Motherboard By Zotac Laptops & Desktops Driver Download For Windows

There are two enemies of computer hardware: dust and heat. While it’s possible to blow out the dust on a weekly basis if necessary, controlling heat is quite another matter.

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When computer components, such as CPU, GPU, disks etc become hot, their performance degrades quickly and the components can even be damaged.

This is where the fans of a computer’s case or CPU along with fan speed control software are helpful in lowering heat to acceptable levels.

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Such fan control software allows you to take control of the fan speed, create profiles of fan performance etc.

In this article we have curated the top fan control software apps that can work for Windows or MAC computers, laptops, or even vendor specific apps that provide a wide range of additional features.

Let’s have a look at our list (in no particular order):

Table of Contents

1) SpeedFan

Speedfan is probably the most popular fan control software and is also free.

It is for those who want all of their information presented without fuss or favor. It can monitor fan speeds and automatically change fan speeds in accordance with heat, but it can do a lot more too.

Speedfan is for those who really want to keep an eye on system performance and on various peripheral components.

It will monitor temperatures across supported components of the motherboard, such as the GPU and CPU. It can even access data from S.M.A.R.T and display the temperatures of connected peripherals such as hard disks also in addition to monitoring voltages and much more.

It works on almost all flavors of Windows starting from Win 9.x up to Windows 10.

2) NoteBook Fan Control

Notebooks/laptops can get hot very quickly because all of the components are bunched up together in a small chassis.

If you’ve ever wanted to keep an eye on your Notebook’s CPU temperature and get more out of the internal fans, NoteBook Fan Control is well worth a look.

It features a simple interface that doesn’t get in the way. You’re presented with CPU temperature and a number of fan speed presets that help you to get started. The software hides as an icon in the tray so it’s not always in front of you.

The good news is that this software already supports big name brands such as Dell, Lenovo, Acer, Asus, and more. This means that it will integrate perfectly with a wide range of laptops and notebooks.

This is another free tool as well.

3) Argus Monitor

The aptly named Argus Monitor is a sophisticated piece of software that presents information in a convenient and attractive manner.

It provides granular control over CPU and GPU fan speeds and will also connect with S.M.A.R.T and display the health status and temperature of hard disks and other drives. You even get a tool that gives you access to common SSD and HDD performance benchmarks.

Apart from being able to monitor heat, you can control fan speeds, keep an eye on CPU performance, frequency and temperature, and provide crucial information on the health of your connected drives. This is useful because it is designed to warn you before a drive failure occurs.

The tool offers a 30-day trial period. After that you need to buy a license which is around $9.90 per year.

4) EasyTune 5 from Gigabyte

Easytune 5 is an attractive looking piece of software that presents all information in an easy to read way, and is focused on Gigabyte motherboards.

One thing that many people like to do is overclock their CPUs so that they get more power and speed from their computer systems. Easytune 5 makes this a complete cinch. Just click the button to the right, and you’re set to go.

You can also easily access settings for fan CPU speed control (under the “smart-fan” section), and set the RPM (Revolutions per Minute) of the CPU fans. You can even set a timer of on/off if your motherboard is equipped with the North-Bridge cooling fan.

There are also two modes: Easy and Advanced. It’s best to stick to easy mode first of all and then move to advanced mode when you’re ready to tweak other crucial settings, such as RAM boosting etc.

5) HWMonitor

HWMonitor is a hardware and temperature monitoring program aimed at enthusiasts and those who like things for free.

It works on Windows and comes in 32 and 64 bit versions. It also supports thermal readings and overclocking for the latest AMD and Intel CPUs.

In fact, the software’s homepage even features a hall of fame table for those who have managed to successfully overclock their systems up to astounding amounts!

HWMonitor allows you to get a readout on the temperature of various supported areas of the motherboard, including CPU, GPU, and attached disks. There is also fan RPM monitoring and S.M.A.R.T reading functionality for disks (no fan control however).

6) Corsair Link

Corsair Link is an amazing piece of software that is very sophisticated and includes a lot of information for Corsair systems.

