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::>Motherboards > 2015 > 04 > ASUS H81M-C

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14-04-2015


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MotherboardASUS H81M-C: review and testing

The product which will be discussed in this review is one of the most affordable ASUS solutions in format microATX. At an average cost of about $ 60 – 65 ASUS H81M-C provides the user with traditionally high performance, reliable circuitry, support for modern interfaces USB 3.0 and SATA 6 Gb / s, as well as a number of other improvements and proprietary technologies.

It is expected that in order to minimize the retail price of the model, the manufacturer decided to use solution based on the youngest chipset (Intel H81), which nominally provides overclocking the processor and has fewer features, but compares favorably with the support of the above-mentioned technologies, which is important in this price segment.

Let's take a closer look at the detailed specs.

ASUS H81M-C

The specs:

Producer

ASUS

Model

H81M-C (rev 1.02)

Chipset

Intel H81

CPU socket

Socket LGA1150

CPUs supported

Intel Core i7 / Core i5 / Core i3 / Pentium / Celeron 4th gen

Memory frequency

1600 / 1333 / 1066 MHz

Memory support

2 x DDR3 DIMM-slots with support of memory up to 16 GB

Expansion slots

1 x PCI Express 2.0 x16

2 x PCI Express 2.0 x1

1 x PCI

Disk subsystem

Intel H81 chipset supports:

2 x SATA 6 Gb/s (yellow)

2 x SATA 3 Gb/s (dark brown)

LAN

1 x Realtek 8111G (10/100/1000 Мb/s)

Sound subsystem

Codec Realtek ALC887

8-channel sound

Power connectors

24-pin power socket ATX

4-pin power socket ATX12V

Fans

1 x CPU fan connector (4-pin)

1 x system fan connectors (4-pin)

Cooling

Aluminum radiators on chipset

External I/O

1 x DVI-D

1 x D-Sub

1 x LAN (RJ45)

2 x USB 3.0

4 x USB 2.0

1 х LPT

3 x audio jacks

2 х PS/2 (mouse and keyboard connection)

Internal I/O

2 x USB 2.0, each with support of two USB 2.0

2 x SATA 6 Gb/s

2 x SATA 3 Gb/s

1 х TPM

1 x COM

1 x connector of audio output to front panel

1 x set of front panel connectors

1 x CMOS

BIOS

64 Mb Flash ROM UEFI AMI BIOS

PnP, ACPI 2.0a, SM BIOS 2.7, DMI 2.0, WfM 2.0

Packaging

user manual

warranty card

disk with drives and documents

2 x SATA cables

1 х interface panel plug

Form-factor,

dimensions

microATX

244 х 178 mm

Producer website

 

ASUS
Updated versions of BIOS and drives are available at support page

Package and content

ASUS H81M-C

Package of motherboard ASUS H81M-C is designed as a traditional cardboard box decorated in corporate style c using the usual dark and golden colors. The front side contains the names of the manufacturer and model of the device, the presence of chips for electrostatic discharge protection, and contains support for a number of proprietary technologies, user-friendly interface UEFI BIOS and operating system Windows 8.1.

ASUS H81M-C

On the reverse side of the package you can notice an image of the motherboard, a brief technical specification, as well as a list of supported technologies and features:

  • USB 3.0 Boost - to speed USB 3.0 interface there is a support for protocol UASP.
  • Fan Xpert - smart fan control, allowing to achieve an efficient computer cooling with minimal noise.
  • AI Suite 3 - proprietary software that allows to you can fine-tune a number of system settings without entering the BIOS.
  • GPU Boost - automatic overclocking technology of integrated graphics subsystem.
  • Network iControl - using the included software you can control network activity of your PC in real-time, and install each program priority access to network resources.

ASUS H81M-C

Package of ASUS H81M-C includes only the most necessary accessories:

  • CD with drivers and utilities;
  • User Guide;
  • two SATA-cables;
  • interface board plug.

Design and features

ASUS H81M-C

New product is made on a compact dark brown PCB in microATX format (244 x 178 mm). It has dark and yellow hues, which greatly refreshes the appearance of the motherboard. The layout of the on-board elements is implemented at a high level. Discomfort can be caused by a close proximity of DIMM-slots and PCI Express 2.0 x16, and hence to extract the memory modules you have previously disable the graphics card.

ASUS H81M-C

On the reverse side of the PCB you can pay attention to the standard base plate of the socket, as well as the fact that the only heatsink is attached with plastic clips.

ASUS H81M-C

At the bottom of the board there are the following connectors: front panel audio leading-in socket, TPM socket, CMOS and front panel connection module. Also here are two modules for additional USB 2.0 ports. Total number of USB 2.0 sockets is eight: four internal and four on the interface panel. As for the USB 3.0, its number is two and both are external. The operation of all USB ports is provided by chipset.  

ASUS H81M-C

Due to lack of space at the bottom of the PCB, connector COM is arranged over the slot PCI Express 2.0 x16.

ASUS H81M-C

The possibility of organizing a disk subsystem is presented by two ports SATA 6 Gb/s (yellow) and two SATA 3 Gb/s (dark brown). All interfaces are realized by chipset.

ASUS H81M-C

Main board ASUS H81M-C is equipped with two DIMM-slots for memory modules DDR3, which are equipped with latches on both side. Modules operating at frequencies from 1066 to 1600 MHz in nominal mode are supported. Maximum memory capacity may be up to 16 GB which is enough for compact inexpensive system.

