ECS H55H-M Motherboard Review :: Board Layout

01-24-2010 · Category: Motherboards

By Benjamin Sun

ECS H55H-M Motherboard Review board

board

ECS H55H-M Motherboard Review 4-pin power

4-pin power

ECS H55H-M Motherboard Review SPI Debug

SPI Debug

ECS H55H-M Motherboard Review CPU area

CPU area


The H55H-M board is a micro-ATX motherboard meaning that it will fit into most any case that is of that size and bigger. ECS decided to use a green colored PCB which is interesting only because their highest performing motherboards are called Black Edition boards and they are colored black. One thing with mATX sized boards is the expansion on the board is limited.


ECS H55H-M Motherboard Review CPU Socket

CPU Socket

ECS H55H-M Motherboard Review Back of board

Back of board

ECS H55H-M Motherboard Review 24-pin power

24-pin power

ECS H55H-M Motherboard Review ASmedia chip

ASmedia chip


Starting off at the top right hand corner of the board we find ECS has chosen to use a 4-pin power connector. There are curved heatisinks on top of the MOSFETS that surround the CPU Socket. These dissipate more heat than some of the other heatsinks as there is more surface area on the heatsink than on a regular heatsink. The CPU Socket itself is clear of obstacles allowing for after-market cooling solutions to be used.


ECS H55H-M Motherboard Review H55 PCH

H55 PCH

ECS H55H-M Motherboard Review DIMM Sockets

DIMM Sockets

ECS H55H-M Motherboard Review CPU Fan and SYSFAN

CPU Fan and SYSFAN

ECS H55H-M Motherboard Review Front Panel

Front Panel


The board has two DIMM Sockets for up to 8GB of DDR3 memory clocked at 1333/1066MHz. Two DIMM Sockets is less than the four found on most ATX sized boards but is sufficient for a micro ATX sized motherboard. The LGA-1156 CPU has a dual-channel memory controller onboard, meaning that both memory slots need to be occupied in order to run the memory in Dual Channel mode. Memory prices have started rising again.


ECS H55H-M Motherboard Review USB headers

USB headers

ECS H55H-M Motherboard Review Front Audio

Front Audio

ECS H55H-M Motherboard Review Via VT1705

Via VT1705

ECS H55H-M Motherboard Review MOSFET Heatsinks

MOSFET Heatsinks


The bottom of the board starts off with an array of circuits and capacitors. The 24-pin power connector is on the bottom center of the board making it excellent for those wanting to use a bottom mounted PSU inside a case. Next to the power connector is the SPI Debug header which serves various functions including chip select,VCC, Data Output, Data input, Hold, Write protect, clock, and CND functions by using a jumper to set the setting.

ECS went all out in outfitting this motherboard with SATA ports. The board has six sideways facing SATA ports, the maximum supported by the H55 PCH chip. The only issue with all H55 motherboards is that it does not support RAID at all, meaning if you want to use RAID you need another solution such as a RAID card or use the drives in AHCI mode which offers Native Command Queuing and 3Gb/second throughput to a SATA HDD.

The left side of the board starts off with the Front Panel header, the CLR CMOS header followed by two USB 2.0 headers, the S/PDIF header and the Front Audio header. The Front Panel header is labeled with pin location on the board. Expansion on this board consists of a PCI Express x16 Generation 2 slot, two PCI Express x1 slots and a PCI slot. The H55 chipset has a curvy heatsink as well and is under the PCI Express x16 slot.


ECS H55H-M Motherboard Review SATA ports

SATA ports

ECS H55H-M Motherboard Review Atheros chip

Atheros chip

ECS H55H-M Motherboard Review Expansion

Expansion

ECS H55H-M Motherboard Review Rear I/O

Rear I/O


Onboard audio is provided by a Via VT1705 6-channel HD Audio CODEC. Most high-end boards use an 8-channel CODEC these days but for the target market a 6-channel VT1705 is great and it fully supports High Definition Audio standard. The VT1705 is not on many motherboard chipsets for the Intel H55 platform but is on several Netbook computer motherboards. The Rear I/O on this board consists of a PS/2 keyboard/mouse combo port, six USB 2.0 ports (ten total supported with headers), a COM port, a VGA port, a DVI-D output, a Gigabit LAN jack and three audio jacks for the onboard sound.