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Old May 17, 2010, 06:40 AM
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Default The Overclocked Performance of the mini-ITX H55 MB form ECS H55H-I

As a result of power-efficient, internet-capable motherboards, such as Atom and ION, coming onto the scene over the last one or two years,
the computer market has changed so that internet PCs that save energy and conserve power are now quite common.
Prices are also lower than the average PC, and are approaching those of notebooks.
Numerous brands are releasing ITX motherboard products this year, which is driving the evolution of this technology.
In the past, consumers who wished to purchase an ITX motherboard almost always needed to buy a brand-name PC with ITX specs.

In addition, ITX motherboards are comparatively smaller.
Most of the products are similar to notebooks in that there are no changeable settings in the BIOS.
It seems that many motherboard manufacturers became more interested in the ITX market after DFI introduced the ITX P55.
After I published the article on the ITX P55, certain consumers are more interested in the internal IGP H55 series.

The main player this time is the mini-ITX H55 chipset product, the H55H-I released by ECS.
It seems to me that I have bought several ECS products before, but that was many years ago during the K7 motherboard era.
My friends and I bought and used their products because they were cheaper than other brands.
Later it seemed ECS left Taiwan for a period of time,
but you could still find news online that said that ECS was one of the top three motherboard manufacturers based on their product shipments.
In the past year, ECS has wanted to re-enter the Taiwanese market.
It is my hope that they will bring cheap but good-quality products to the market.

First we looked at the product packaging.
Since it is a product with mini-ITX specs, the packaging is more compact.
It is blue and black in color and the design and feel of the package are not bad.


Enclosed Accessories
Product manual, quick installation guide, motherboard driver disc, IO partition plate and cables.


ECS H55H-I
The major part of the product uses solid state capacitors while other parts use electrolytic capacitors.


Green PCB is not commonly seen in the consumer market.
If it was changed to black PCB, I believe it would have a better feel.


1 X PCI-E X16, allows VGA installation to enhance 3D performance.
Realtek ALC892 audio chip, which supports 8 channels and High Definition Audio technology


4 X orange SATAII, Intel H55 chipset, no RAID functions
24PIN power source input, red is Clear CMOS Jump


2 X DIMM DDR3, which supports 1066/1333, DDR3 capacity that can support up to 8GB


IO
6 X USB 2.0
1 X eSATA
1 X S/PDIF Fiber optic / coaxial output
1 X RJ-45 LAN port
1 X D-SUB
1 X DVI
1 X HDMI


LGA 1156 CPU installation base, three CPU power supplies


Below the black heat sink is the H55 chip. The 4-PIN power source input port is to the top-left.
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Old May 17, 2010, 06:57 AM
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BIOS Main Interface


M.I.B II mainly serves as a page for adjusting the clock rate and voltage functions


CPU.CPU VTT.DRAM Maximum added voltage of 0.63V


DRAM options 800/1066/1333/1600
Since i3/i5CPU support is different, only DDR3 1066 or 1333 can be used.


PC Health Status


For an ITX motherboard, the BIOS options available on this ECS product are quite plentiful.
All appropriate overclocking settings are available so that the user can adjust them at will.
The overclocking ability wonít be weaker than a normal ATX/MATX H55.
With the internal IGP, the CPU can still overclock to 180MHz and remain stable.

Testing Platform
CPU: Intel Pentium Dual Core G6950
MB: ECS H55H-I
DRAM: CORSAIR CMD8GX3M4A1600C8
VGA: Intel Clarkdale 533MHz
HD: Intel X25-V 40GB
POWER: be quiet! STRAIGHT POWER DELUXE 400W
Cooler: Intel Cooler
OS: Windows7 Ultimate 64bit


CPU used Intel Pentium Dual Core G6950, the current most rudimentary 32nm CPU.
Core is Clarkdale, clock rate is 2.80GHz, L2 2 x 256KB and L3 3MB


Default Value Test
CPU 133 X 21 => 2893.3MHz
DDR3 1064 CL6 6-6-18 1T
IGP 533MHz

Hyper 2 X PI 32M=> 15m 02.414s
CPUMARK 99=> 430


Nuclearus Multi Core => 10050
Fritz Chess Benchmark => 8.00/3840


CrystalMark 2004R3 => 108881
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Old May 17, 2010, 07:09 AM
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CINEBENCH R11.5
CPU => 1.76 pts
CPU(Single Core) => 0.91 pts


PCMark Vantage => 7268


This performance is, of course, much more powerful than the commonly-seen LGA 775 Atom framework.
Although the Intel G6950 is the most rudimentary of its kind, its new framework enjoys a high clock rate and L3 enhancement.
In terms of CPU performance, it is also a little better than the Core 2 Duo platform used by most mid-tier ITXs.

