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 Post subject: Asrock H67M-ITX/HT as HTPC board?
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 6:00 pm 
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Hey guys, just curious if anyone has any experience with this board? I realized it's an almost perfect board to pair with a Core I3 for htpc purposes considering it has built-in wifi, MCE remote with power on and off, and all the handy features you'd expect from a H67 board. Also wondering if anyone knows what voltage settings be tweaked and if cpus can be undervolted? I hope it's similar to the Sister Asus one.

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 Post subject: Re: Asrock H67M-ITX/HT as HTPC board?
PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 10:12 pm 
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I have the non "/HT" version of this board, same thing but without the remote and wireless.

I like how the 3-pin case fan header speed can change based on the CPU temperature. I like this better than boards that adjust the case fan speed based on some motherboard temperature. The CPU fan header needs a 4-pin fan, it doesn't variate a 3-pin fan (at least when controlled by UEFI).

The only problem I've found is this board will throttle my i7-2600K CPU when fully loaded with Prime95, even though CPU temperatures are in the low 60's (Celsius) and nothing is overclocked. ThrottleStop will prevent the throttling. I have verified this with two different boards of the same model. This shouldn't be an issue with an i3, however.

I haven't looked into any undervolting. I'm not sure if the options are available or not.

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 Post subject: Re: Asrock H67M-ITX/HT as HTPC board?
PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 12:59 am 
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Wow I'm surprised your chip is throttling at such low temps. Luckily I'm not going for high performance since it is a htpc, not a work/gaming machine :)
If you get the chance, I'd love to know what undervolting options there are. Also are there any detailed fan control settings in the bios? I find it really lame when all you get is an option of smart fan temps or not, and no fine grain choices.

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 Post subject: Re: Asrock H67M-ITX/HT as HTPC board?
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 6:38 am 
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A i3-2100T or G620T would be good choices at 35W for low-power if there are no underclocking options. AFAICT, the non-K chips are pretty buttoned up.


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 Post subject: Re: Asrock H67M-ITX/HT as HTPC board?
PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 5:49 pm 
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merlin wrote:
Also are there any detailed fan control settings in the bios? I find it really lame when all you get is an option of smart fan temps or not, and no fine grain choices.


You can assign a "level" to each fan individually. Level 1 is the slowest and level 9 the fastest. Both of my fans are set to level 1. Luckily this produces speeds I am OK with. If level 1 is still too fast for your particular fans, then of course this feature would be no good for you.

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 Post subject: Re: Asrock H67M-ITX/HT as HTPC board?
PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2011 12:34 pm 
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josephclemente wrote:
You can assign a "level" to each fan individually. Level 1 is the slowest and level 9 the fastest. Both of my fans are set to level 1. Luckily this produces speeds I am OK with. If level 1 is still too fast for your particular fans, then of course this feature would be no good for you.


I am also interested in fan control abilities of this board. Could you please provide some more detail in this respect?

What I would like to see is that the case fan is switched on when CPU temperature goes above certain threshold (say 60 degrees) and completely switched off when otherwise. Can I achieve this with Asrock board?

Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Asrock H67M-ITX/HT as HTPC board?
PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2011 6:11 pm 
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This board won't switch the fans off. It will just keep them running at a low speed and the speed starts to increase when the temperature goes above the "desired temperature" setting.

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 Post subject: Re: Asrock H67M-ITX/HT as HTPC board?
PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 5:00 am 
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That's a pity. At least, does this board work well with programs like Speedfan?


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 Post subject: Re: Asrock H67M-ITX/HT as HTPC board?
PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 9:01 pm 
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The levels sound totally perfect. Way better then the stupid boards that have "Smartfan on or off". And I never want the fans to be completely off, that ruins the point of keeping a well cooled system. A silent fan is better than no fan.
Also imho, the 2100t is absolutely worthless. I'd much rather have a chip set at a higher mhz. If I want "T", all I need to do is undervolt and viola, T wattage. Versus a T, I pay more, and get less. Heck I ever get bad efficiency because the T version uses more overall power to do things. I'll take the full speed.

