ASRock Core 100HT NetTop
Like ASRock's many motherboards, the HM55-HT motherboard used by the Core 100HT deploys an American Megatrends Inc BIOS. For those interested in overclocking this motherboard in the "OC Tweaker" area there is ASRock's "Turbo 30" feature that allows you to increase the system performance by 25% or 30%, depending upon your selection, and it is really as easy as that. There is also a "CPU EZ OC" setting for running the 2.13GHz Core i3-330M at 2.5, 2.6, 2.7, or 2.8GHz. A "Memory EZ OC" setting allows upping the 4GB of DDR3-1066MHz memory to run at DDR3-1333MHz and the "GPU EZ OC" setting allows the Arrandale graphics core to be overclocked to 600MHz, 800MHz, or 1000MHz. There is also the assortment of clock, CPU ratio, memory timing, and voltage controls for manually overclocking the Core i3 nettop within this AMI BIOS. The HM55-HT motherboard supports monitoring the CPU and motherboard temperatures along with the CPU and chassis fans (though within the BIOS they are just reported as "Healthy") and the Vcore/+3.30V/+5.00 voltages.
With ASRock's past nettops that we tested having worked just fine under Linux (along with their motherboards) and the Core 100HT motherboard being a normal Intel Core i3 + H55M configuration, we did not anticipate encountering any Linux setup problems of Ubuntu 10.04 LTS onto this hardware. Fortunately, we were right and everything worked just fine besides needing to manually setup the MCE remote control. There were no audio, graphics, disk, wireless problems or any other issues upon a clean installation of Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (x86_64) with the Linux 2.6.32 kernel.
During our benchmarking of the ASRock Core 100HT we decided to upgrade to an Ubuntu 10.10 development snapshot with the Linux 2.6.35 kernel, X.Org Server 1.8.2 RC2, xf86-video-intel 2.11.0, GCC 4.4.4, and an EXT4 file-system. We carried out benchmarks with the Intel Core i3 330-M was clocked at its stock 2.13GHz and then again when we used the easy ASRock overclocking settings to run it at 2.60GHz. For comparison we also benchmarked again the ASRock ION 330 with its Intel Atom 330 CPU, ASRock AMCP7AION-HT motherboard, 2GB of system memory, 320GB Seagate ST9320325AS SATA HDD, and NVIDIA ION graphics. We also tossed in an Intel Core i3 530 desktop system into the mix that was clocked at 2.93GHz, boasted an ECS H55H-M motherboard, 2GB of system memory, 64GB OCZ Vertex SSD, and Intel Core Clarkdale graphics.
Benchmarks ran via the Phoronix Test Suite included PostMark, Apache, TTSIOD 3D Renderer, C-Ray, 7-Zip compression, FFmpeg, x264, Loopback TCP network performance, NAS Parallel Benchmarks, and OpenSSL.
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