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Gigabyte H55N-USB3 LGA 1156 Mini ITX Motherboard Review

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Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: Gigabyte
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Introduction and Features

Gigabyte brings company's first mini ITX H55 board to market



Courtesy of Gigabyte

Today's mini ITX motherboards are slowing starting to support quad-core CPUs, advanced chipsets, and PCIe 2.0 graphics cards, but only a few vendors are actually taking advantage of it. Gigabyte jumped on the mini ITX train and suited up the H55N-USB3 with support for today's latest LGA 1156 processors, USB 3.0 support, and even higher rated DDR3 memory. It should be interesting to see how this board fairs against other form factors that use the same chipset.

 



Courtesy of Gigabyte

The H55N-USB3 has been getting high accolades from many of our brethren in the tech review industry, and it's no wonder considering what Gigabyte packed into this minuscule form factor. The H55 chipset brings with it a powerful amount of features for multimedia and home theater enthusiasts, but Gigabyte took this board a step further by adding an on/off USB charge port, USB 3.0, Smart 6 system management, and Cloud OC that delivers PC overclocking features through any web browsing capable device such as smartphones and notebooks.

 

Gigabyte H55N-USB3 Features

 

Excellent Intel HD Graphics performance - 3DMARK VANTAGE E8000+ marks!

  • 3DMARK VANTAGE E8000+ marks on H57/H55 system configuration - Intel Core i5 661, CPU@4.8GHz, GPU@ 900MHz, 4GB DDR3-1760(OC), Vista 32, 3DMARK VANTAGE.

* E8000+ marks in 3DMARK VANTAGE was achieved by overclocking.

* Please be aware that GIGABYTE's product warranty does not cover damages caused by overclocking.

Intel® Core™ i7/ Core™ i5/ Core™ i3 LGA 1156 Processors

  • Supporting the latest intel® core™ i7, core™ i5 and core™ i3 processors featuring the first time ever integrated graphics on chip and lga 1156 socket(core™ i5 and core™ i3 processors only), gigabyte h5x series motherboards set a new standard in multimedia platform for high definition contents playback. with the gpu integrated directly into the processor die, gigabyte h5x motherboards support 2 channel ddr3 memory, wide range of display interfaces that includes vga, dvi, hdmi and displayport (depends on model). additionally, the gigabyte h5x series are optimized for greater graphics performance by enabling overclocking the gpu core frequency for a performance gain of up to 13%.

*onboard motherboard display functionality requires a processor with intel graphics technology.

On/Off Charge Support

  • GIGABYTE On/Off Charge technology that enables faster iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch charging. A derivative of GIGABYTE's highly acclaimed 3x USB Power feature, On/Off Charge technology allows iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices to draw more current from GIGABYTE motherboard USB ports than standard USB ports allow, with the added benefit that the PC can be on, in standby mode or even off...more 

*Due to certain mobile phone limitations, users may need to connect the mobile phone to their PC before the PC enters S4/S5 mode to enable a quick charge from non On/Off Charge USB ports. Charging results may vary by model.

On/Off Charge USB port

  • Charges iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch while PC Hibernates or even when shut down (off).

 

USB 3.0 Support

  • The GIGABYTE USB3.0 series motherboards support the latest generation SuperSpeed USB 3.0 technology made possible through an onboard NEC uPD720200 host controller. With superfast transfer rates of up to 5 Gbps, users are able to experience an almost a 10x improvement over USB 2.0. Additionally, backwards compatibility with USB 2.0 assures users of long term use of their legacy USB 2.0 devices. The onboard NEC SuperSpeed USB 3.0 technology also provides new power management features that include increased maximum bus power and device current draw to better accommodate power-hungry devices.

* USB 3.0 10x performance is a maximum theoretical value. Actual performance may vary by system configuration.

3x USB Power Boost

  • GIGABYTE motherboards feature a 3x USB power boost, delivering greater compatibility and extra power for USB devices. GIGABYTE’s unique USB power design is also able to efficiently regulate output over the full voltage range, which greatly enhances USB device compatibility. In addition, dedicated lower resistance fuses ensure lower voltage drops, and provide more stable and plentiful power delivery. 