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 Post subject: Re: Asrock H67M-ITX/HT as HTPC board?
PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 9:28 pm 
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Do you have actual information about binning of T CPUs or lack thereof? Or is your opinion not only "humble" but also gratuitous?
merlin wrote:
Heck I ever get bad efficiency because the T version uses more overall power to do things.

I bet you're using an irrelevant metric.


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 Post subject: Re: Asrock H67M-ITX/HT as HTPC board?
PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 10:09 pm 
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HFat wrote:
Do you have actual information about binning of T CPUs or lack thereof? Or is your opinion not only "humble" but also gratuitous?
merlin wrote:
Heck I ever get bad efficiency because the T version uses more overall power to do things.

I bet you're using an irrelevant metric.


Uh, or I just read the review of the 2100T that's on this own website. Thank you for your accusatory tone like the 2100T is somehow your own baby. I certainly don't appreciate it.

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 Post subject: Re: Asrock H67M-ITX/HT as HTPC board?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 1:13 am 
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I think Merlin does have a point, if you look at SPCR`s review you`ll see that it`s fairly easy to apply T series` voltage level to regular cpus. I suspect this is true for all Sandy Bridge cpus, in the same way that pretty much all Intel cpus since core 2 duo could easily reach 3.6ghz (often at stock voltage), even though they weren`t rated as such by Intel.

Also, a powerful cpu can indeed end up being more efficient when it comes to completing a task like 3d rendering or encoding: the sooner the task finishes the sooner one can power off the computer. That could net a substantial power saving even if the cpu itself needs more energy to complete the task. Of course low voltage cpus are not meant for this sort of usage, they`re more likely to end up in HTPCs or servers which are often left on 24/7.

A dual core i3 would be a fine choice for a HTPC unless you need to encode video often. Not sure if the T version is worth the premium though, even if you can`t undervolt the power savings are not that great.

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 Post subject: Re: Asrock H67M-ITX/HT as HTPC board?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 2:07 am 
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ntavlas wrote:
I think Merlin does have a point, if you look at SPCR`s review you`ll see that it`s fairly easy to apply T series` voltage level to regular cpus. I suspect this is true for all Sandy Bridge cpus, in the same way that pretty much all Intel cpus since core 2 duo

I also "suspect". We all do. But I don't know. Do you?
But I know one thing: undervolting C2Ds wasn't trivial. You could test a CPU for a whole day at a multiplier/voltage pair and it could look stable. But then it'd still crash under real use, rarely but often enough to be a serious problem. So you raised the voltage a bit... and it might still crash... or not. It was a lottery. I guess you wouldn't care if you ran software that crashed all the time.
SPCR's review shows you can undervolt, not that it's as good as the low-power part. Read it again. And it didn't deal with stability issues. 'cause that ain't trivial.

ntavlas wrote:
A dual core i3 would be a fine choice for a HTPC unless you need to encode video often.
Not sure if the T version is worth the premium though, even if you can`t undervolt the power savings are not that great.

The premium is like 10$. If it saves you from buying a more expensive heatsink it's probably worth it (heatsinks aren't free). And if it saves you from getting a bigger case it's definitely worth it.
People routinely blow a lot more money on stuff they don't need around here. For instance they buy an "i3" (a meaningless marketing word) when all they need is a "pentium".
The price is obviously not a real issue for anyone buying a Sandy Bridge! So let's be honest. The issue is that the low-power chips are slower (duh!).


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 Post subject: Re: Asrock H67M-ITX/HT as HTPC board?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 2:22 am 
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News to me. Both my C2D's are both overclocked and undervolted without much hassle and no crashes.
People blow money for all kinds of purposes, why is this any different? I'd think we're on this site because we want stuff that's both fast and quiet. There's no harm in getting stuff that's faster and still efficient now is there? :p
Also highly doubtful the difference between a Core I3 non-T vs T is going to make much of a change for most people. Most important to note, the idle power is almost exactly the same, therefore unless you push the processor hard, you have the same heat to dissipate. Obviously Intel will do some power binning, but I bet if you undervolt + underclock a non-T, it will be very close. It's already close enough with just undervolting, but not underclocking.
And I don't know what you read, but spcr's chart clearly stated that the non-T used less overall power for it's tasks or did you just decide this wasn't applicable here? http://www.silentpcreview.com/article1202-page7.html
That's not trivial either. :roll:

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 Post subject: Re: Asrock H67M-ITX/HT as HTPC board?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 2:29 am 
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You don't choose/build a cooling system for idle.

