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Conclusion

785G And H55: Two Powerful Mini-ITX-Based Desktop Solutions
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Our two Mini-ITX motherboards come with impressive feature sets, and they have nothing to fear from comparisons against mainstream ATX motherboards. Due to their compact footprints, Mini-ITX solutions won’t ever be seen with multiple expansion slots, extra memory sockets, or a plethora of add-in components.  But all of the features you’d expect from a decent, modern PC are present: plentiful USB 2.0 connectivity, a handful of SATA ports, HD audio, gigabit Ethernet, support for more than 4 GB of memory, and accommodations for powerful processors and discrete graphics cards.

Zotac’s H55-ITX WiFi, outfitted with DVI, HDMI, S/PDIF, eSATA, and dual-band 802.11n, is geared for high-end PC and HTPC environments. Sapphire’s AM3DD785G is a bit cheaper, but also less feature-laden. You’ll have to live without WiFi, DVI, and digital audio.

Processor choice makes a huge difference in performance, power consumption, and power efficiency. Zotac's H55-ITX WiFi benefits from the very low idle power and high performance per clock of the Core i3/i5 processor family. Even the entry-level Core i3 does very well, beating all four AMD systems in many benchmarks, including idle power and power efficiency. AMD only shines in a few heavily-threaded workloads.

On the other hand, AMD has the more comprehensive low-power portfolio. Although no AMD setup was able to reduce system idle power to Intel's amazing 30 W levels, the low- and ultra-low voltage Athlon II X2 offerings restrain peak power consumption to numbers lower than Intel's. To get there, though, forget about performance. You're looking at basic office systems or industrial applications that won't need much cooling.

Lastly, consider cost and your expected applications. AMD still provides better bang for the buck with these Mini-ITX platforms. Intel costs more on average, but it will give you more performance per watt. The more you work with threaded applications, the easier it is to go with a quad-core AMD machine, as these are significantly cheaper than Intel’s lineup.

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Top Comments
  • 22 Hide
    roadrunner343 , July 9, 2010 10:42 AM
    killerclickAMD is dead. They should just dissolve themselves instead of cutting into Intel's well deserved profits.


    I feel dumber for having read your comment. I could literally feel my IQ drop a few points. They are no where near dead. Definitely not dominant in the CPU market, but they have an excellent grip in the GPU market and are still hanging with Intel. They have quite a ways to go until the are not relevant anymore.
  • 20 Hide
    Anonymous , July 9, 2010 10:17 AM
    ^--^ what are you talking about killerclick

    Seriously, AMD have never been more alive since the beginning of the c2d days, they are producing fantastic chips, at great prices with tons of performance..

    Intel have the lead in performance for sure, but you pay through the nose for that..

    These days pretty much any decent chip..AMD or Intel rocks and is capable of most users uses.

    You can thank AMD for staying in the fight and keeping Intel honest, Imagine what they could charge if there was no AMD churning out cheap good chips like they do!

    And dont even get me started on the awesomeness that is the ATI division!

    Intel are good, very very good, but we need AMD now more than ever and they are starting to deliver!
  • 18 Hide
    Anonymous , July 9, 2010 7:22 AM
    it htpc system, so where test for htpc - pay full hd, bd ?
Other Comments
  • 2 Hide
    stm1185 , July 9, 2010 6:30 AM
    Does the Intel graphics core offer acceleration for Flash 10.1 like the AMD?
  • 3 Hide
    Tamz_msc , July 9, 2010 6:53 AM
    Intel takes a lead in overall efficiency, though the AMD platform still costs less.
  • 18 Hide
    Anonymous , July 9, 2010 7:22 AM
    it htpc system, so where test for htpc - pay full hd, bd ?
  • 13 Hide
    Anonymous , July 9, 2010 7:36 AM
    So the AMD Procs are hanging with the Intel procs in power use, despite their older 45nm manufacturing process? This doesn't bode well for Intel when AMD's next generation comes out next year.
  • 11 Hide
    V3ctor , July 9, 2010 7:50 AM
    Sold an old HTPC for 90€ (cpu and mobo) and used the DDR2 sticks that got left behind.
    Bought an ASUS M4A78-EM (support for 6cores) for 50€
    Bought an AMD AThlon II X4 600e (2.2ghz,2mb cache L2, 45w) for 110€

    And I have a quad cpu with almost as much power as my Q6600, but with 45w máx TDP.

    Cheap to upgrade, efficient, and very powerfull. Couldn't choose the Intel way because I had to buy DDR3 too, and the Intel HD graphics are really bad compared to AMD's.

  • 0 Hide
    johnsimcall , July 9, 2010 10:14 AM
    Anybody have any suggestions for a case and graphics card for the Zotac H55-ITX? I'm willing to pay more for performance, but I'm getting confused trying to validate which components will fit in the reduced footprint / thermal envelope. Thanks...
  • 20 Hide
    Anonymous , July 9, 2010 10:17 AM
    ^--^ what are you talking about killerclick

    Seriously, AMD have never been more alive since the beginning of the c2d days, they are producing fantastic chips, at great prices with tons of performance..

    Intel have the lead in performance for sure, but you pay through the nose for that..

