We began our current series of reviews covering mainboards based on the new Intel H55/H57 Express chipsets by discussing a mainboard of exceptional capabilities and broad functionality, ASUS P7H57D-V EVO. It allows using either a discrete graphics card or the integrated graphics core of the Clarkdale processor. If used together with a Lynnfield processor, it allows building ATI CrossFire or Nvidia SLI configurations. That mainboard costs quite a lot, but you may prefer a more affordable alternative if you feel you don’t need most of its functionality. ASUS definitely understands that, therefore they offer a whole series of H55 Express based products with diverse specs so that they could embrace the needs of all user groups. These mainboards come in microATX and full-size ATX form-factors and vary in terms of additional controllers and expansion card slots. There is even one model without video outputs on the back panel. It is called ASUS P7H55 and must be used with a standalone graphics card only.
We have selected the ASUS P7H55D-M EVO model for this review for several reasons. It is designed in microATX form-factor, which is a popular form-factor for mainboards with integrated graphics. Despite the small dimensions, it is a full-featured product with all necessary onboard controllers and capabilities including USB 3.0. This new peripheral interface needs high-bandwidth controllers to show its best and can theoretically be 10 times as fast as USB 2.0. We will see how big the practical difference is, though. Besides, we will benchmark the mainboard in its nominal operation mode as well as during overclocking and will measure its power consumption.
Package and Accessories
The box with ASUS P7H55D-M EVO is similar to the one with P7H57D-V EVO model.
Besides the mainboard, you can find the following accessories inside:
- Four SATA cables without the metal connector locks, one with L-shaped locks and another one with straight ones;
- An IDE cable;
- Flexible bridge for SLI graphics configurations;
- “2-in-1 Q-Connector” – a pair of adapters for easy connector of the system case front panel buttons and indicators and a USB port;
- I/O Shield for the back panel;
- User manual;
- DVD disk with software and drivers;
- System case sticker saying “Powered by Asus”.