If you're going to underclock a regular part, you should be buying a slower part to begin with. That'll save you a lot more than $10. The 2100 is not the slowest dual-core.

Obviously the chart is irrlelevant. See ntavlas's post.


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 Post subject: Re: Asrock H67M-ITX/HT as HTPC board?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 2:32 am 
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HFat wrote:
You don't choose/build a cooling system for idle.

If you're going to underclock a regular part, you should be buying a slower part to begin with. That'll save you a lot more than $10. The 2100 is not the slowest dual-core.

Obviously the chart is irrlelevant. See ntavlas's post.


Or I can buy a Core i3-2100 for $85 (which I did). There's no point in buying any other chip when it's that cheap.

And yep, ignoring all the reality, I don't appreciate anything you say, because you just want to prove some useless point that I absolutely do not care about. Please stop posting on my topics, because it's not helpful at all for the real task at hand. I find you extremely rude, which is surprising because I thought generally Europeans were polite.

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Last edited by merlin on Wed Jun 01, 2011 2:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Asrock H67M-ITX/HT as HTPC board?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 2:48 am 
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josephclemente wrote:
I haven't looked into any undervolting. I'm not sure if the options are available or not.
I'm interested to know if this board can undervolt, anyone know?


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 Post subject: Re: Asrock H67M-ITX/HT as HTPC board?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 6:17 am 
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Quote:
I also "suspect". We all do. But I don't know. Do you?

I don`t know and I doubt even Intel has tested all their chips at 1.08 volts so an estimation based on reviews and personal experience is the best we can do.

Quote:
But I know one thing: undervolting C2Ds wasn't trivial. You could test a CPU for a whole day at a multiplier/voltage pair and it could look stable. But then it'd still crash under real use, rarely but often enough to be a serious problem. So you raised the voltage a bit... and it might still crash... or not. It was a lottery. I guess you wouldn't care if you ran software that crashed all the time. SPCR's review shows you can undervolt, not that it's as good as the low-power part.

These mysterious crashes could be a memory issue (triggered by undervolting/overclocking), ever since the memory controller was moved on-board (along with the switch to ddr3) intel setups have become a little finicky when it comes to memory timings. This issue can even occur at stock settings. Either way, you do have a point, when running the cpu at non stock settings, one does have to test for stability which can be time consuming.

As far as the 2100 being as good as the 2100t, it does have the potential of running at a practically identical power level once undervolted.

Quote:
The premium is like 10$. If it saves you from buying a more expensive heatsink it's probably worth it (heatsinks aren't free). And if it saves you from getting a bigger case it's definitely worth it.

I don`t disagree though I don`t think it applies in this case: even the smallest lga 1155 heatsink should be enough to quietly cool both cpus as long as there`s a properly controlled, good quality fan. If we were talking about a quad core cpu, then yes, those 14 watts could make a difference since the baseline heat dissipation is higher.

I could see a scenario where a T/S series cpu would be a good choice, maybe even the only choice: if one absolutely needs to limit total power consumption and doesn`t want to/can`t manually undervolt. In this case, the $10 premium is fairly reasonable for the time saved and/or being able to reach the power use target.

Quote:
I'm interested to know if this board can undervolt, anyone know?

I've looked at the board`s manual and while there`s a fairly detailed description of the bios features, there`s no mention of undervolting. This makes me think that there is no such feature though I`d wait for josephclemente to answer since he`s actually using this board.

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 Post subject: Re: Asrock H67M-ITX/HT as HTPC board?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 9:30 am 
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I don't believe most boards say anything specific about undervolting. It's just about which options you have for cpu voltage control. I believe there was some review of one of the versions of this board that did say there was a range that went from minus to plus. And the asus version allows you to undervolt, so odds are good. If josephclemente has time to look into the bios and see what cpu voltage choices there are, that would be highly appreciated.