    These days pretty much any decent chip..AMD or Intel rocks and is capable of most users uses.

    You can thank AMD for staying in the fight and keeping Intel honest, Imagine what they could charge if there was no AMD churning out cheap good chips like they do!

    And dont even get me started on the awesomeness that is the ATI division!

    Intel are good, very very good, but we need AMD now more than ever and they are starting to deliver!
  • 22 Hide
    roadrunner343 , July 9, 2010 10:42 AM
    killerclickAMD is dead. They should just dissolve themselves instead of cutting into Intel's well deserved profits.


    I feel dumber for having read your comment. I could literally feel my IQ drop a few points. They are no where near dead. Definitely not dominant in the CPU market, but they have an excellent grip in the GPU market and are still hanging with Intel. They have quite a ways to go until the are not relevant anymore.
  • 1 Hide
    Userremoved , July 9, 2010 11:14 AM
    killerclickAMD is dead. They should just dissolve themselves instead of cutting into Intel's well deserved profits.

    AMD=Budget
    Intel=You got cash
    I don't have spare cash for the 980X but AMD offers me a good price for what I need (a good performing CPU).
  • 4 Hide
    rootheday , July 9, 2010 11:22 AM
    Quote:
    Does the Intel graphics core offer acceleration for Flash 10.1 like the AMD?


    Yes.
  • 13 Hide
    kokin , July 9, 2010 11:26 AM
    killerclickAMD is dead. They should just dissolve themselves instead of cutting into Intel's well deserved profits.

    The guy's just a trolling fan boy, why bother guys?
  • -6 Hide
    rootheday , July 9, 2010 11:29 AM
    Quote:
    the Intel HD graphics are really bad compared to AMD's.


    Really? Evidence please.

    Recent Anandtech article suggests otherwise.

    For gaming, AMD integrated and Intel integrated are fairly similar; Performance is comparable and Intel is clearly working to resolve driver issues.

    For HTPC, Intel has full dual steam HD decode, HD post processing, and 7.1 audio and bitstreaming DTS-HD/MA audio - the latter 2 are things AMD integrated doesn't support. And it does it all at lower system power than AMD for quiter operation.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , July 9, 2010 12:03 PM
    I've been playing with replacing my full-size desktop with a mini-ITX rig, but haven't been able to find a decent single-slot video card. Best I've been able to find is a Radeon 4850. Supposedly there's more powerful cards out there, but can anyone point me to one right now?
  • 4 Hide
    talalhaj , July 9, 2010 12:09 PM
    Your CPU choice is unfair, you should pick cpus that have the same performance, or the same price, not power saving AMD and High end intel, also you did not mention 3d bechmarks, as you know any body may like to play sometime...
    Very Bad Choices.
  • 10 Hide
    jedimasterben , July 9, 2010 12:18 PM
    Are the graphs blurry to anyone else? It's been like that for the past few days, across several computers, so I know it's not just one.
  • 8 Hide
    Reynod , July 9, 2010 12:24 PM
    This is another Intel fanboi article where the authors have cherrypicked low end AMD CPU's to deliberately make the Intel i3 and i5's look good.

    1. Note there are no prices listed against the AMD CPU's ... wonder why? They are much cheaper ... so you would purchase a faster CPU from AMD ... and turn the tables on the review.

    2. Note, the deliberate selection of a higher clocked i5 CPU against the low end CPU's.

    3. Note the positive spin on all aspects of the Intel performance.

    4. Note the selection of the older chipset for the AMD mobo - check out the later 8 series AMD chipsets which frankly put the Intel GPU's back into their box ... as they are clocked 200Mhz faster for a start.

    Other than the complete mismatch of components it was well written.
  • 8 Hide
    jedimasterben , July 9, 2010 12:29 PM
    reynodThis is another Intel fanboi article where the authors have cherrypicked low end AMD CPU's to deliberately make the Intel i3 and i5's look good.1/ Note there are no prices listed against the AMD CPU's ... wonder why? They are much cheaper ... so you would purchase a faster CPU from AMD ... and turn the tables on the review.Note, the deliberate selection of a higher clocked i5 CPU against the low end CPU's.Note the positive spin on all aspects of the Intel performance.Note the selection of the older chipset for the AMD mobo - check this out for the later 8 series AMD chipsets which frankly put the Intel GPU's back into their box. Other than the complete mismatch of components it was well written.

    I couldn't agree more, but you missed how they used a lot of applications that perform better on Intel systems. I hate it when articles are skewed like this, makes you wonder why they write them at all, other than to make money.
  • 8 Hide
    sirmorluk , July 9, 2010 12:30 PM
    jedimasterbenAre the graphs blurry to anyone else? It's been like that for the past few days, across several computers, so I know it's not just one.

    Your glasses. Put them on.
  • 0 Hide
    nukemaster , July 9, 2010 12:30 PM
    It is good to see the intel idles are so good. I have a H55n USB3 on the way to play with.

    I wanted to go with an AMD alternative after seeing some very good lower power use out of a X4 955 build(mind you I under volt) with a 5770. Under 60 watts idle seemed good with my E6600 system running in the high 80's with only a 4350 installed. My I7 system idles at about 150.

    Thanks for the write up guys.
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