|Gigabyte H55N-USB3 Mini-ITX Motherboard|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Motherboards|
|Written by Servando Silva|
|Sunday, 11 July 2010|
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Intel H55 Express Chipset
The GIGABYTE H55N-USB3 motherboard was built to support Clarkdale (Core i3/i5) processors as well as Lynnfield (Core i5/i7) CPUs. New to the H55 platform is a Direct Media Interface (DMI) that connects between the processor and chipset. The Intel H55 Express Chipset delivers new technologies and innovative capabilities for digital home, small office, and home office consumers. The Intel H55 Express Chipset features include the Intel Remote PC Assist technology and support for two independently controlled display interfaces. The H55 chipset doesn't support RAID levels 0/1/5/10 and because this is a reduced H55 platform, it only comes with a PCI-e 2.0 16x slot. The Lynnfield CPU incorporates the system memory controller (as it did beginning with Nehalem) and accesses DDR3 memory through two independent, direct memory channels.
All motherboard busses and components are driven from a single base clock with a standard clock speed of 133.33 MHz; this is known as the B-Clock or BCLK. The individual component speed values are generated by applying a multiplier value to this base clock. There are four multipliers on the motherboard which are used to set the clock rates for:
1. CPU Speed: When multiplied by the system base clock speed (default 133.33 MHz), gives the CPU frequency. Four multipliers are used to define different speeds based on the number of active CPU cores.
2. Memory Speed: When multiplied by the system base clock speed, gives the memory frequency. For example a memory multiplier of 10 times the base clock of 133.33 MHz results in a memory frequency of 1333 MHz.
3. Direct Media Interface (DMI) Speed: Selectable transfer rate of data transferred between the CPU and the IOH. (Note: Many BIOS programs and monitoring utilities (CPU-Z, etc.) will report this as QPI. This is the interface used between the LGA1366 CPUs and the X58 Chipset.)
4. Uncore Speed: This multiplier applies to the non-CPU related items in the processor. The limit on this multiplier is set by the memory multiplier.
Intel H55 Express Chipset Features
Intel Flexible Display Interface - An innovative path for two independently controlled channels of integrated graphics display data to be transported to the Intel 5 Series Chipset.
Support for High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI)*, DisplayPort* and DVI-1 - HDMI delivers uncompressed HD video and uncompressed multi-channel audio in a single cable, supporting all HD formats including 720p, 1080i, and 1080p. Dual-independent display expands the viewable workspace to two monitors.
Intel Remote PC Assist Technology - This technology enables you to make a fast call for help and request remote technical assistance if you encounter a problem with your PC, even when the OS, network software, or applications are not functioning.
Intel High Definition Audio - Integrated audio support enables premium digital surround sound and delivers advanced features such as multiple audio streams and jack re-tasking.
Universal Serial Bus (USB) - Hi-Speed USB 2.0, provides greater enhancement in performance with a design data rate of up to 480 megabits per second (Mbps) with up to 12 USB 2.0 Ports.
Intel Quiet System Technology - Intelligent system fan speed control algorithms use operating temperature ranges more efficiently to reduce system noise by minimizing fan speed changes.
USB 2.0 rate matching hub - Enables lower power requirements and manages the transition of the communication data rate from the high speed of the host controller to the lower speed of USB full speed /low speed devices.
Serial ATA (SATA) 3 Gb/s - High-speed storage interface supports faster transfer rate for improved data access with up to 6 SATA ports.
eSATA - SATA interface designed for use with external SATA devices. It provides a link for 3 Gb/s data speeds to eliminate bottlenecks found with current external storage solutions.
SATA port disable - Enables individual SATA ports to be enabled or disabled as needed. This feature provides added protection of data by preventing malicious removal or insertion of data through SATA ports. Especially targeted for eSATA ports.
PCI Express 2.0 interface - Offers up to 2.5GT/s for fast access to peripheral devices and networking with up to 6 PCI Express 2.0 x1 ports, configurable as x2 and x4 depending on motherboard designs.
USB port disable - Enables individual USB ports to be enabled or disabled as needed. This feature provides added protection of data by preventing malicious removal or insertion of data through USB ports.
Intel integrated 10/100/1000 MAC - Support for the Intel 82578DC Gigabit Network Connection
Green technology - Intel integrates environmental performance goals into every aspect of design and manufacturing. Intel 45nm high-k metal gate process technology is lead-free, and since 2008, Intel has produced halogen-free products.