Ultra Durable 3

  • GIGABYTE Ultra Durable 3 design, featuring 2 ounces of copper for both the Power and Ground layers which dramatically lowers system temperature by delivering a more efficient spreading of heat from critical areas of the motherboard such as the CPU power zone throughout the entire PCB. GIGABYTE's Ultra Durable 3 also lowers the PCB impedance by 50%, which helps to reduce electrical waste and further lowers component temperatures. A 2oz Copper layer design also provides improved signal quality and lower EMI (Electromagnetic Interference), providing better system stability and allowing for greater margins for overclocking...more

Benefits of 2oz Copper PCB

  • Cooler than traditional motherboards
  • Enhanced durability
  • Improved energy efficiency
  • Greater margins for overclocking... more

Smart 6 - a smarter way for PC system management

GIGABYTE Smart 6 is designed with user-friendliness in mind, and offers a combination of 6 innovative software utilities that provide easier and smarter PC system management. Smart 6™ allows you to speed up system performance, reduce boot-up time, manage a secure platform and recover previous system settings easily with a click of the mouse button.

Smart QuickBoot

  • No more waiting for PC Boot up

Dynamic Energy Saver 2

  • GIGABYTE Dynamic Energy Saver 2 incorporates a host of intelligent features that use a proprietary hardware and software design to considerably enhance PC system energy efficiency, Reduce power consumption and deliver optimized auto-phase-switching for the CPU, Memory, Chipset, VGA, HDD, and fans with a simple click of button.

Cloud OC

  • GIGABYTE Cloud OC is a free overclocking application that facilitates PC overclocking through any web browsing capable device such as a smart phone, iPad, iPhone, Netbooks or notebook PC. Being browser based it connects via wireless Internet, Bluetooth or through an Ethernet cable and its many functions are categorized into three tabs: Tuner, System Info and Control...more

Hotkey OC

  • GIGABYTE Hotkey OC allows users to create and save various profiles that can be adopted for different benchmarks. Hotkey OC then allows users to jump between these profiles on the fly so that the best profile for each segment within the benchmark can be used to optimize scores and boost overall performance. So, for example, when running 3DMark 06 the 1st profile might be optimized for graphics and can be used for the first two graphics tests, then the next two tests can utilize the 2nd profile which might be optimized for CPU tests, and one could jump back to the 1st profile again for the final two graphics (shader) tests...more 

 

DDR3 2200+ Support

  • Supports the latest Intel processors delivering native support for DDR3 memory up to 2200+MHz by the enhanced design of GIGABYTE.

* Please refer "Memory Support List" for memory support information

DisplayPort Support

  • The GIGABYTE motherboards featuring the next generation graphics display interface DisplayPort that delivers up to 10.8 Gbps of bandwidth over standard cables, providing billions of colors, enabling the fastest refresh rates and the greatest color depths.

AutoGreen - Greening your PC via Bluetooth cell phone

  • AutoGreen technology can automatically save power for you simply by your bluetooth cell phone when you are away from your computer.

Note: GIGABYTE motherboards do not include a Bluetooth® receiver; the addition of a 3rd party Bluetooth receiver is required.

DualBIOS - Patented Dual Hardware BIOS Protection

  • DualBIOS is a GIGABYTE patented technology that automatically recovers BIOS data when main BIOS has crashed or failed. Featuring 2 physical BIOS ROMs integrated onboard, GIGABYTE DualBIOS allows quick and seamless recovery from BIOS damage or failure due to viruses or improper BIOS updating.

Dolby Home Theater® - Enjoy a Rich Home Theater Surround Sound Experience

  • Dolby Home Theater places listeners in the middle of the action, giving their PCs a powerful set of tools to deliver a cinema-style experience in vivid surround sound.
  • Delivers vivid surround sound for music, movies, and games, using two to eight speakers or any set of headphones 
  • Designed to automatically deliver the best possible listening experience

ErP Lot 6 support

  • The ErP (as known as Energy-Related Products Directive) is part of new European Union's environment regulations. ErP established is based on the concern of environmental issues regards electronic devices been gained popularity and how to improve energy efficiency for better and greener life. GIGABYTE presents standard motherboards to help you effectively improving system performance and saving more energy.

October 7, 2013 | 01:20 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

This was the worst board I ever had. Chipset kept overheating in a well ventilated case, causing system to shut down randomly. A bit of online research found that this happened to many other buyers of this case.

AVOID this board at all costs.

October 7, 2013 | 01:21 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

correction to above post of mine...

" A bit of online research found that this happened to many other buyers of this BOARD" (not case, LOL)

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