ASRock H55M-LE Motherboard Review :: Features

04-03-2010 · Category: Motherboards

By Benjamin Sun
  • Supports the Intel® Core™ i7 / i5 / i3 and Pentium® G6950 Processors in the LGA1156 Package
  • Solid Capacitor for CPU power
  • Supports Intel® Turbo Boost Technology
  • Intel® H55 Chipset
  • Supports Dual Channel DDR3 2600+ (OC)/2133(OC)/1866(OC)/1600/1333/1066 non-ECC, un-buffered memory, 2 x DIMM slots, Max. capacity up to 8GB
  • Supports Intel® HD Graphics
  • 1 x PCI Express 2.0 x16 slot (at x16 mode)
  • Dual VGA Output options: support DVI-D and D-Sub ports by independent display controllers
  • Supports HDCP function with DVI port
  • Supports Full HD 1080p Blu-ray (BD) / HD-DVD playback with DVI port
  • 4 x SATAII 3.0 Gb/s connectors, support NCQ, AHCI and Hot Plug functions
  • PCIE x1 Gigabit LAN 10/100/1000 Mb/s
  • Supports ASRock Instant Boot, Instant Flash, OC DNA, Good Night LED, Multi-Speed Fan Control
  • Supports ASRock OC Tuner, Intelligent Energy Saver
  • Turbo 50 / Turbo 100 GPU Overclocking (Requires Processor with Intel® HD Graphics Technology)
  • Combo Cooler Option (C.C.O.)
  • EuP Ready
  • 7.1 CH HD Audio (VIA® VT1718S Audio Codec with QSound function)
  • Compatible with Windows® 7
  • Free Bundle : CyberLink DVD Suite - OEM and Trial; Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi MB - Trial
  • I/O Panel: 1 x VGA/D-Sub Port, 1 x VGA/DVI-D Port, 6 x Ready-to-Use USB 2.0 Ports, 1 x RJ-45 LAN Port with LED

ASRock H55M-LE Motherboard Review

The ASRock H55M-LE motherboard is based upon Intel’s newest chipset the H55 for mainstream Core i7/i5/i3 LGA-1156 CPUs. Intel has released several Core i5/i3 CPUs with their new chipset. This integrates an Intel GMA HD graphics core into the CPU itself. Previous motherboard chipsets from Intel had a Northbridge which had the integrated graphics controller as well. The H55 has no Northbridge.

The Intel Allandale CPU has control over the PCI Express lanes for external graphics use. These CPUs can split 16 PCI Express lanes into x8/x8 mode allowing two NVIDIA or ATI cards to be installed in either SLI or Crossfire mode. The integrated graphics on the CPU is dependent on which CPU is installed. The Core i5 661 we use for H55 motherboard testing has a 900MHz clock for the integrated graphics with lesser clocks for other CPUs.

Creative Labs Sound Blaster cards have been the standard for add-on sound cards for more years than many computer companies have been around. The onboard sound of most motherboards today is adequate for most users but the feature set of the onboard sound is limited to EAX 1.0 and 2.0. With the release of the Sound Blaster X-Fi MB solution, Creative Labs has brought support for EAX 4.0 to onboard sound solutions that support it bringing effects like Multi-Environment rendering and reverb modeling. Q-Sound allows the user to experience surround sound from a 2-speaker solution

The H55 chipset can support Crossfire with two graphics cards. The H55M-LE motherboard only has one PCI Express x16 slot meaning that regular two cards are not supported. The H55M-LE motherboard has two display outputs on the Rear I/O with independent display controllers meaning two monitors can be connected to either the D-Sub or DVI-D port. High Definition Content Protection support is provided by the DVI port and full HD 1080p Blu-ray (BD)/HD-DVD playback is also supported.

Turbo 50 is a selection in the BIOS that overclocks the CPU, memory and integrated graphics to improve performance by up to 50% on select system configurations. There is also a Turbo 100 function that improves performance by up to 100%. Note that using Turbo 50 with an external graphics solution will improve performance but not as dramatically as with the Intel GMA HD alone. Also note that to use the GPU Overclocking you will need one of the new CPUs with GMA HD graphics. One really cool feature of this board is the Combo Cooler