Like the majority of modern mainboards, Zotac H55-ITX WiFi uses BIOS code from AMI. I will show you the most interesting setup options.
The majority of parameters and subsections are contained within the “Advanced” section. The names make the contents of the subsections clear enough, so I will take a look at only a few of them. The options you can find there are standard but I could not find the “EuP Ready” option among them. To remind you, this technology helps limit the power consumption of a computer when it is turned off but not disconnected from the power source. Power efficiency is a crucial parameter for compact systems, especially as they are often used as a second home computer which works from time to time but spends most of its time in turned-off state.
Let us now take a look at the “PC Health Monitor” subsection which provides unexpectedly detailed information about the current system voltages. The speed of the fans is not reported but you can control it using specialized monitoring tools. And you can even set up the speed right in the BIOS without using any other utilities. You can make the speed of the CPU fan vary depending on the CPU temperature or lock it at some constant value.
The “CPU Configuration” subsection offers as many options as similar subsections in full-size mainboards.
The “Boot” screen is where you can specify the boot devices order as well as some other boot-related parameters (in the “Boot Settings Configuration” subsection).
The “Chipset” section contains a subsection with setup options related to the CPU-integrated part of the North Bridge, i.e. to the memory controller and the integrated graphics core.
Using the DRAM Frequency parameter, you can choose the memory frequency you need, but the adjustment of memory timings is implemented in a clumsy way. If you refuse to set them up according to the SPD information of the memory modules, you have to specify each value manually.
There is no option to change the clock rate of the CPU-integrated graphics core but that’s not a problem as such overclocking is generally unrewarding. Intel HD Graphics is quite enough for watching video and playing simple games but cannot do anything more, even if overclocked. If its performance is too low for you, there is no other solution but to install a discrete graphics card. Moreover, we discovered a lot of other parameters, which I have not seen before.
For example, you can set the “Flat Panel Type” at Type 1 through Type 16. I really wonder what the difference between those types is. It is also unclear what the “Backlight Control Support” and “BIA Control” options do. The “TV Standard” parameter is easier to comprehend. It seems to allow choosing an appropriate television standard if you connect the mainboard to a TV-set rather than to a computer monitor.
Now we’ve got to the “Perform Setting” section which leaves an ambiguous impression. On the one hand, a tiny mainboard cannot be expected to offer broad overclocking and fine-tuning options, while theoretically we can increase its base frequency up to 500 MHz and change the voltages. On the other hand, some parameters are missing. Particularly, you cannot increase the voltage on the CPU-integrated part of the North Bridge, which is going to be a limiting factor during overclocking.
It is handy that you can see the current value of each voltage next to the corresponding setting but the memory voltage is suspiciously low at 1.2 V. As I found out, this parameter does not work at all. The voltage remained the same when changed in the BIOS and could not be controlled in the monitoring utilities. I guess it is set at 1.5 V after all, which is the standard value for DDR3 SDRAM.
I like that every voltage can be not only increased but also decreased below the default level. Some users don’t care about overclocking, especially about overclocking a compact computer, but may appreciate the opportunity to lower the voltages to reduce the power consumption, heat dissipation and noise of the system without compromising its stability. The voltage adjustment increment is rather wide, e.g. 0.025 V for the CPU voltage, which is four times the adjustment increment you get with regular ATX mainboards.
The “Exit” section reminds you of the existence of the “Load Failsafe Defaults” parameter which is missing in most modern mainboards. Here, the failsafe and optimal parameters differ a lot, so do not forget to enable “Load Optimal Defaults” after you reflash the new BIOS or clear the CMOS memory.
Thus, Zotac H55-ITX WiFi offers unexpectedly good (for such a compact mainboard) overclocking and fine-tuning BIOS options. It allows changing frequencies, timings and voltages. On the other hand, a few important parameters are missing and some others look redundant or unclear. I also found options that did not work correctly.