday, September 01, 2011 - link

    Monstrously late reply... but I just can't not leave this comment... Did any of you actually read the xbit article? Those power draw measurements are measured between the PSU and the components, only measuring what the components are actually using, completely ignoring the efficiency of the PSU (the way xbitlabs has been testing for years I might add). So the fact that they were using an 880W PSU has absolutely zero bearing on their readings.
    Granted, it's still a shame that these boards couldn't have been tested with something like a pico psu, and I do agree the article could have been better (for instance, how much noise does that tiny fan on the ECS board actually make? apart from an easily missed remark in the conclusion nothing is said about it), but it's not as bad as you people are making it out to be.
    Reply

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