ASRock is a manufacturer that was originally established to enter the entry-level market, competing with ECS on this particular segment, although in the recent years they’ve been entering the mainstream and high-end markets as well. It’s been a while since we’ve last took a look at their motherboards, so we were really curious to see their H55 solutions. So far they released four H55-based motherboards. Let’s take a look at H55DE3.
To show you the differences between the four H55-based motherboards from ASRock, we compiled a short table comparing them. As you can see, all H55 motherboards from ASRock have two PCI Express 2.0 x16 slots (the second one working at x4). The most high-end model does not provide video outputs and thus you necessarily have to install an add-on video card on this motherboard, even if you install a CPU with integrated video controller (so far this is the only H55-based motherboard without video connectors we’ve seen).
|Model||H55M||H55M Pro||H55DE3||H55 Pro|
|Memory||2 sockets||4 sockets||4 sockets||4 sockets|
|PCI Express x16 slots||2||2||2||2|
|PCI Express x1 slots||1||1||2||2|
|SATA||4, 2 eSATA||5, 1 eSATA||4, 2 eSATA||5, 1 eSATA|
|Video Outputs||VGA, DVI-D, HDMI||VGA, DVI-D, HDMI||VGA, DVI-D, HDMI||None|
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.
One Figure 1 you have an overall look from H55DE3. As mentioned, it is an ATX motherboard.