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Written by Servando Silva   
Sunday, 11 July 2010
Table of Contents: Page Index
Gigabyte H55N-USB3 Mini-ITX Motherboard
Intel H55 Express Chipset
Gigabyte H55N-USB3 Features
Gigabyte H55N-USB3 Specifications
Closer Look: Gigabyte H55N-USB3
Gigabyte H55N-USB3 Detailed Features
Gigabyte H55N-USB3 BIOS
H55N-USB3 Overclocking
Motherboard Testing Methodology
EVEREST Benchmark Results
PCMark Vantage Test Results
CINEBENCH R11.5 Benchmark
Passmark Performance Test Benchmark
Street Fighter IV Results
Full HD playback Results
H55N-USB3 Power Consumption
Final Thoughts
Gigabyte H55N-USB3 Conclusion

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 FeaturesH55_Express_Chipset.jpg

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.



# RE: Gigabyte H55N-USB3 Mini-ITX MotherboardSteven Iglesias-Hearst 2010-07-11 12:21
Wow so small yet so powerful. Big thumbs up here for Gigabyte and Intel for that i3 CPU and to you Servando for a great review.


This would make a great car PC too :D
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# ThanksServando Silva 2010-07-11 21:30
Thanks Steven. It really surprised me with this kind of performance. I just tried the Core i7 860 and it's 4GHz stable. That's a lot more than the TDP stated by GIGABYTE!
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# UGH...Hsew 2010-07-15 14:56
You know what... this board would be PERFECT...if there was a P55 version of it without the stupid video outputs. I mean, knowing Gigabyte boards, they can and will cram a LOT of ports on the back if given the chance, but they cant if a big chunk of space is taken by those awkward video ports. Don't get me wrong, this is great for an ultra-low power build, but Small form factor gaming PCs are growing in popularity, as we realized from the Mini ITX P55 DFI LanParty board (which was unfortunately plagued with severe component issues). How do you expect me to stick a high end GPU on this thing and have those Onboard video ports staring at me? Ridiculous. Also, the CPU socket seems kinda choked (Duh?).
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# RE: UGH...Servando Silva 2010-07-15 17:27
This board is targeted for HTPCs. I don't know how many users would love to have a board like this and install a dedicated GPU. Unluckily for you... since P55 chipset is older than H55, I don't think we'll see the P55 version.
Which other ports would you like to see? More USB ports? A second ethernet? or maybe a firewire?
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# Power ?rodrigo 2011-02-09 17:37
Hola, tengo un viejo gabinete con fuente 160w , del modelo hp s3320la, se podrĂ­a usar para esta placa madre , junto a un i3-540 y 4 ddr3 1333.
Desde ya muchas gracias, excelente!!!


Hi, I have an old cabinet with 160w power, s3320la hp model could be used for this motherboard, along with an i3-540 and 4 ddr3 1333.
From already thank you very much, excellent!
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# old cpurodrigo 2011-02-09 17:44
Este es el enlace de mi viejo cpu.
This is a link to my old cpu.
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