The ASRock H61M/U3S3 is an entry-level socket LGA1155 motherboard, based on the Intel H61 chipset and using the microATX form factor, costing only USD 80. Even though it is a budget model, it features two SATA-600 ports (which are not usually found on H61-based motherboards), two USB 3.0 ports, and one PCI Express x16 slot. Let’s take a look at it.

The difference between the H61 and H67 chipsets is the absence of SATA-600 ports on the H61. This motherboard, however, has two SATA-600 ports controlled by an external chip. ASRock probably realized that in order to design an inexpensive entry-level socket LGA1155 motherboard supporting SATA-600 ports, it was cheaper to use the H61 chipset and add an extra chip, rather than using the H67 chipset.

Other minor differences between these two chipsets include the number of available PCI Express x1 lanes (eight on the H67 and six on the H61) and USB 2.0 ports (14 on the H67 and 10 on the H61).

ASRock H61M/U3S3 motherboardFigure 1: ASRock H61M/U3S3 motherboard

Gabriel Torres is a Brazilian best-selling ICT expert, with 24 books published. He started his online career in 1996, when he launched Clube do Hardware, which is one of the oldest and largest websites about technology in Brazil. He created Hardware Secrets in 1999 to expand his knowledge outside his home country.