Despite this, it retains an attractive, clear, and easy to understand interface that allows you to see everything you need at a glance, including core temperatures, fan speeds, SSD and HDD temperature and health status, and more.

In the Corsair Link system, everything is effectively feeding information to the software. Your case fans, motherboard fans, drives, CPUs, and GPUs, and even LED lighting strips are connected to the software.

The software even features a page that shows you exactly where these components are in a graphic of your case.

Though Corsair Link does support multiple vendors, you are going to have the best and most complete experience with Corsair components in your system. This will ensure complete monitoring performance and control.

7) Macs Fan Control

So far, there has not been much in the way of fan speed control and temperature monitoring for Mac computers, but Macs Fan Control changes that.

It is for MacOS Sierra or later, and offers real-time monitoring of fan speeds and temperature of components. Since S.M.A.R.T is also included on Mac, you also have access to the health status of connected drives.

This software may not have all the complexities of Corsair Link, for example, but it presents everything most people will need for their MAC system.

You can set for example the RPM speed of fans in relation to a temperature sensor.

8) MSI Afterburner

Afterburner is another vendor-specific tool like corsair link before.

MSI has long been known as a manufacturer of top quality motherboards and other computer products. Afterburner is for those who want to get the most out of their GPUs and their systems as a whole. It also supports a wide range of other graphics cards.

Computer gamers often need high-end systems to run graphics and process heavy games smoothly and without glitches.

This is also why modern GPUs take up a large “real-estate” on the motherboard and need their own set of fans and heatsink configurations to keep cool. This is also why modern GPUs can also be overclocked to provide more speed.

The problem is that overclocking the graphics card introduces more heat into the system. MSI Afterburner not only allows you to increase the voltage and clock frequency of your GPU, but it also allows you full control of fan cooling.

The attractive display includes also information on CPU and other connected devices in addition to the above features.

9) smcFanControl for MAC

smcFanControl is a no-frills application that is tiny. If your Mac computer has been running hot lately, smcFanControl gives you the option to set a minimum RPM for your case fans. This means that your fans will never drop below the set speed, ensuring that your Intel Mac runs as cool as possible, even in the heat of summer.

10) ZOTAC FireStorm

ZOTAC has been making waves with their attractive range of custom MEK gaming PCs and Zbox mini PCs. Firestorm follows in the ZOTAC tradition of ultimate performance.

The first thing you’ll notice is that Firestorm features an amazing futuristic interface. Everything you need is displayed right up front in a view that would not look out of place in the latest HALO game.

Whether you want to fine tune the speed of your graphics card, the memory clock, or CPU voltage and frequency, Firestorm puts it all right at your fingertips.

The included Active Fan Control allows you to choose from multiple fan profiles so that you can balance fan noise and computer performance. You also get real-time information on health status, temperature, RAM, and CPU and GPU speeds and resource allocation for Zotac graphics cards.

11) TPFanControl

The ThinkPad line of laptops has been around for a long time, and the TPFanControl utility has been designed specifically for it. With this small utility, you get easy-to-access information right in your tray about fan speeds, CPU and GPU temperatures.

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TPFanControl supports the T4x series of ThinkPad laptops, and has been designed from the ground up to provide ThinkPad users with an open source utility that allows them to easily deal with fan speed issues and keep their laptop components cool and performing optimally.

12) HWiNFO

If you want a completely free fan control utility that supports both Windows and DOS (from Windows 95 all the way up to Windows 10), HWiNFO is a very good piece of software.

Indeed, many free versions skimp on the aesthetics, but not in this case. HWiNFO presents accurate information about your system in an easy-to-read display with color-coded graphs.

This software has such an illustrious history that even NASA has used it to check for failure of computer components in high radiation fields.

Unlike many system diagnostic tools, HWiNFO provides real-time data across a wide range of internal components. This gives you an accurate picture of your system at any time, and can help to predict system or component failures with a high degree of accuracy.

If you want to dig deep and drill right down into fine and granular detail, HWiNFO provides that option too. You can see all hardware components, as well as subsystems, in great detail and also their health status and temperature where supported.

Unlike other free hardware monitor tools, this one can also control the speed of your system’s fans as well. However, this capability is supported on few systems such as Dell, Alienware etc at the time of this writing.

