GIGABYTE H55M-USB3 Motherboard Review :: Features

02-08-2010 · Category: Motherboards

By Benjamin Sun
  • Ultra Durable 3
  • Smart 6
  • Intel Core i7/Core i5/Core i3 LGA1156 Processors
  • PCI-E x16 graphics slot
  • Dynamic Energy Saver 2
  • 3x USB power
  • NEC SuperSpeed USB 3.0
  • AutoGreen technology
  • DualBIOS
  • Easy BIOS setting for GPU overclocking
  • Enhanced Intel HD Graphics
  • Integrated HDMI/DVI/DisplayPort interface
  • Dolby Home Theater
  • Compatible with Windows 7
  • EuP
  • DDR3 2200 support
  • Norton Internet Security

Part Number H55M-USB3
Chipset H55 Express
North Bridge N/A
Socket LGA-1156
Memory speed 2200
Processor Types Core i7, Core i5, Core i3 LGA-1156
Number of CPUs 1
QPI Up to 6.4GT/second
Memory Type DDR3
Memory Channels Dual
Maximum Memory 16GB
External Graphics PCI Express x1
IGP Intel GMA HD when Clarkdale CPU installed
IDE133/100/66 l
SATA 3.0 GB/s
LAN 10/100/1000
Firewire IEEE 1394a
BIOS Licensed Award BIOS
Form Factor ATX

GIGABYTE H55M-USB3 Motherboard Review

The H55M-USB3 is based upon Intelís new H55 chipset. This is similar to the earlier P55 chipset in that it uses the LGA-1156 CPU interface but it is so much more. The H55 chipset has a display controller built in but the integrated graphics is not on the motherboard as earlier chipset and CPU combinations would have but on the CPU.

The new Clarkdale CPU is an integral part of this equation. The Core i5 and i3 CPUs on the market including the 661 and others have integrated graphics called Graphics Media Accelerator HD or GMA HD. The speed of the graphics chip is dependent on the CPU, so on the Core i5 661 the graphics clock is an amazing 900MHz. The graphics core is basically the same as on the GMA 4500 HD but with support for OpenGL 2.1 and DirectX 10.0.

GIGABYTE likes to promote their Ultra Durable 3 in their lineup of motherboards. Ultra Durable 3 includes features like 2oz Copper PCB layers, 50,000 hours Japanese Solid Capacitors, Lower RDS (on) MOSFETs, and Ferrite Core Chokes. The benefit of 2oz Copper PCB Layers is 2x lower impedance better Electro Shock Discharge protection, better overclocking, better power efficiency, lower temperatures and lower electromagnetic interference.

GIGABYTE H55M-USB3 Motherboard Review

Smart 6 is a utility that offers six functions including: Smart QuickBoot, Smart DualBIOS, Smart QuickBoost, Smart Recorder, Smart Recovery and Smart TimeLock. QuickBoot uses the Suspend and Sleep modes to put the computer in an off mode and allowing the computer to restart in a few seconds instead of a minute. GIGABYTE pioneered the use of DualBIOSes on consumer motherboards. The Smart DualBIOS acts like a reminder sheet with important numbers stored. Smart QuickBoost is one-click overclocking. Smart Recorder watches your PC usage. Smart Recovery acts like Windows System Restore. Smart TimeLock sets time constraints for your computer.

USB 3.0 is the latest in a series of standards from the first USB standard many years ago. GIGABYTE uses the latest NEC Upd720200 host controller to control the USB 3.0 functionality. The onboard NEC SuperSpeed USB 3.0 technology offers up to 5Gbps transfer rates which is over 10x that of the USB 2.0 standard which offered a maximum of 480Mbps transfer rates. GIGABYTE goes further with their USB 3.0 implementation by offering 3x the power of standard implementations. USB 3.0 offers a maximum of 900mA of power to USB devices. GIGABYTE offers up to 2700mA of power to USB 3.0 devices which is a 3x increase over the standard power rating for USB 3.0, and a huge increase over the 500mA that is provided by USB 2.0.