Gigabyte H55N-USB3 LGA 1156 Mini ITX Motherboard Review
Specifications, Layout, Included Extras
H55N-USB3 Technical Specifications
(Go to GIGABYTE's website for the latest supported memory speeds and memory modules.)
|Onboard Graphics||Integrated in the Chipset: (Note 2)
|USB||Integrated in the Chipset
NEC D720200F1 chip:
* USB 3.0 10x performance is a maximum theoretical value. Actual performance may vary by system configuration.
|Internal I/O Connectors||
|Back Panel Connectors||
The H55N-USB3 is packaged in Gigabyte's custom retail packaging that features the board's USB 3.0 support and the company's three-year warranty. It also has large graphics to showcase its on/off USB charge port.
The back panel also goes into more detail about the board's USB 3.0 features as well as Gigabyte's Ultra Durable, Smart 6, and Dynamic Energy Saver 2 technologies. They are probably one of the best companies for using their retail packaging for marketing material as well as key details about their motherboards that they want consumers to key in on when they are making purchasing decisions.
Here is the H55N-USB3 upclose and personal. Gigabyte did a great job organizing all the components on this mini ITX PCB. They were even able to keep the area around the CPU pretty clear so users could add higher-end cooling options like watercooling.
The back of the PCB isn't much to look at, but does include a small aluminum backplate behind the CPU socket.
The back I/O panel looks like what you would get with a full ATX motherboard! The panel includes two USB 3.0 ports, four USB. 2.0 ports, Gigabit LAN, optical out, eSATA, PS/2, audio jacks, and multiple video options with VGA, DVI, and HDMI ports.
This board supports one PCIe 2.0 slot that can be combined with any of today's modern graphics cards. The addition of a PCIe slot really separates this board past many that are strictly used for file servers and multimedia tasks. This board can now handle high-end gaming, which is a breath of fresh air for LAN gamers and others who need a small form factor mobo for their gaming rigs.
There are also two DIMMs that supports DDR3 1666 dual channel memory. Not bad for a board than can fit in a shoe box!
There are also two USB 2.0 headers that support four USB devices. They also included four SATA 3GB/s ports, which is a little disappointing because they aren't the new 6GB/s flavor. I'm sure they had their reasons for not including SATA 3.0 on this board, but they most likely ran out of real estate on the PCB for the SATA3 controller. The front panel header is color coded, which makes installation a bit easier than having to use the user manual to figure out where to plug in the power and reset button headers.
Here's a quick shot of how tight the high definition audio header is cramped between power components and the back I/O panel ports.
The area around the CPU socket is pretty cramped, but should be able to support our Corsair H50 watercooling system just fine. Users who want to add a high-end, air cooled heatsink also have that option as well with this motherboard.
The included accessories are pretty small as Gigabyte added two SATA cables and a color coded I/O panel.
They did include plenty of documentation to give users more information about this motherboard. A Smart 6 guide and installation guidebook were also included in the retail packaging.
Lastly, they included a detailed user manual and driver CD.