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[nextpage title=”Introduction”]

Today we are reviewing the Zotac FUSION350-A-E Mini-ITX motherboard, which comes with an on-board AMD E-350 CPU, four USB 3.0 ports, Wi-Fi as well as additional features. Check it out!

The E-350 is a dual-core CPU with embedded graphics. Actually, AMD calls it an APU (Accelerated Processing Unit). In our articles and reviews, we will still be calling these products “CPUs.” AMD first announced that they would be creating a CPU with an integrated graphics chip in 2006, and gave the name “Fusion” to this idea. Intel, however, copied this idea and released CPUs with integrated video controllers in the beginning of 2010, within its Core i series.

While the A-series are aimed at the mainstream desktop computer market (you can read our review of the A8-3850 CPU here), the E-series is aimed at low-power computers. This platform is called internally “Brazos,” while this family of CPUs has the call-sign “Zacate.” The CPU cores are code-named “Bobcat.” There is also an “Ontario” series (C-series) which has an even lower TDP (and lower clocks).

Keep in mind that, even though they are a competitor for Intel Atom processors, the Bobcat cores don’t have much in common with them. While Atom uses an in-order execution (as well as “Jurassic” CPUs like the original Pentium), the AMD Bobcat uses out-of-order instruction execution, which allows it to be faster, even at the same clock speed.

The E-350 CPU has a 1.6 GHz clock, two cores, a 40 nm manufacturing process, and a TDP of only 18 W. The 512 KB per core L2 cache runs at half the core clock in order to save energy. The GPU embedded in those chips is called Radeon HD 6310, with 80 cores and 500 MHz clock speed. It is compatible with DirectX 11 and supports UVD3 (Unified Video Decoder 3), which improves 2D video performance by hardware-based video decoding.

The memory controller is, of course, integrated into the chip. It supports DDR3 memory up to 1,066 MHz, in single channel configuration. As a companion, the E-350 must be paired with an “FCH” (Fusion Controller Hub, code-named “Hudson”) which takes on the role of a south bridge chip, controlling SATA-600, USB, Ethernet and Audio ports.

The E-350 has eight PCI Express x1 lanes, but four of them are by the south bridge, leaving room for implementation of a PCI Express x4 slot on the motherboard.

The FUSION350-A-E is a Mini-ITX motherboard based on the AMD E-350 CPU. It uses the AMD A50M (“Hudson”) south bridge. In Figure 1, you see the FUSION350-A-E, which uses the Mini-ITX form factor, meaning that it measures 6.7 x 6.7 inches (170 x 170 mm). Notice the big fanless cooler from Cooler Master, with two heatpipes.

[nextpage title=”Slots”]

As with any Mini-ITX board, the FUSION350-A-E has only one conventional (i.e., rear) slot. Zotac chose to include a PCI Express x4 slot instead of an x16 one. Notice that, being open at the end, this slot is compatible with PCI Express x16 graphics cards (obviously working at x4 speed only) as well as with PCI Express x1 cards. The motherboard has a mini PCI Express slot, which comes with a wireless network adapter.

Figure 2: Slots

[nextpage title=”Memory Support”]

The AMD E-350 has an embedded memory controller, supporting DDR3 memories up to 1,066 MHz.

The Zotac FUSION350-A-E has two SO-DIMM (“laptop memory”) sockets for DDR3 memory modules, supporting up to 8 GB. There is no dual channel technology, so the memory is always accessed in 64-bit mode.

[nextpage title=”On-board Peripherals”]

The manufacturer calls the chip paired with the E-350 CPU the “FCH” (Fusion Controller Hub), and the model used on the FUSION350-A-E is the A50M. This chip supports six SATA-600 ports (no RAID support), and the board comes with four SATA-600 ports and one eSATA-600 port.

Motherboard by zotac laptops refurbished
Figure 4: SATA-600 ports

The FUSION350-A-E doesn’t have parallel ATA or floppy ports.

