Review Index:

ASRock H55DE3 LGA 1156 ATX Motherboard Review

Author: Steve Grever
Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: ASRock

Features, Layout, Included Extras


  • Turbo 50 overclocking utility - Simply click the Turbo 50 button in BIOS, the system performance will boost up to 50% increase by automatically overclocking CPU, Memory, GPU frequency and all related voltage settings!
  • ASRock Motherboard + Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi MB = The Ultimate Audio Solution - X-Fi Xtreme Fidelity is the new audio technology from Creative which can bring you a new way of experiencing the premium audio quality, music effects than before. By restoring the compressed file details and expanding the music to surround sound, you can enjoy an unprecedented listening experience.
  • EuP / ErP Ready - EuP / ErP, stands for Energy Using Product, was a provision regulated by European Union to define the power consumption for the completed system. According to EuP / ErP, the total AC power of the completed system shall be under 1.00W in off mode condition. To meet EuP / ErP standard, the EuP / ErP ready motherboard and the EuP / ErP ready power supply are required. (The EuP / ErP ready power supply must meet the standard of 5v standby power efficiency is higher than 50% under 100 mA current consumption.).
  • DDR3 2600+ support - Delivering the world’s fastest DDR3 memory support up to 2600+ MH/z. ASRock motherboards allow users to enjoy the better computing experience and reach a higher overclocking performance.
  • ATI CrossFireX Technology - CrossFireX is a brand name for ATI™ Technologies multi-GPU solution. The technology allows a pair of graphics cards to be used in a single computer to improve graphics performance.
  • LGA 1156 support - Supporting the new generation of Intel® Core i7™ / Core i5™ / Core i3™ and Pentium G6950 processor in LGA1156 package.The new Core i5 and i3 processors integrate Intel® HD graphics technology and memory controller which supports dual channel DDR3 memory. Plus, ASRock motherboards combined with the Intel® Core i7™ / Core i5™ / Core i3™ processors supporting Intel® Turbo Boost and Hyper-Threading Technology that could bring you the ultimate performance with the optimized power efficiency.
  • OC DNA - OC DNA, it’s an exclusive utility developed by ASRock’s outstanding RD team, provides a convenient way for user to share the OC settings with others. It helps you to save your overclocking settings under the operating system and simplifies the complicated recording process of overclocking settings. With OC DNA, you can save your OC settings as a profile and send the profile to your friends! Your friends then can load the OC profile to their own system to get the same OC settings as yours!
  • Power eSATA/USB connector - The powered eSATA/USB connector can not only support USB device, but also eSATA devices without additional power source. It is compatible with both eSATA and USB interfaces.
  • ASRock Software Suite - ASRock software suite is designed with the customer-oriented concept, delivers the best possible experience for today’s most demanding users. The Sound Blaster X-Fi MB solution ensures you the premium audio quality, effects and features for PC systems equipped with onboard audio. For instance, the X-Fi CMSS-3D technology expands your stereo audio into surround sound via multi-channel speaker, stereo speaker or even headphone; the X-Fi Crystalizer technology restores the compressed sound source and can even let you hear every detail in riveting surround sound. Combined with the Creative user-friendly software and the ASRock high performance motherboard, you will be assured to enjoy a rich variety of programming and be entertained by a better way.
  • QSound - QSound turns 2-channels speaker or headphone into a more enjoyable listening experience with surround and bass audio.



The ASRock retail box graphics and design scheme is very close to how Gigabyte markets and packaging their motherboards. But, if are you going to emulate someone, Gigabyte isn't a bad way to go. I like the clean graphics on the front panel that highlight the boards overclocking and memory options as well as the bundled software suite.


The back panel goes into more detail into the board's energy saving features as well as different display options that comes with the H55DE3 courtesy of the Intel H55 chipset.It also shwocases many of the awards ASRock motherboards have received from tech websites like PCPer to help consumers feel more confident about purchasing their products over the likes of ASUS, Gigabyte, and EVGA.


The ASRock H55DE3 is a bit smaller than a normal-size ATX motherboard at 8.3 inches compared to the standard 9.6 inches. I don't have a definitive answer from ASRock as to the cause of the board shrinkage from normal ATX standards, but common sense tells me that they did it to make it more appealing to HTPC builders looking for a smaller form factor with the same features as ATX motherboards. The actual layout of the board is well designed with plenty of open space for components ASRock didn't include with the H55DE3.


The back of the PCB is fairly standard and includes an aluminum backplate behind the LGA 1156 socket.

The rear I/O panel includes a host of display and audio ports, including four USB 2.0 ports, two eSATA ports, VGA, DVI, HDMI, a legacy PS/2 port, and full audio options including an optical SPDIF out port. This is a decent offering, but I wanted a few more USB ports for external devices and support for USB 3.0 devices would have been a bonus.

The H55DE3 features two PCIe slots running at x16 and x4 speeds. ASRock also included two PCIe x1 slots and two legacy PCI slots. This setup supports dual and quad CrossfireX configurations. Dual support for CrossfireX and SLI configurations would have catered to both types of configurations, but it's a good move to go with ATI right now because of the performance versus price margin of their current 5XXX series.


This board also supports high definition audio and includes an HD front panel audio header and HDMI SPDIF header.


ASRock also added a COM port header and an infrared module header


ASRock also added a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) header, which can securely store keys, digital certificates, passwords, and data. A TPM system also help senhance network security, protects digital identities, and ensures platform integrity.


ASRock also added a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) header, which can securely store keys, digital certificates, passwords, and data. A TPM system also help senhance network security, protects digital identities, and ensures platform integrity.


The front panel header for the power button, reset button, and hard drive activity LED is not color coded, but is bright orange to help system builders find it on the board. It doesn't include the speaker or power LED headers, which might confuse some people trying to look for them.


There are an additional three USB 2.0 headers on board that supports six USB 2.0 devices. Our readers can also see the speaker, chassis intrusion, and clear CMOS headers in this photo.


There are four SATA 3GB/s headers available on the H55DE3, but users looking for RAID will have to go elsewhere because it isn't available with this motherboard. That's a big issue in my opinion because many enthusiasts are running hard drives and solid state drives in RAID to improve performance and/or provide a backup system for their PCs.


There are four DIMMs on the H55DE3 that running in dual channel mode and support up to 16GBs of DDR3-2600/1866/1600/1333/1066 memory.


The layout around the LGA 1156 CPU socket is pretty clutter-free, but we do have concerns about some of the power components not having any cooling elements to help discipate heat in this area. Most modern motherboards spread for basic aluminum heatsinks for their power capacitors, but the H55DE3 does not have any of these features.


Included Extras


The bundle of accessories included with the H55DE3 is pretty scarce and includes two SATA cables.


There is also a non-color coded back panel I/O plate that does have short descriptions over each port. There is even a sticker that states "Intel processor with integrated graphics is required to utilize these ports" in case you didn't know that already.


Along with a few bundled accessories, ASRock threw in some reading material on the board's Instant Boot and Intelligent Energy Saver features.


Lastly, the H55DE3 comes with a standard user manual and bundled software/driver DVD.

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