|ASUS P7H55D-M EVO LGA1156 Motherboard|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Motherboards|
|Written by David Ramsey|
|Wednesday, 24 February 2010|
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Closer Look: ASUS H55
ASUS offers 6 motherboards based on the Intel H55 chipset, with a mix of micro-ATX and standard ATX form factors (not all motherboards will be available in all markets, though). The P7H55D-M EVO is the highest-spec micro-ATX motherboard ASUS offers, with features such as an E-SATA port, USB 3.0, IEEE 1394 (aka FireWire), and ASUS' "MemOK" feature to distinguish it from the other models in the line.
Aside from the user's manual, the accessories bundle comprises a driver disk, a PATA (IDE) cable, two SATA cables, and an I/O shield. ASUS also included two of its handy "Q connectors"— one for a USB port, should you have one of those cases whose USB port connectors are separate wires, and one for the front panel connector block— that makes connecting and disconnecting these items easy.
Since it's a micro ATX motherboard, its size is the standard 9.6" by 9.6" and it'll fit in pretty much any computer case. The board layout is standard micro ATX, but the memory slots are close enough to the socket so that large CPU coolers might overhang the first and second slots (The cooler I used in testing this board did completely overhang the first memory slot). Note that the memory slots are ASUS' special design with ejector levers only on one end, which on this board prevents them from interefering with any SATA cables in the adjacent SATA connectors.
The P7H55D-M EVO offers the standard array of internal interfaces. Just below the bright blue H55 heat sink in the middle of this image are the black IEEE 1394 port, three blue USB 2.0 ports, a white COM1 port for the optional back-panel DB9 serial connector, and the front panel header block. The blue PATA interface connector, courtesy of a Marvell chip that also provides an E-SATA port, is at the right edge of the image.
On the back panel we see the usual collection of ports. A few things are different here, though: note the single purple (keyboard) PS/2 port, the three video ports (HDMI, VGA, and DVI), and the two bright blue USB ports below the gigabit Ethernet port. These are true USB 3.0 ports, courtesy of an NEC USB controller. Any two of the three video ports can be used simultaneously, and the connected monitors can either comprise one large desktop, or mirror each other.
Sinc this is a micro-ATX motherboard, there's not much room for slots. ASUS includes a 16x PCI Express slot, two 1x PCI Express slots, and a legacy PCI slot. Near the top of this image you can see the two four-pin PWM fan connectors for the CPU and chassis fans.
Let's dig a little deeper into this motherboard in the next section.