Intel DH55TC Motherboard - Core i5 661 CPU Review :: Board Layout

01-03-2010 · Category: Motherboards

By Benjamin Sun

Intel DH55TC Motherboard - Core i5 661 CPU Review Board

Board

Intel DH55TC Motherboard - Core i5 661 CPU Review 4-pin power

4-pin power

Intel DH55TC Motherboard - Core i5 661 CPU Review CPU Fan header

CPU Fan header

Intel DH55TC Motherboard - Core i5 661 CPU Review CPU area

CPU area


The DH55TC is a Micro-ATX motherboard designed to fit in most M-ATX cases. Starting on the upper right hand corner of the board we find a capacitor followed by a 4-pin power connector. There are boards that will likely have 8-pin power but the reference board does not have it. The CPU socket is a LGA-1156 BGA socket. This will take any current Intel LGA-1156 CPU including and up to the Core i7 870 and the Core i5 661 reviewed here. If the CPU does not have integrated graphics a PCI Express video card will have to be used.


Intel DH55TC Motherboard - Core i5 661 CPU Review DIMM sockets

DIMM sockets

Intel DH55TC Motherboard - Core i5 661 CPU Review Winbond chip

Winbond chip

Intel DH55TC Motherboard - Core i5 661 CPU Review Parade chip

Parade chip

Intel DH55TC Motherboard - Core i5 661 CPU Review Back of PCB

Back of PCB


Intel outfits this board with four DIMM Sockets right below the CPU socket. The board can take up to 16GB of DDR3 memory with 4GB per DIMM slot. The Intel LGA-1156 CPU has a Dual Channel memory controller, offering a less expensive cost of ownership versus the triple memory controller found on the X58 chipset and LGA-1366 CPU combination. The CPU Fan header is located under the 4-pin power connector, followed by the Front Fan connector at the bottom right hand side of the board.


Intel DH55TC Motherboard - Core i5 661 CPU Review H55 IOH

H55 IOH

Intel DH55TC Motherboard - Core i5 661 CPU Review 24-pin power

24-pin power

Intel DH55TC Motherboard - Core i5 661 CPU Review Parallel port

Parallel port

Intel DH55TC Motherboard - Core i5 661 CPU Review Rear fan header

Rear fan header


The bottom of the board has a Winbond chip followed by some capacitors and the 24-pin power connector in the middle of the bottom of the board. A 4-socket SPI or Serial Peripheral Interface is next. The Front Panel I/O is next. One nice thing Intel did was label each connector so there is no confusion where to install the connection. The left side of the board starts with three USB headers which allows the board to have up to 14 including the rear I/O ones.


Intel DH55TC Motherboard - Core i5 661 CPU Review USB headers

USB headers

Intel DH55TC Motherboard - Core i5 661 CPU Review Serial header

Serial header

Intel DH55TC Motherboard - Core i5 661 CPU Review Audio headers

Audio headers

Intel DH55TC Motherboard - Core i5 661 CPU Review Capacitors

Capacitors


The Serial header is next followed by the S/PDIF, FP Audio and Internal Speaker headers. The back of the board has the pin locations for every component and the CPU back plate. Intel uses a Realtek ALC888S CODEC for the onboard audio. This board supports 5.1+2 channel sound simultaneously, making it a little less competitive than many options on the Intel platform that offer 7.1+2 channel simultaneous sound outputs on their motherboards.


Intel DH55TC Motherboard - Core i5 661 CPU Review FP IO

FP IO

Intel DH55TC Motherboard - Core i5 661 CPU Review SATA

SATA

Intel DH55TC Motherboard - Core i5 661 CPU Review Expansion

Expansion

Intel DH55TC Motherboard - Core i5 661 CPU Review Rear I/O

Rear I/O


Expansion options on the DH55TC consist of a single PCI Express x16 slot, two PCI Express x1 slots, and a PCI slot. The size of the board is limited by the Micro-ATX form factor, necessitating the limitations of the expansion. You can install a powerful graphics card such as the ATI Radeon HD 5870 or even a HD 5970 to really boost performance when installing a Core i7 CPU into the LGA-1156 socket. Those CPUs do not have the GMA HD integrated graphics but with the discrete add-in card it is not required.

Six SATA ports are on this board. As the motherboard does not support RAID on the IOH, SATA drives will have to be run in IDE or AHCI mode. AHCI mode includes such features as Native Command Queuing and other SATA specific features. The H55 chipset does not support RAID out of the box and if a motherboard manufacturer wants to include it they will have to include a RAID controller. The rear I/O on the board consists of a DVI, a HDMI a VGA output for the integrated graphics, six USB 2.0 ports, a PS/2 combo port for the keyboard or mouse, three jacks for the onboard sound and a Gigabit Ethernet port for the onboard LAN.