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 Post subject: Re: Asrock H67M-ITX/HT as HTPC board?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 9:53 pm 
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I don't see anything that will allow undervolting. Any voltages that can be changed appear to be for increasing voltage, and only slightly. The only voltage I see that can go up or down is for the memory modules.

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 Post subject: Re: Asrock H67M-ITX/HT as HTPC board?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2011 5:29 pm 
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Also to update a problem I reported with this motherboard earlier in the thread.

Looks like a temperature sensor somewhere on the motherboard was telling the CPU to throttle.

I flipped the CPU fan around so it is pulling air out of the heatsink, rather than blowing into it. Now I can run Prime95 all I want without any throttling. CPU temperatures are about the same.

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 Post subject: Re: Asrock H67M-ITX/HT as HTPC board?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 5:54 am 
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doesn't your motherboard get overheated in the long run?

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 Post subject: Re: Asrock H67M-ITX/HT as HTPC board?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 2:37 pm 
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Just finally got my htpc setup with this board. As joseph mentioned, the fan levels are from 1-9 and the fans never turn off. I'm testing out with the stock Core I3 heatsink/fan first, which seems acceptable noise at idle. I think the first thing I need to do is replace the 80mm fan in the Antec ISK300-65 (which btw is a totally awesome case for a htpc, I'm surprised how well this turned out).
I'll test for throttling as well when I get more time to play with this.
So far I've seen my idle wattage is around 30w, and load is around 60w from the wall. This means the system is pretty efficient, which makes me happy. It'll definitely fit under the 65w limit of my case psu without needing to go to 90w after all.
Update: Tested running 4 thread prime95 + furmark. Only hits about 68w at wall. Wow and now it's showing 22w at idle. That's pretty sweet!

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Last edited by merlin on Tue Jul 26, 2011 7:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Asrock H67M-ITX/HT as HTPC board?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 3:46 pm 
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The problem with ASRock's fan controller is that you can't tell it: go up to that speed at load. If you use the minimum speed it idle, it can ramp up like crazy on load! With a good enough case fan, maybe that won't happen. Underclocking a bit ccould also help if you want to keep using the stock heatsink.


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 Post subject: Re: Asrock H67M-ITX/HT as HTPC board?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2011 8:52 am 
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anyone have experience comparing this board to the intel DH67CFB3

the one thing about the intel is that you can purchase a CIR that will turn on the machine from the off state via IR from a remote. the usual usb ir devices do not get get power while in S5 state and so are ineffective for this task.

also, i read the intel is a little more power miserly.

i dont know which boots faster and i dont know which version of intel hd graphics they have (2000/3000)


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 Post subject: Re: Asrock H67M-ITX/HT as HTPC board?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2011 4:27 am 
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The intel board is 6 watts more power savvy in idle.
And it boots fast with 3 special Bios optimisation settings enabled under the boot menu. /bios update needed/
Only 2105 and 2500K Cpu's include HD3000.


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 Post subject: Re: Asrock H67M-ITX/HT as HTPC board?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2011 4:04 pm 
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I was doing 26W (AC from the wall) idle with my ASRock H67M-ITX without video card.

Other devices present during the measurement:
PSU: Seasonic X-560
CPU: Intel i7-2600K
RAM: G.Skill 8GB DDR3-1600
Hard Drives: Intel 120GB G2 SSD
Blu-ray Burner: LG GGW-H20L
Fan - Front Intake: Noiseblocker BlackSilentPro PK-3 140mm
Fan - Bottom Intake: Noiseblocker BlackSilentPro PLPS 120mm
Fan - CPU: Scythe Slip Stream Slim PWM 120mm
Two Microsoft Nano transceivers for wireless mouse/keyboard

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 Post subject: Re: Asrock H67M-ITX/HT as HTPC board?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2011 12:29 pm 
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Posts: 717
Location: San Francisco, CA
Asrock has the cir also. For both the HT and non-HT versions. Only the HT includes the remote and the wifi card though. I'd suspect the intel can't be much more power miserly. 22w idle is pretty awesome in itself. I don't think I'm quite done with my build yet, very likely I'm going to swap the heatsink/fan and either lower the voltage on the 80mm or replace it...and then try to do some better cable management which is extremely tough in a tiny case.

