ASRock H55DE3 Motherboard Review :: Features

02-24-2010 · Category: Motherboards

By Benjamin Sun
  • Supports Intel Core i7/i5/i3 and Pentium G9650 Processors in LGA-1156 Package
  • Solid Capacitor for CPU power
  • 4+1 Power Phase design
  • Support Intel Turbo Boost technology
  • Intel H55 Chipset
  • Support Dual Channel DDR3-2600+ (OC)/2133 (OC)/1866 (OC)/1600/1333/1066 non ECC, unbuffered memory, 4x DIMM slots max capacity up to 16GB
  • Supports Intel HD Graphics, Pixel Shader 4.0, DirectX 10, Max shared memory 1760MB
  • Supports ATI CrossfireX, Quad CrossfireX
  • 1x PCI Express 2.0 x16 slot (at x16 mode) 1x PCI Express 2.0 x16 slot (at x4 mode 2.5GT/s)
  • Multi VGA Output options: D-sub, DVI-D and HDMI
  • Supports HDCP function with DVI and HDMI ports
  • Supports Full HD 1080p Blu-ray (BD)/HD-DVD playback
  • 4 SATA II 3.0Gb/s connectors, support NCQ, AHCI and Hot Plug functions
  • 2x Powered eSATAII/USB Connectors
  • PCIE x1 Gigabit LAN 10/100/1000Mb/s
  • 1x TPM header
  • Supports ASRock Instant Boot, Instant Flash, OC DNA, Good Night LED, Multi-Speed Fan Control
  • Supports ASRock OC Tuner, Intelligent Energy Saver, Turbo 50
  • EuP Ready
  • 7.1 CH audio (VIA VT1718S Audio Codec with QSound function)
  • Supports HDMI Audio with Dolby True HD and DTS HD Master Audio
  • Compatible with Windows 7
  • Free Bundle: CyberLink DVD Suite: OEM and Trial, Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi MB-Trial

Part Number H55M-USB3
Manufacturer ASRock
Chipset H55
North Bridge N/A
Socket LGA-1156
Memory speed 2600 (OC)/2133 (OC)/1866 (OC)/1600 (OC)/1333/1066
Processor Types Intel Core i7, Core i5, Core i3 LGA-1156
Number of CPUs 1
QPI Speed Up to 6.4GT/second
Memory Type DDR3
Memory Channels Double
Maximum Memory 16GB
External Graphics PCI Express x1
IGP GMA HD when Clarkdale CPU installed
PCH H55
Audio 8-channel
IDE 133/100/66
SCSI None
SATA 3.0GB/second
RAID N/A
LAN 10/100/1000
Firewire IEEE 1394a
USB USB 3.0
BIOS American Megatrends AMIBIOS
Form Factor ATX

Overclocking has never been easier than with Turbo 50. ASRock has decided to adopt the headroom built in to Intel Allandale CPUs to give a jump in performance automatically. Turbo 50 increases the voltage, CPU Frequency and GPU Frequency automatically. The H55DE3 is one of the boards with the support for this new technology. Turbo 50 can change the frequency of a Core i3 530 from 2.93GHz default to 4GHz. We will find out how well the Core i5 661 overclocks in the BIOS and Overclocking section.

The H55DE3 is of course based upon Intelís H55 chipset. This is the first chipset to support the new Allandale CPUs. The differentiating factor with these new CPUs is the inclusion of integrated graphics on the CPU itself. The Intel Graphics Media Accelerator HD is based upon the same core as on earlier Intel integrated graphics with a speed increase and a feature increase to support OpenGL 2.1. The number of execution units (SPs for NVIDIA/AMD) has been increased to 12 from 10 and the clock speed to 900MHz. The clock speed is dependent on the CPU installed.

One of the new features of this board which differentiates it from the other boards on the market is the support for Creative Labs Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Fidelity sound solution. The onboard sound supports EAX Advanced 4.0 effects which has state-of-the-art Multi-Environment rendering and reverb modeling. Microsoftís DirectAudio only supports up to EAX 2.0. The X-Fi CMSS-3D allows the stereo MP3s and digital movies into surround sound through 2-channel audio like headphones.

All Intel chipsets since the X38 have supported ATIís multi-GPU solution called Crossfire. Crossfire allows up to four video cards to increase performance in games. The H55DE3 board sports two PCI Express 2.0 x16 slots with one of them hard-wired to operate at 4x mode. The board has enough spacing for up to two 2-slot video cards to be installed on it. Two HD 5970s can be used for Quad-Crossfire support. The spacing on the board supports two of those cards.

Good Night LED takes care of the LED problem. Specifically, Good Night LED turns off the BIOS, Keyboard and Power LEDs when the system is in Standby/Hibernation mode saving energy. ASRock Instant Boot allows the system to boot within a few seconds instead of the minute or two that a normal boot sequence takes. One issue with modern motherboards is the power consumption in idle state. The H55DE3 has a total power consumption of 1W when idle. The other point is ASRockís Instant Boot which takes advantage of the S3 and S4 States to allow boot up within a few seconds thus saving a lot of energy.