This motherboard has six USB 2.0 ports, four soldered on the rear panel and two available through one header located on the motherboard. It also has four USB 3.0 ports, two available on the motherboard rear panel and two in the motherboard header, controlled by a VIA VL800 chip.

This motherboard doesn’t have FireWire ports.

The Zotac FUSION350-A-E supports 7.1+2 audio format, which means eight channels plus two independent audio streaming channels. The audio is generated by the chipset using a Realtek ALC892 codec, which has a 97 dB signal-to-noise ratio for the analog outputs, 90 dB signal-to-noise ratio for the analog inputs, up to 192 kHz sampling rate for both inputs and outputs, and 24-bit resolution. These specifications are good for the mainstream user, but if you are looking into working professionally with audio editing, you should look for a motherboard that provides an SNR of at least 97 dB for the analog input.

The audio connectors at the rear panel are independent if you use a 5.1 analog speaker set, but if you use a 7.1 analog outputs, you will need to use the “mic in” or the “line in” connector. The motherboard has an on-board optical SPDIF output on the rear panel, and you can install an SPDIF coaxial output using a header available on the motherboard.

The FUSION350-A-E has one Gigabit Ethernet port, controlled by a Realtek RTL8111E chip.

8.1

In Figure 5, you can see the motherboard rear panel, with a shared PS/2 connector for keyboard and mouse, two USB 3.0 ports (blue connectors), DisplayPort output, HDMI port, two connectors for wireless network antennas, DVI-D video output, one eSATA-600 port, four USB 2.0 ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port, and 7.1 analog audio shared audio connectors.

[nextpage title=”Other Features”]

The Wi-Fi adapter that comes with the motherboard is an AzureWave AW-NE785H, compatible with the IEEE 801.11 b/g/n standards.

Figure 6: Wi-Fi adapter

There is a legacy serial port available on the motherboard header. If you want to use it, you will need to buy the adapter, since it doesn’t come with the motherboard.

Figure 7 reveals the accessories that come with the Zotac FUSION350-A-E: manual, drivers and utilities DVD, SATA cables, case rear frame, DVI-VGA adapter, and the Wi-Fi antennas.

Figure 7: Accessories

[nextpage title=”Processor”]

As we mentioned before, the CPU comes soldered on the motherboard. Figure 8 reveals the E-350 CPU (at the right) and the AMD A50M chipset (at the left) after removing the cooler.

Figure 8: CPU and chipset

The two-phase voltage regulator is enough for this low-consumption CPU. All the capacitors are solid, and all the coils are ferrite ones, which is great. If you want to learn more about the voltage regulator circuit, read our tutorial on this subject.

Motherboard By Zotac Laptops Drivers

[nextpage title=”Main Specifications”]

The main specifications for the Zotac FUSION350-A-E motherboard include:

  • CPU: AMD E-350
  • Socket: FT1 (CPU soldered on the motherboard)
  • Chipset: AMD A50M
  • Super I/O: ITE IT8758
  • Parallel ATA: None
  • Serial ATA: Four SATA-600 ports controlled by the chipset
  • External SATA: One eSATA-600 port controlled by the chipset
  • USB 2.0: Six USB 2.0 ports, four soldered on the motherboard rear panel and two available through a header on the motherboard
  • USB 3.0: Two ports soldered on the motherboard rear panel, controlled by a VIA VL800 chip
  • FireWire (IEEE 1394): None
  • On-board video: Yes, controlled by the CPU (Radeon HD 6310); one DisplayPort, one HDMI port, and one DVI-D connector
  • On-board audio: Produced by the chipset together with a Realtek ALC892 codec (eight channels, 24-bit resolution, up to 192 KHz sampling rate for both the inputs and outputs, 90 dB signal-to-noise ratio for the inputs, and 95 dB signal-to-noise ratio for the outputs), on-board optical SPDIF connector
  • On-board LAN: Gigabit Ethernet port controlled by a Realtek RTL8111E chip, Wi-Fi supporting IEEE 802.11 b/g/n through an AzureWave AW-NE785H Mini PCI Express adapter card
  • Buzzer: Yes
  • Infrared interface: No
  • Power supply required: ATX12V
  • Slots: One PCI Express 2.0 x4 slot and one mini PCI Express slot
  • Memory: Two DDR3 SO-DIMM sockets (up to DDR3-1066, 8 GB maximum)
  • Fan connectors: One four-pin connector for the CPU cooler and one four-pin connector for an auxiliary fan
  • Extra Features: Legacy serial port
  • Number of CDs/DVDs provided: One
  • Programs included: Motherboard utilities and drivers
  • More Information: http://www.zotac.com
  • Average price in the US*: USD 145.00

* Researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review.