Also joseph, you have some much more powerful components than mine. I only have 2 fans and currently only an external slim blu ray optical. That 26w idle is really good for your setup. I think this board looks like a winner outside of the lack of voltage controls on cpu and semi-weak fan control.

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Main: I5-3570K at 3.7ghz, 16GB DDR-1600@1.35v, Asrock Z77 Extreme6, Corsair 330R, Seasonic 760XP2, Sapphire Radeon 7950| Secondary/Lan: Core i3-2100, 4GB, Msi H67MA-E35, Radeon 6790, Sugo SG02| HTPC: Core i3-2100, 4GB, AsRock H67M-ITX/HT, Antec ISK300-65| NAS: Core I3-2100, 8GB, Antec TP-550, Lian Li PC-Q08B, 4X2TB WD Green| Lappy: Latitude D620 Core 2 T7600, Quadro NVS 110M


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 Post subject: Re: Asrock H67M-ITX/HT as HTPC board?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 6:38 am 
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Posts: 536
Location: Chicago, Ill., USA
merlin wrote:
...I'm testing out with the stock Core I3-2100 heatsink/fan first, which seems acceptable noise at idle. I think the first thing I need to do is replace the 80mm fan in the Antec ISK300-65 (which btw is a totally awesome case for a htpc, I'm surprised how well this turned out). [...] Update: Tested running 4 thread prime95 + furmark. Only hits about 68w at wall. Wow and now it's showing 22w at idle.

I added the emphasis above. According to the SPCR article on the ISK300-65, the PSU efficiency should be comparable to the picoPSU at these low voltages (85% or better according to Antec's specs).

bwanaaa wrote:
anyone have experience comparing this board to the intel DH67CFB3?

I'm putting together a system using this board. I just got it last night, and didn't have time to do a lot of research, but I did some quick testing with the following components:

CPU: Intel i5-2500k w/stock heatsink+fan
MB: Intel BOXDH67CFB3
PSU: picoPSU-160-XT w/Edac 150W AC-DC Brick
RAM: Kingston KVR1333D3N9K2/8G (dual 4GB sticks)
Other fan: 140mm Case fan from Lian-Li PC-Q11B (LI121425BE-4-A)
HDD: Kingston 16GB SSD

My idle power was also 22 Watts (using a Kill-A-Watt).

The Intel motherboard is actually a replacement for a Biostar TH61. I originally went with the Biostar because it was the cheapest LGA1155 mini-ITX motherboard with an optical SPDIF port. But I sent it back because its power efficiency was dramatically lower: with the same config as above, I was getting 28 Watts at idle.

One thing to note about the Intel DH67CF: when you first boot it with a CPU that has greater than 65 Watts TDP, you get a big scary warning and legal disclaimer that you have to accept by pressing "Y" to continue. I intend to use a Thermalright AXP-140 with a downward-blowing (i.e. towards the motherboard) 140mm fan, so I should be OK. But for me, that warning dimmed the shine of the DH67CF a bit.

I'm tempted to buy an Asrock H67M-ITX just to compare. josephclemente was getting 26 Watts idle with a Seasonic X-560 PSU. SPCR covered the X-650, which presumably has a similar efficiency curve to the 560---probably around 65% efficiency (or less) at these low idle power loads. Assuming 65% efficiency, 26 Watts AC input is about 17 Watts DC output.

If you assume the ISK300-65 PSU has 85% efficiency, then Merlin's 22 Watts of AC input is about 19 Watts DC output. But I would expect Merlin's DC requirement to be the same or slightly lower than josephclemente's (lower spec'ed CPU, fewer overall components). If you assume the DC requirements are the same for the two systems, then the ISK00-65 PSU's efficiency works out to be about 78% (at this level).

Hmm... If I could get the same or better idle power consumption out of the Asrock, then it's the better board all around: it's cheaper, and I'm assuming no >65W TDP warning. Just by going off pictures of the two boards, I'm guessing that the Asrock has a more robust VRM section (but that's pure conjecture on my part).


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