Testbed Setup
Overclocking / Benchmark Testbed
Processors 1 x Intel i3-540 - 3.06GHz, 2 Cores 4 threads, 4MB L3 Cache
Intel CULV Celeron Su2300 1.2GHz, 800MHz FSB, 2 Cores, 1MB L3 Cache
Intel Atom 330, 533 MHz FSB, 2 Cores, 1MB L3 Cache
CPU Voltage Various
Cooling Intel air cooler, stock motherboard air cooling for IONs.
Power Supply Enhance ENP-2320 200W PSU, Corsair HX950 (used for 275 GTX)
Memory CorsairXMS3 CMX8GX3M4A1333C9 DDR3-1333 CAS 9-9-9-24 2x2GB kit
Corsair Dominator GT 8-8-8-24 DDR3-2200 2x2GB kit
Crucial Ballistix BL2566F4N1608 DDR3-1600 8-8-8-24 2x2GB kit
Memory Settings Various
Video Cards MSI 275 Lightning (stock clocks)
Video Drivers NVIDIA 258.96 WHQL
Hard Drive Western Digital 7200RPM 1TB SATA 3/Gbps 32MB Buffer
OCZ Vertex 120GB SSD
Optical Drives Plextor PX-B900A, Toshiba SD-H802A
Case Open Test Bed
Operating System Windows 7 64 bit

We utilized memory kits from Corsair and G.Skill to verify memory compatibility on our test boards. Our OS and primary applications are loaded on the OCZ Vertex 120GB SSD drive and our games operate off the WD Caviar Black 1TB drive. We did a clean install of the OS and applications for each motherboard. For graphics duty, MSI’s GTX N275 GPU is used to provide performance comparisons between boards during gaming benchmarks.

ECS's H55H-I mini-ITX board was used to provide the Clarkdale i3-540 numbers, while ASUS's AT3IONT-I was used for the Atom 330 results. We set up each board with platform defaults, and match up primary memory timings and memory frequency. The ION platforms were run at CAS 7-7-7-20 2T DDR3-1333, while the i3-540 Clarkdale was run at 7-7-7-20 1T DDR3-1333. We did not manage to engage a 1T Command Rate on the ION platform as both boards refused to POST with all of our test memory modules, so had to settle for 2T instead. 

The natural choice for comparison would be a G6950, unfortunately I don't have one of those in my possession at present so we've had to make do with the i3-540 instead. The G6950 touts a 2.8GHz clock speed albeit lacking Turbo and Hyper threading, so should sit neatly between the i3-540 and SU2300 Celeron results in most benchmarks.


Power Consumption

Our power consumption testing utilizes the same batch of components under similar circumstances in a bid to monitor variances between idle and CPU load conditions. We install the vendor supplied power saving utilities on each board (when available) and enable power saving modes that don't involve any kind of underclocking or CPU core frequency modulation in order to run an apples to apples comparison.

ATX PSU switching losses are absent from our figures because we monitor power consumption directly at the DC rails of the PSU. These figures measure only the CPU, motherboard and memory DC power draw and exclude any other peripherals, such as cooling fans and hard drives etc.  AC power consumption at the wall will be anywhere from 15~40% higher than these figures depending upon the efficiency of your power supply.

Motherboard Power Consumption - Idle Power

Motherboard Power Consumption - OCCT Small FFT

Motherboard Power Consumption - HD Video Playback

The CULV SU2300 improves on the idle power consumption of Atom. The i3-540 isn't that far adrift when you consider the additional horsepower and 3.06GHz operating frequency. In most loading scenarios, you'll be giving up 10W of power in return for a more capable all-round PC. As we're dealing with desktop systems here and not mobile devices, we think the 10W gap shouldn't be of concern to most users.

Board Features & BIOS HTPC Performance - Image Quality
Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • Ipatinga - Thursday, August 26, 2010 - link

    "To Zotac’s credit, we found the IONITX-P-E stable and functional for everyday use..."

    Yes... for Zotac, when it works, its credit (or a Plus... since even bricked bios Zotac does not take away from it´s download list and solving the problem takes forever).

    For other manufacturers... a motherboard that works stable and is fully functional is mandatory (even though some forget that on the launch... and focus on overclock... shame :( )

    Still, Zotac does a lot of Mini ITX and it´s good to see many options (hope the competition will catch up). Price wise... well....
  • fredson - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link


    estou querendo usar essa placa em sistema para ficar passando imagem em 3 monitores o que vc acha com relaçao ao funcionamento e consumo de energia!!!


    Fredson Jorge
  • hybrid2d4x4 - Thursday, August 26, 2010 - link

    Thanks for the review. Since the power consumption is in similar if not better than Atom, have you guys tried running the board without the fan? Did you test what the temps are like (with the fan)?
    It'd be sweet if you could run this thing passively cooled with the stock heatsink...
  • mindbomb - Thursday, August 26, 2010 - link

    ffdshow includes a truehd transform filter.
    so the lack of bitstreaming doesn't mean you can't enjoy a truehd track.
  • aguilpa1 - Thursday, August 26, 2010 - link

    I wish we could evolve past this 9400 or 9400 derivitives
  • DigitalFreak - Thursday, August 26, 2010 - link

    There's no reason for Nvidia to come out with another Core2 / Atom chipset. Core2 is a dead end. Both Atom and the Core i CPUs use DMI or QPI for the system bus, and Nvidia doesn't have a license for either of those.
  • Taft12 - Thursday, August 26, 2010 - link

    Oh there is plenty of reason for Nvidia to come out with a chipset for this platform. Too bad Uncle Monopoly says no.
  • DigitalFreak - Thursday, August 26, 2010 - link

    Boo hoo
  • BlendMe - Friday, August 27, 2010 - link

    They do have a newer and better chipset, the 320M, which seems to be an Apple exclusive. It is a pretty powerful chip, a least compared to the 9400M. The 320M is what the 9400M was 2 year ago. The absolute minimum and you should not go lower than that.
  • BlendMe - Thursday, August 26, 2010 - link

    Hey look! It's a Mac mini! Sort of...

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now