Manufacturer:Zotac UK price (as reviewed): £119.99 (inc VAT) US price (as reviewed): TBA
Intel released its LGA1155 CPUs to unbridled critical acclaim - the processors were blazingly quick and ludicrously overclockable to boot. This is only half the story, however, as the processors also run very cool and consume relatively little power, making them perfectly suited for SFF (small form factor) systems such as LAN boxes and media PCs. Evidently, we aren’t the only ones to notice this, as we’ve received not one, but two mini-ITX LGA1155 motherboards for review recently.
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The first of these charmingly tiny boards is the £120 Zotac H67-ITX WiFi which, as the name implies, is based on Intel’s H67 chipset. The headline difference between P67 and H67 is that only the latter enables the Processor Graphics (PG) unit of an LGA1155 CPU.
However, the downside is a lack of support for CPU overclocking, although some H67 motherboards allow you to overclock the PG. Intel has also limited the speed of the memory in a H67 system – 1,333MHz is the maximum memory speed supported by the chipset.
The H67 chipset packs in the same six SATA ports of its bigger sibling, two of which are SATA 6Gbps. Pleasingly, the H67-ITX takes full advantage of all six of these ports, unlike the much cheaper Foxconn H67S thats also in our labs (review coming soon).
This has forced Zotac to move the CPU socket closer than usual to the 16x PCI-E slot, which could lead to clashes between this board and some mini-ITX cases.
Layout idiosyncrasies aside, the Zotac is remarkably well specced, with on-board 802.11n wireless, four USB 3 ports (two rear-mounted and two via a header), and an on-board clear CMOS button. The board also uses high-quality chokes and capacitors for its VRMs, as opposed to the cheap iron core chokes found on the Foxconn. This fancy VRM layout may look like overkill, but as the board is likely to be installed in a cramped and hot mini-ITX case, it gives peace of mind too.
The rear I/O panel of the H67-ITX is also crammed full of goodies, with DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort outputs complementing the two USB 3 ports we’ve already mentioned. Zotac has even managed to cram in a single eSATA port and a digital S/PDIF audio output – this is an impressive inclusion given the amount of room taken up on the rear I/O by the bulky dual-antenna WiFi.
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Chipset Intel H67
CPU support LGA1155 Core i5 and Core i7
Memory support 2 slots: max 16GB DDR3 (1,333MHz)
Expansion slots One 16x PCI-E 2.0 slot
Sound Intel HD Audio via Realtek ALC892 with 6-channel support