GIGABYTE GA-H55N-USB3 (rev 1.0) Review :: Features

08-18-2010 · Category: Motherboards

By Benjamin Sun
  • Intel Core i7/Core i5/ Core i3 support
  • On/off charge support
  • USB 3.0 Support
  • 3x USB Power Boost
  • Ultra Durable 3
  • 2oz Copper PCB
  • Smart 6
  • Dynamic Energy Saver 2
  • Cloud OC
  • Hotkey OC
  • HDMI
  • AutoGreen
  • DualBIOS
  • Norton Internet Security
  • Qualified for Windows 7
  • ErP Lot 6 Support
Part Number H55N-USB3
Manufacturer GIGABYTE
Chipset H55 Express
North Bridge N/A
Socket LGA-1156
Memory DDR3 1333/1066
Processor Types Core i7, Core i5, Core i3
Number of CPUs 1
QPI Up to 4.8GT/second
Memory Type DDR3
Memory Channels Dual
Maximum Memory 8GB
External Graphics PCI Express x16 2.0 x1
IGP Intel GMA HD
SCSI None
SATA 3.0 GB/s
RAID N/A
LAN 10/100/1000
Firewire N/A
USB USB 2.0
BIOS AMIBIOS
Form Factor mATX

The GIGABYTE H55N-USB3 motherboard is based upon Intel’s H55 Express chipset. Intel moved the PCI Express controller from the Northbridge to the CPU, meaning that there is no need for a Northbridge on the motherboard as previous chipsets had. The Clarkdale CPUs which are the new 32nm CPUs with integrated graphics on the chipset are fully supported by the H55 chipset as are the Core i7-8xx and 7xx CPUs.

The GMA HD is a modified version of the Intel Graphics Media Accelerator from previous motherboard chipsets like the G45 and G35 chipsets that preceded the H55. One issue with the launch of Intel chipsets with the LGA-1156 interface was there was no integrated solution to go along with it, meaning everyone needed a discrete graphics card to use the P55 chipset with the new CPUs. For most enthusiasts external graphics is a must. For most business users and HTPC users which this board is targeted towards, this was an issue.

USB 3.0 is the new standard for the Universal Serial Bus that was introduced into computer motherboards last year. USB has 10x the bandwidth of that provided by 2.0 at 5 Gigabits/second of bandwidth. This also provides 900 micro Amps of power to devices compared to the 500 micro Amps on USB 2.0. GIGABYTE goes three steps further by providing 3x the power to USB 3.0 devices at 2700 micro Amps. One side benefit of this is the ability to Fast Charge USB devices like the iPhone 4. The iPhone 4 takes up to 4 hours to charge on a regular motherboard with USB 2.0. On motherboards with the 3x Power the iPhone 4 takes 2 hours and 55 minutes which is a huge improvement over regular USB charging of the iPhone.

Smart 6 is a series of utilities that are3 designed to work with your new motherboard to give you more control of the system. They consist of Smart QuickBoot, Smart DualBIOS, Smart QuickBoost, Smart Recorder, Smart Recovery and Smart TimeLock. Quick Boot allows you to boot your computer in a few seconds instead of the up to a minute it takes a regular computer. GIGABYTE pioneered the idea of a second BIOS taking over for the first one if it fails Smart DualBIOS acts like a personal memo taker also keeping important numbers safe. Smart QuickBoost gives you one-click overclocking. Smart Recorder monitors your system activity, and when it was turned on/off. It also records when large amounts of data have been copied from your PC. Smart Recovery works much like Windows System Restore but with more functionality. It takes a “Snapshot” every day and makes a record of any added, deleted or modified files. Smart Recovery makes a copy of the changed file and saves it. You can use Smart Recovery to go back to an earlier version of a file like a Word document or presentation. You can set up the amount of space, and the time for the backup. Smart TimeLock allows you to keep a time limit on your computer so that your children don’t spend all day on it.