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 Intel has released two different socket LGA1156 motherboards based on H55: DH55TC and DH55HC. Let’s take an overall look at DH55TC.

While DH55TC is a microATX motherboard, DH55HC is a standard ATX board. Both carry exactly the same features, except that DH55HC has three standard PCI slots, while DH55TC has only one.

All major motherboard manufacturers also have released motherboards based on these new Intel chipsets and since Intel is traditionally very conservative on their motherboards, it will be nice to take a look at one of their models so we can tell what additional features each manufacturer added on their models later when we post articles about other H55/H57-based boards.

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.

Intel DH55TC motherboardFigure 1: Intel DH55TC 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.