Zotac H55-ITX-C-E: Stacked LGA1156 Mini-ITX Motherboard

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Fan Control

To test the board's fan control, we connected the CPU fan to a manual fan speed controller so we could slow it down to induce higher CPU temperatures and connected a pair of fans to the onboard headers. Fan speeds and temperatures were monitored using a digital tachometer and RealTemp respectively as the system was stressed with both Prime95 and FurMark.

Fan Control
Criterion
CPU Fan
(2500 RPM)
SYS Fan
(1600 RPM)
Min. Fan Speed
200 RPM
1600 RPM
Trigger Temp.
59°C
N/A
Max. Fan Speed Temp.
70°C
N/A
CPU fan control settings: 55°C target temperature, 3°C tolerance, 0% minimum fan speed.

The H55-ITX has two PWM fan headers but unfortunately the one labeled SYS rans all fans connected to it, both 4-pin and 3-pin, at full speed. The board's fan control worked only with the CPU fan header and only if a PWM fan was used. The CPU fan behaved in accordance to the settings in the BIOS. With the minimum fan speed set to 0%, the fan spun gingerly at 200 RPM until the average core temperature hit just above the trigger temperature plus tolerance offset. 10°C later, the fan was spinning at top speed after a smooth, fairly linear rise in speed..

Unfortunately the board is not yet supported by SpeedFan, and Zotac does not offer its own fan control utility so dynamic control must be entrusted to the BIOS.

Cooling

To test the board's cooling, we ran the CPU fan at a fixed speed (~900 RPM) using an external power source and ran Prime95 and FurMark. The system was left to stew until temperatures stabilized. Temperatures were taken with a spot thermometer and the results were for the hottest portion of the heatsink.

Heatsink Temperatures
Board
PCH
VRMs
Intel DH55TC
39°C
44°C (bare)
Asus P7H55D-M EVO
54°C
45°C
Zotac H55-ITX-C-E
52°C
53°C
Thermalright MUX-120 with stock fan @ ~900 RPM.
Ambient temperature: 22°C.

The Zotac H55-ITX's heatsinks were up to the challenge, keeping the chips relatively cool on full CPU + GPU load and with no direct airflow as our test system uses a side-blowing tower heatsink.

WiFi Performance

The H55-ITX's included AzureWave (Ralink chipset) adapter was tested with a pair of routers, one 802.11g, the other 802.11n, both located about 25~30 feet away through a single wall. On 802.11g, 5 bars of reception were recorded and a 1.4GB file transfer averaged 22.4 mbps. On 802.11n, it got 4 bars of signal strength, and averaged 41.7 mbps. As noted earlier, the adapter's presence results in an extra 1W power draw, and an additional 2W is used when connected to our 802.11n access point.

Performance and power consumption may vary between samples however, as it appears that AzureWave uses different chipsets for their adapter. Ralink, Realtek and Atheros WLAN drivers were included on the same driver disc.



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