GIGABYTE H55M-USB3 Motherboard Review :: Board Layout

02-08-2010 · Category: Motherboards

By Benjamin Sun

GIGABYTE H55M-USB3 Motherboard Review board

board

GIGABYTE H55M-USB3 Motherboard Review 8-pin power

8-pin power

GIGABYTE H55M-USB3 Motherboard Review CPU socket

CPU socket

GIGABYTE H55M-USB3 Motherboard Review Back of PCB)

Back of PCB)


The GIGABYTE H55M-USB3 board is a Micro-ATX motherboard with a dark purple color for the PCB, much like many of GIGABYTEís motherboards available. Starting at the top right hand corner, there is an 8-pin power connector. Many H55 boards come with 4-pin power connectors, but the 8-pin is more common.

The CPU Socket area is completely bare of obstacles, meaning you can easily fit after-market cooling on the LGA-1156 CPU. Note if you have an earlier CPU than the Clarkdale, you will need to add external graphics to the motherboard as the Lynnfield CPUs do not have integrated graphics. The H55M-USB3 can use any LGA-1156 CPU including Core i7, i5 and i3 on that interface.


GIGABYTE H55M-USB3 Motherboard Review DIMM Sockets

DIMM Sockets

GIGABYTE H55M-USB3 Motherboard Review H55 PCH

H55 PCH

GIGABYTE H55M-USB3 Motherboard Review CPUFan header

CPUFan header

GIGABYTE H55M-USB3 Motherboard Review ITE and ISL chip

ITE and ISL chip


Moving below the CPU Socket area are the four DIMM Sockets that take up to 16GB of Dual Channel DDR3 2200 memory. Note that the memory controller is on the CPU, like the AMD CPUs from the Athlon 64 and later series. DDR3 speeds are determined by the CPU being used and if the system is overclocked. Each like colored pair of DIMMs constitutes a memory channel.


GIGABYTE H55M-USB3 Motherboard Review IDE and FDD

IDE and FDD

GIGABYTE H55M-USB3 Motherboard Review SATA

SATA

GIGABYTE H55M-USB3 Motherboard Review GIGABYTE SATA2 chip

GIGABYTE SATA2 chip

GIGABYTE H55M-USB3 Motherboard Review FP I/O

FP I/O


There is an IDE and a FDD port under the memory. Under those ports is a 24-pin power connector. It is good to see a motherboard manufacturer include a FDD and IDE port since this is meant for a basic system and some people still use these legacy devices. There are five blue SATA ports next and two white SATA ports under those ports. GIGABYTE includes a GIGABYTE SATA2 chip to support the other two ports and they support RAID 0, 1 and JBOD while the H55 PCH does not.


GIGABYTE H55M-USB3 Motherboard Review Expansion

Expansion

GIGABYTE H55M-USB3 Motherboard Review Winbond chips

Winbond chips

GIGABYTE H55M-USB3 Motherboard Review ITE chip

ITE chip

GIGABYTE H55M-USB3 Motherboard Review USB

USB


Expansion on the board consists of a PCI Express x16 slot running at full speed and a PCI Express x16 slot configured at x4. There are also two PCI slots on the board. The Intel LGA-1156 CPUs support up to 16 PCI Express lanes and this board supports ATIís CrossfireX Multi-GPU solution. Install two video cards connect them via a Crossfire bridge, connect the monitor and turn o n the computer. Upon installing the ATI drivers, the use of two video cards can dramatically improve performance.


GIGABYTE H55M-USB3 Motherboard Review Firewire

Firewire

GIGABYTE H55M-USB3 Motherboard Review NEC USB 3.0 controller

NEC USB 3.0 controller

GIGABYTE H55M-USB3 Motherboard Review P13VDP

P13VDP

GIGABYTE H55M-USB3 Motherboard Review RTL8111DL

RTL8111DL


GIGABYTE uses the ALC889 CODEC for the onboard sound solution. The 889 can support 7.1+2 channel sound simultaneously (Multi-Stream) has high-quality DACs with a 108dB Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR) and much more. Dolby Home Theater, S/PDIF and CD-In are all supported. The Rear I/O on the board consists of a singular PS/2 keyboard/mouse combo port, a D-Sub port a DVI-D port, an optical S/PDIF Out connector, a HDMI connector, a DisplayPort connector, 6 USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, a Firewire port, an e-SATA 3Gb/second connector controlled by the H55 chipset, a RJ-45 port and 6 audio jacks for the onboard audio.


GIGABYTE H55M-USB3 Motherboard Review ALC889

ALC889

GIGABYTE H55M-USB3 Motherboard Review Audio

Audio

GIGABYTE H55M-USB3 Motherboard Review Driver version

Driver version

GIGABYTE H55M-USB3 Motherboard Review Rear I/O

Rear I/O