Power, Temperature, And Noise
During active idle and maximum CPU/GPU load, the Core i3-530 system uses twice the power of ASRock's Core 100HT-BD. However, when performing realistic tasks like Blu-ray playback, there is only a 20 W difference between the systems.
The aftermarket Cooler Master Hyper TX3 CPU cooler really keeps the desktop system’s temperatures low, while the ASRock Core 100HT-BD’s temperatures are consistently high. Having said that, the Core 100HT-BD system’s load temperatures never reach alarming heights.
The ASRock Core100HT-BD comes into its own when acoustics are a factor. At idle, the noise is practically imperceptible and almost below the range that our measuring equipment can detect at a mere 3” from the back of the unit. At maximum load, the fan speeds up, but the noise is similar to the desktop system at idle. It should be noted that the Core i3-530 system we put together for this comparison is relatively quiet compared to most of the performance-oriented machines we test.