Articles: Mainboards

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In our series of reviews of mainboards based on Intel’s H55 and H57 Express chipsets we find compact mini-ITX products particularly interesting. We’ve already published our reviews of the Intel DH57JG and Zotac H55-ITX WiFi and are going to use them for future comparison with the product we will be testing today. Despite their small dimensions, these mainboards are not far inferior to their larger counterparts in functionality and may even surpass them in some aspects. Each model has its special advantages. The mainboard from Zotac has a Wi-Fi controller whereas the Intel DH57JG supports RAID arrays thanks to its Intel H57 Express chipset. The Gigabyte GA-H55N-USB3 has a few remarkable traits as well. We will discuss them along with its BIOS options, overclockability, performance, USB 3.0 speed, and power consumption.

Packaging and Accessories

The Gigabyte GA-H55N-USB3 comes in a small but rather thick box designed in Gigabyte’s traditional style.

The box is so plump because it has to accommodate a lot of accessories including a small library: a user manual, a manual on the Smart 6 software suite, an installation guide, and a special note that informs you that the mainboard’s video outputs will only work if your CPU has an integrated graphics core. There are also two Serial ATA cables with metal locks (one of them with an L-shaped connector), an I/O shield, a DVD with drivers and software, and a sticker for your system case. Funnily enough, a PATA cable is included into the box although the mainboard doesn’t support PATA drives.

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