Zotac H67-ITX: Sandy Bridge for Mini-ITX

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Power Consumption

When idle or playing H.264 video, it used 20W and 25W respectively, the same amount of power as the Asus P8H67-M EVO. However on load, we noticed the H67-ITX pull away in the wrong direction, using 5W more than the Asus and Intel microATX H67 boards when just two cores were stressed using Prime95. The difference grew to 12~13W when all four cores were at work.

It seems that the higher the load, the less efficient the H67-ITX becomes. The culprit is likely a combination of less sophisticated power regulation circuitry and an unusually high core voltage to the CPU, which as explained earlier, cannot be lowered in the BIOS. We've encountered poor energy efficiency from Zotac mini-ITX boards in the past like the H55-ITX, but they usually had voltage options that could be used to mitigate the difference.

Unfortunately it is difficult to ascertain exactly how much of the energy draw is generated by the processor alone, as the amount of power pulled from the AUX12V connector depends on how power regulation has been implemented by the manufacturer. In this case Zotac has used a 4+1+1 power phase design which relies significantly less on the AUX12V connector than the Asus P8H67-M EVO and Intel DH67BL boards.

Boot Time

Despite donning a traditional BIOS rather than a fancy new UEFI, the H67-ITX boots very quickly once it's been optimized (setting all hard drive and USB delay to minimum). Our sample took four seconds less than the UEFI-equipped Asus P8P67/Pro to get to the Windows load screen.

WiFi & USB 3.0 Performance

The H67-ITX ships with an Atheros 802.11n mini PCI-E adapter which is fairly energy efficient. Disabling it resulted in only a 1W savings in system power consumption, while connecting it to a network required an extra 1W. Signal strength was good as we got 4 bars with our 802.11n router 25~30 feet away with one wall in between. When transferring a large file over the network the average speed was 24 mbps, about average in our experience. WiFi performance seems to be a total crapshoot when it comes to Zotac products. The ZBOX managed only 15 mbps on the same test while the H55-ITX achieved 42 mbps.

The VIA USB 3.0 controller performed about on par with the Renasa controller found on many motherboards. We copied 4GB of movies from an WD VelociRaptor 600GB on USB 3.0 to a SATA-connected Caviar Black 2TB with a respectable average speed of 97 MB/s.

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