3D Effects
3DMARK2006 => 1751


StreetFighter IV Benchmark
800 X 600 => 20.41FPS


The G6950ís GPU clock rate is 533MHz, which is a little lower than the 733MHz of other 32nm Clarkdales.
However, the G6950ís 3D performance is superior to the previous generation G4X series.

Heat Test
System Wait Time - 31/36


Intel Burn Test v2.4 - 57/59
Stress Level Maximum


The bare machine reached nearly 60 degrees at full speed in a room temperature environment of 25 degrees.
This temperature is considered reasonable.

Power Consumption Test
System Wait Time - 38W


OCCT full speed - 73W
Intel Burn Test v2.4, Stress Level Maximum


Power consumption is a proud feature of the 32nm CPU.
It only uses 73W when the CPU is at full speed.
Hopefully we will see Intel using 32nm CPUs in its 4 cores soon.

DRAM Bandwidth Performance
DDR3 1064 CL6 6-6-18 1T
Sandra Memory Bandwidth - 9097MB/s
EVEREST Memory Read - 7614MB/s


DDR3 1444 CL7 7-7-21 1T
Sandra Memory Bandwidth - 12742MB/s
EVEREST Memory Read - 10210MB/s


The DDR3 performance of the Clarkdale platform was not as high as that of top-tier i5/i7 CPUs, because of the Clarkdaleís internal IGP.
In terms of DRAM bandwidth, the Clarkdale performed slightly better than the same-brand LGA 775 and the competitorís AM3.
The voltage performance of the new framework is better than past platforms, with DDR3 voltage usually only needing around 1.5-1.7V.
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Old May 17, 2010, 07:15 AM
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HDD Test
With Intelís value SSD, X25-V 40GB


The texture of the back casing would be much better if it were polished.


HD Tune Pro 4.01 Benchmark
Average 195.2 MB/s, Access Time 0.1ms
CrystalDiskMark read at 190.3 Mb/s, write at 43.47 MB/s
When the ATTO DISK Benchmark is tested at 128k and above, a highest read of 196 MB/s and write of 43 MB/s can be achieved.


EVEREST Read Test Suite Randon Read 281.3 MB/s
FDEBENCH Test achieved read at 187.2 Mb/s, write at 42.8 MB/s


X25-V official specs are 170/35 MB/s; During the tests of the H55 chipset, most reached a standard of 190/40 MB/s or above.
The greatest advantage of the Value model X25-V SSD is that the RAID 0 performance seems to have doubled,
while the price remains about the same as buying a single X25-M 80GB.

Overclock Efficiency Test
CPU 180.5 X 21 => 3790.4MHz
DDR3 1444 CL7 7-7-21 1T
IGP 533MHz

Hyper 2 X PI 32M=> 11m 11.456s
CPUMARK 99=> 585


Nuclearus Multi Core => 13572
Fritz Chess Benchmark => 10.79/5179


CrystalMark 2004R3 => 134258


CINEBENCH R11.5
CPU => 2.40 pts
CPU(Single Core) => 1.23 pts


After overclocking, the CPU performance test was improved by about 20-30%, while only 1.212V were used.
For the original heat sink, Dual Core with a 32nm CPU has a high overclocking ability.
External viewing of 180MHZ or more requires an external VGA.
Other H55 motherboards, used previously, had an internal IGP which could not be turned on if overclocking was set at 170-175MHz or more.
The overclocking ability of the ECS H55H-1 is quite good.

