|EVGA H55 Motherboard|
Motherboards based on the new H55, H57 and Q57 chipsets are targeted to the new Core i3 and Core i5 processors with integrated video, and EVGA has so far released two different models based on H55, simply named H55 (the most complete model, USD 170 MRSP) and H55V (entry-level model, USD 100 MRSP). By the way, wouldn’t be nice if all motherboard manufacturers used simple product names? Let’s take a look at the most complete model, H55 (a.k.a. 123-CD-E635-KR – we knew our happiness wouldn’t last forever).
It is important to understand that with socket LGA1156 CPUs the integrated video is produced by the processor and not by the motherboard chipset, as it occurred until now. There are processors with integrated video and processors without this feature. The board has only the interface and connectors necessary to route the video signal generated by the CPU. You can install CPUs with an integrated video processor or without, but with CPUs without a video processor you won’t have on-board video, needing an add-on video card. Of course with a processor with integrated video you still have the option to install an add-on card and disable its video engine. For a more detailed explanation, please read our Core i5-661 review.
As you can see in Figure 1, EVGA H55 is a standard ATX motherboard, not microATX like H55-based products from other manufacturers.
click to enlarge
Figure 1: EVGA H55 motherboard.
Our main criticism about this motherboard is regarding its manual, which proved to be useless in six different languages, the spec sheet on the manufacturer website and the product specification page on the manufacturer website. EVGA doesn’t go very specific about the hardware configuration of this motherboard anywhere (e.g., audio codec and other chips are not specified, support for CrossFire is not mentioned, the speed of the second PCI Express x16 slot isn’t clear enough, RAID support isn’t mentioned), which is quite frustrating, especially when you think about the price tag of this motherboard.
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