Viako Mini Letter ML-80 H61 Sandy Bridge Barebones PC

Cases|Damping | Complete|Mobile Systems
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BIOS & Fan Control

Being a basic mini-ITX model, it's not surprising the ECS H61H2-I2 had little in the way of BIOS options. Frequency and voltage settings in particular were mostly absent since multiplier overclocking isn't supported by the H61 chipset, not that it would matter as the power requirements of "K" series processors exceed the rating of the ML-80's included power adapter.

Automatic fan control options.

About the only speed tweak the board offered was overclocking the graphics chip embedded in the CPU; Along with standard multiplier adjustments, the GPU voltage could be increased up to an impressive 1.0V. There were no usable CPU options however and all memory settings were locked out except for the command rate.

Automatic fan control options.

The fan control menu was more promising with three different presets and customizable settings. The starting speed and temperature was adjustable as was the slope of the fan speed increase though it did require messing with unintuitive PWM values. We found that "Silent" slowed the CPU fan by as much as the board would allow and with the Big Shuriken installed, the temperature never rose high enough for the fan to spin up any faster.

SpeedFan with correlations entered.

Windows users have the option of using SpeedFan to control the CPU fan. Changing the IT8721F chip's PWM 1 mode value from "SmartGuardian" to "Software controlled" in the Advanced menu enables PWM control. Unfortunately the board doesn't allow a drastic reduction in speed; The Big Shuriken's stock fan which runs at 1500 RPM at full speed, had a lower limit of ~820 RPM whether we used SpeedFan or BIOS control. In addition, the secondary 3-pin header lacks control altogether and its speed is not reported either.

With our system assembled inside, the ML-80's 50mm exhaust fan on its own measured 27 dBA@0.6m.

The 50mm exhaust fan is much noisier than the one found in the ML-45, measuring a fairly high 27 dBA@0.6m. As it runs at high speed, most of the noise generated is from the air turbulence produced which sounds smooth, but underlying that is an annoying rattle generated by the motor that cannot be ignored. However, with a quality cooler like the Big Shuriken, it may be fine to leave it off.

Remote & VFD

Neither the remote or VFD are particularly notable, but the software that ties them together, M.Play MX is quite functional. We covered it our Mini Letter ML-45 review, so please read it for a more detailed description.

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