[nextpage title=”How We Tested”]

Download

We ran some tests comparing the performance of the Zotac FUSION350-A-E with other motherboards with similar characteristics: the ECS HDC-I (which brings the same AMD E-350 CPU) and the Intel D525MW (which comes with an on-board Intel Atom D525). We also included in this test a Core i3-540 CPU, in order to discover if the performance of those motherboards with an embedded processor can be comparable to a mainstream system with CPU integrated video.

During our benchmarking sessions, we used the configuration listed below. Between our benchmarking sessions, we kept that same hard disk, but of course the motherboard and CPU were different. The memory used was not always the same since two of the motherboards tested use DIMM modules, while the other two use SO-DIMM modules, but all the tests were made with the same memory specs.

Hardware Configuration

  • Motherboard (Core i3-540): Gigabyte H55M-S2H
  • CPU Cooler: Stock
  • Memory: 2 GB DDR3-1333, one module
  • Hard Disk Drive: Maxtor STM3250310AS (250 GB, SATA-300, 7,200 rpm)
  • Video Card: CPU integrated video
  • Video Monitor: Samsung Syncmaster 2232BW Plus
  • Power Supply: Seventeam ST-550P-AM

Operating System Configuration

  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
  • NTFS filesystem
  • Video resolution: 1680×1050

Driver Versions

  • AMD video driver version: 11.7
  • Intel video driver version: 15.22.1.64.2361

Software Used

  • PCMark 7 1.0.4

Error Margin

We adopted a 3% error margin. Thus, differences below 3% cannot be considered relevant. In other words, products with a performance difference below 3% should be considered as having similar performance.

[nextpage title=”Our Tests”]

The new PCMark 7 performs a series of tests and gives scores in the following categories: An overall score called PCMark; a Productivity score, which is the system performance when using applications such as web browsing and home office applications; a Creativity score, which is the system performance when viewing, editing, converting, and storing photos and videos; an Entertainment score, which is the system performance when recording, viewing, streaming, and converting TV shows and movies, as well as importing, organizing, and browsing music, and gaming; and a Computation score, which indicates the processing performance of the system. Let’s analyze the results.

The ZOTAC FUSION350-A-E had a performance similar to the one shown by the ECS HDC-I since they are based on the same CPU.

Agreeing with the results we obtained in the HDC-I review, we saw that the AMD E-350 CPU is faster than the Atom D525, mostly in tasks involving video. We also noticed that the E-350 is slower than the Intel Core i3-540 in processing power, but its embedded video is most powerful in some situations.

Motherboard By Zotac Laptops Reviews

[nextpage title=”Conclusions”]

Like the ECS HDC-I which we tested before, the Zotac FUSION350-A-E motherboard is a great choice for multimedia and entertainment PCs, as well as for Home Theater PCs (HTPCs). It brings a CPU powerful enough for general web surfing, multimedia watching and entertainment purposes, even without the brute force processing power of mainstream CPUs because of its low clock of 1.6 GHz, around half the clock found on most mainstream CPUs.

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This little board is also full of useful and updated technologies, like the USB 3.0 and SATA-600 ports, as well as the included Wi-Fi card, which improves the product’s price/performance ratio. The fact that it uses a passive (i.e., fanless) cooler is excellent if you want to build a quiet computer to be used in your living room or bedroom.

Motherboard By Zotac Laptops & Desktops Driver Download For Windows 7

So, if you are looking for a motherboard/CPU combo to build an inexpensive, quiet and low energy consumption small form factor (SFF) computer or for an HTPC, the Zotac FUSION350-A-E is a great choice, thus receiving our Silver Award.