Heat Test
System Wait Time - 37/41


Intel Burn Test v2.4 - 70/72
Stress Level Maximum


When overclocking at 3790MHz with the original heat sink at full speed, it reached a temperature of around 72 degrees.
Standby and full speed temperatures are around 5-10 degrees higher than if overclocking was not used.
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Old May 17, 2010, 07:30 AM
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Power Consumption Test
System Wait Time - 49W


OCCT - 100W
Intel Burn Test v2.4, Stress Level Maximum


To compare power consumption before and after overclocking, the CPU at standby was 11W, and only 73W at full-speed operation.
Hopefully, we can soon see Intel able to use 32nm CPUs in its 4 cores so a lower temperature,
lower power consuming CPU will become common in the market.


ECS H55H-I
Strengths
1. The color of the external packaging gives a good feel to the product.
2. ITX motherboards rarely have many so BIOS options. The voltage range is large, and the external viewing and adjustment option are numerous.
3. With the internal IGP, the CPU can overclock to 180MHz, which is higher than many ATX or M-ATX H55s.
4. The overall performance of the ITX platform can be increased using the H55 chipset with newer CPU support.

5. Price is around US$80. With ITX motherboards usually being more on the expensive side, the C/Pís pricing is reasonable.

Disadvantages
1. The outer appearance would have a better feel if the PCB was black.
2. Changing to all solid state capacitors would make consumers have more faith in the quality of the product.
3.CPU-Z and EVEREST are still unable to acquire the proper CPU voltage for the H55H-I



Performance ★★★★★★★★★☆
Components ★★★★★★★☆☆☆
Specs ★★★★★★★★☆☆
Appearance ★★★★★★★★☆☆
Price ★★★★★★★★★☆

In terms of CPUs, the Intel Pentium G6950 follows the Core i7 high-level framework, even though it only has Dual Core and L3 3MB specs.
Its performance is not inferior to Core 2 Duo CPUs.
The 32nm CPU allows for a wider overclocking range, and also effectively reduces temperature and power consumption.
Even more importantly, the 32nm CPU enjoys higher performance and better C/P values when coupled with an IGP platform,.
The Core i5 level 32nm is currently priced a bit higher.
If the price is lowered in the future, consumers will be able purchase high-performance HTPC platforms more easily.

As a result of the release of the H55 chipset, which replaced previous generation Intel G4X chipset products,
early this year, the overall 3D performance of PC platforms was increased.
In the current market, the H55 is a very popular among products with M-ATX specs.
Motherboard manufacturers are now successively releasing various models of H55 motherboard products.
In the past, rudimentary versions of the ITX motherboards were about TWD4500 (US$143) or more, which is quite expensive.
Industrial ACP-level ITX motherboards mainly use high-quality components, and if coupled with a GM45 chipset, cost US$300 or more.
ITX products are generally more expensive than ATX/M-ATX products and seem to be on the path to even higher prices.

The ECS H55H-I follows the trends of the average consumer market,
so when the mini-ITX spec H55 motherboard was released, it is more favorable in terms of pricing.
Due to its adoption of Intelís newest IGP chipset, the commonly-seen BIOS overclocking options wonít lose out to other large-size H55 motherboards.
If ECS were able to further improve the components it uses,
I believe it could provide consumers with an additional option for affordable, high-performance motherboard products. 
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Old May 17, 2010, 09:09 AM
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nice.

do you think that heat sink will be enough in a compact case, long term wise?
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Old May 17, 2010, 06:02 PM
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Thanks for the report, it was much appreciated.

My next build will be ITX based (My 3rd ITX build). I plan to build an everyday general use Linux box for my office & your look at the ECS Motherboard has helped me in my purchase decisions.
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Last edited by kingnubian; May 17, 2010 at 06:16 PM.
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Old May 17, 2010, 06:15 PM
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what's up with the 2.2 vcore that's gotta be a screw up?
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Old May 18, 2010, 08:01 AM
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I still have some doubt, is it a good idea to OC these M-ITX board???Only timw will tell us.
And as always wind you do some of the best review we can find out here! Glad to have you in the forum!!
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Old May 18, 2010, 09:06 PM
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Hey Wind great to see you back with another great article. Some great ocing, small board can produce some crunching numbers.. !! :)
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