We performed our power consumption measurements using an Extech Power Analyzer 380803. This device is connected before the PSU and measures the power draw of the entire system (without the monitor), including the power loss that occurs in the PSU itself. In the idle mode we start the system up and wait until it stops accessing the hard disk. Then we use LinX to load the CPU. For a more illustrative picture there are graphs that show how the computer’s power consumption grows up depending on the number of active execution threads in LinX (both at the default and overclocked system settings). The mainboards are sorted in alphabetical order on the diagrams.
Energy-efficiency is definitely something where Zotac Z68-ITX WiFi can’t be beat. In nominal mode as well as during overclocking this miniature mainboard consumes significantly less power than any of the other comparison participants.
At first the tiny Zotac Z68-ITX WiFi looks not just good, but absolutely mind-blowing. We were amazed with a very thoughtful set of accessories, very convenient and smart components layout despite the small PCB size. The board is manufactured with contemporary high-quality components and has extensive functionality. We were a little disappointed with not very convenient BIOS structure and not the best CPU and memory overclocking results. However, let’s not forget that Zotac Z68-ITX WiFi managed to get the CPU to work at 4.5 GHz, which means that a tiny mini-ITX system will in the end be much faster than most of the large system cases with previous-generation processors inside. Besides, another definite strength is the low power consumption of a system like that.
Zotac Z68-ITX WiFi mainboard became the first mini-ITX mainboard on Intel Z68 Express available in retail that is capable of successfully overclocking LGA1155 processors. However, at this point it already has the first competitor – ASRock Z68M-ITX/HT. ASRock’s mainboard can’t boast contemporary component base, has no combination mini-PCI Express / mSATA slot, no Wi-Fi, only one network adapter and only two USB 3.0 ports on the back panel. However, it also has a lot of unique advantages, such as an eSATA port on the back panel, a transmitter and a remote control unit and a significantly lower price. So, it looks like now Zotac Z68-ITX WiFi will be competing not against larger rivals, but against a similar mini-ITX mainboard from ASRock. It will be superior in some aspects, and in some it will fall behind, but the right choice for any user will in the end depend on his/her priorities and specific needs.