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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

Gigabyte H55N-USB3 Power Consumption

I've been talking about a high-efficiency platform since I started writing this review. High efficiency represents processing power between power consumption. Less power consumption means higher efficiency. The ASRock ION 330 is a very unique platform because it draws a very small potency out of our AC sockets. This platform can work with less than 25 watts at idle mode and no more than 40 watts at full load. That's very similar to what a standard laptop can achieve, and so the efficiency is high, especially considering it works as an HTPC and reproduces 1080p videos.

The Mini-ITX H55 motherboards are planned to have a very high efficiency if powered with the appropriate CPU. The real deal here, is that most users will buy this motherboard and pair it with a Clarkdale CPU such as the Core i3 530 or a Core i5 661. These processors have a low TDP compared to the Core i7 LGA1366 CPUs. So, let's pair a Core i3 530 CPU to this platform and measure the overall power consumption with a P3 International Kill-a-watt EZ power meter. The CPU performance of a Core i3 has proven to be at least 3 times faster than the Atom CPU and sometimes up to 5 times faster. But, does it consume 3 times more power than the ION 330 platform?


At idle mode, theH55 mini-ITX platform consumes double the potency of an Atom processor. While this configuration could be improved by using a higher-efficiency PSU, we don't think we could get below 25 watts as the ION did. At idle mode, the GIGABYTE H55N-USB3 consumes 3 less watts compared to the ECS H55H-I. Next measurements were done while watching an HD 1080p H.264 video. This time, the mini-ITX H55 platforms need around 15 extra watts to do the work (and remember this is with DXVA enabled).

Playing Street Fighter IV required 75 watts in both ECS and GIGABYTE motherboards, doubling the power consumption but delivering worst performance than the ASRock ION 330. Overall, it seems the H55 platform paired with the smallest Core i3 CPU always needs at least double the power an ION platform, which looks like a lot, but considering it delivers 3-5 times the performance of the Atom CPU, it represents a higher efficiency platform at the end. Additionally, you can always stick a Core i5 which delivers higher CPU processing power while keeping very similar measurements at idle mode.



# 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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