ASUS H81M-C

Cooling system of the product includes one aluminum radiator that provides heat removal from system logic Intel H81. In the process of testing the following temperature indices were fixed:

  • radiator for chipset cooling – 40.2°C;
  • field-effect transistor of CPU power subsystem – 60.7°C;
  • chokes of CPU power subsystem – 59.2°C (during overclocking 81°C).

The results can be described as average, but there is an ample reserve up to the critical values. 

ASUS H81M-C

ASUS H81M-C

Processor power supply is performed via 3-phase scheme for computational cores and additional joints. Converter is based on a digital PWM controller ASP1255D. All power components of CPU have high reliability level: solid capacitors with increased lifetime, as well as chokes with ferrite core. Basic 24-pin and additional 8-pin connectors are use for power feeding.   

ASUS H81M-C

To extend the functionality the motherboard ASUS H81M-C has four slots:

  1. PCI Express 2.0 x16;
  2. PCI Express 2.0 x1;
  3. PCI Express 2.0 x1;
  4. PCI.

It is expected that the new product offers the ability to install only one graphics card in a single slot PCI Express x16, which is connected to the processor uses all 16 lines of the standard PCI Express 2.0. Intel H81 chipset supports neither line distribution between slots or work with a standard PCI Express 3.0, but this is not a critical disadvantage, since the difference between PCI Express 3.0 and PCI Express 2.0 will not lead to a significant drop in the level of performance of the connected graphics card.

ASUS H81M-C

Since the chipset Intel H81 doesn’t support bus PCI, the functioning of the two respective slots is implemented by the bridge PCIE-PCI, based on the controller ASMedia ASM1083.

ASUS H81M-C

Multi I/O capabilities are based on NUVOTON NCT6791D chip which controls the operation of system fans, ports COM, LPT and PS/2 and provides the monitoring.

ASUS H81M-C

To support network connection there is gigabit LAN-controller Realtek 8111G. A proprietary utility Network iControl helps to manage network resources in real-time.

ASUS H81M-C

Sound subsystem is based on HAD codec of 8-channel sound Realtek ALC887 that supports 2/4/5.1/7.1 sound systems.

ASUS H81M-C

Interface panel of ASUS H81M-C model contains the following ports:

  • 1 x DVI-D;
  • 1 x D-Sub;
  • 2 x PS/2 mouse and keyboard connection;
  • 1 x LAN (RJ45);
  • 2 x USB 3.0;
  • 4 x USB 2.0;
  • 1 x LPT;
  • 3 x audio jacks.

This arrangement is quite decent for a budget model, since it is able to offer two video outputs, a sufficient number of USB ports, as well as the ability to place COM port on the rear panel using the appropriate connectors on the PCB. As for features, some users may be disappointed by inconvenient connection of multi-channel speakers and absence of HDMI.

ASUS H81M-C

ASUS H81M-C

ASUS H81M-C has quite standard features for organizing cooling system inside the case. There are two 4-pin fan connectors, one of which serves to cool the CPU, while the other second is designed for system fan.

UEFI BIOS

Model uses modern preloader based on UEFI. To provide the setting is possible via mouse control. It proposes two main scenario of the usage.

ASUS H81M-C

“EZ Mode” mode where all required settings are grouped in one screen.

ASUS H81M-C

Or standard “Advanced Mode” mode where all settings should be done manually.

ASUS H81M-C

All overclocking parameters are in section “Ai Tweaker”.

ASUS H81M-C

Frequency multiplier allows to set module connection speed within 800-1600 MHz.

ASUS H81M-C

If necessary you can get the access to memory latency adjustments.

ASUS H81M-C

Top increase the stability during overclocking you can use voltage settings for key components.  

Adjustments required to overclock and optimize the system:

Parameter

Menu

Range

Step

RAM frequency

Memory Frequency

800 − 1600

 

RAM timing

DRAM Timing

CAS Latency, RAS to CAS, RAS PRE Time, RAS ACT Time, DRAM COMMAND Mode, RAS to RAS Delay, REF Cycle Time, Write Recovery Time, READ to PRE Time, FOUR ACT WIN Time, WRITE to READ Delay, Write Latency

 

 

Min. CPU Cache Ratio Limit

8 – MAX

1

 

Max CPU Cache Ratio Limit

8 – MAX

1

 

Long Duration Package Power Limit

1 – 4096

1

 

Package Power Time Window

1 – 127

1

 

Short Duration Package Power Limit

1 – 4096

1

 

CPU Integrated VR Current Limit

0,125 – 1023,875

0,125

 

Power Current Slope

Auto, Level -4 – Level 4

 

 

Power Current Offset

Auto, -100% – 100%

12,5 %

 

Power Fast Ramp Response

0,00 – 1,50

0,001

 

Power Saving Level 1 Threshold

0 – 80

1

 

Power Saving Level 2 Threshold

0 – 50

1

 

Power Saving Level 3 Threshold

0 – 30

1

 

CPU Core Voltage Override

0,001 – 1,920

0,001

 

CPU Cache Voltage Override

0,001 – 1,920

0,001

 

CPU System Agent Voltage Offset

0,001 – 0,999

0,001

 

CPU Analog I/O Voltage Offset

0,001 – 0,999

0,001

 

CPU Digital I/O Voltage Offset

0,001 – 0,999

0,001

ASUS H81M-C

ASUS H81M-C

“Monitor” section provides the access to information about temperature of CPU and chipset and monitor voltage on power lines +12V, +5V and +3,3V. It is possible to set a lower threshold of CPU fan speed or select one of the profiles of its operation. Also it is possible to take screenshots.  


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