ECS H55H-M microATX Intel LGA1156 Motherboard Review

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The ECS H55H-M Motherboard

ECS H55H-M Motherboard Review

The ECS H55H-M motherboard brings the new Intel H55 Express chipset to their lineup.  It is a small form factor board, so it is a board that you will look at for a nice HTPC setup.  Pair this with one of the newest Intel core i3 or i5 Clarksdale processors with integrated graphics, and you already have the big three pieces of hardware that you will need for the setup of a new system.  We intend to find out if the performance of this little board would be worthy of placing this in your next system.  Before we look at the board, let’s get a quick overview of the new chipset:

ECS H55H-M Motherboard Review

As you can see, the Intel HD graphics are on the CPU itself.  Though the board looks like it will have onboard graphics because the connections available on the I/O port, it actually does not have any GPU on the board itself.  So, if you are building a system around this and you have, say, an i5 750 like we use here in the review, you still have to have a graphics card.  You must have a Clarksdale CPU from Intel to get the graphics capability without an add on card.

As you can see, the H55 chipset supports 12 USB 2.0 connections, gigabit LAN, six SATA II ports, six PCI Express slots, and Intel HD audio.

Now, let’s take a look at the motherboard and its specs…

Form factor
  • Micro-ATX Size, 244mm*200mm
Processor
  • LGA1156 socket for latest Intel Core i7 / Core i5 / Core i3 high-end
    desktop processors
  • DMI 2.5GT/s
Memory
  • Dual-channel DDR3 memory architecture
  • 2 x 240-pin DDR3 DIMM socket support up to 8 GB
  • Support DDR3 1333/1066 SDRAM
Chipset
  • Intel® H55 Express Chipset
Audio
  • VIA® VT1705 6-channel audio CODEC
Storage
  • Support by Intel® H55
  • 6 x Serial ATAII 3.0Gb/s devices
LAN support
  • Atheros AR8131M Gigabit Fast Ethernet Controller
  • Atheros AR8132M 10/100 Fast Ethernet Controller(Optional)
Internal I/O Connectors
& Headers
  • 1 x 24-pin ATX Power Supply Connector & 4-pin 12V Connector
  • 6 x Serial ATA 3Gb/s connectors
  • 2 x USB 2.0 headers support additional 4 USB Ports
  • 1 x Buzzer
  • 1 x Clear CMOS header
  • 1 x Front panel audio header
  • 1 x SPDIF out header
  • 1 x Front panel header
  • 1 x Chassis intrusion header
  • CPUFAN/SYSFAN connectors
Expansion capabilities
  • 1 x PCI Express x16 slot
  • 2 x PCI Express x1 slots
  • 1 x PCI slot


ECS also has a couple of features worth at least mentioning here.  eJiffy is a way of fast booting into a Linux environment to get connected to the internet quicker.  We have looked at other similar features from other board makers, and I am not too sure that this is really that useful of a feature for most, but someone may like it.  They also have what they called eBLU (BIOS Live Update), which is a very useful tool to quickly and easily update your BIOS online through ECS servers.  I personally like being able to do this as it beats the old DOS method any day of the week!

ECS offers a 3 year warranty for parts and 2 year warranty for parts/labor for all of their motherboards.
With all that in hand now, we can take a closer look at the board itself and see what it has to offer.

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