To facilitate the Clarkdale processors, Intel needed to come out with a new chipset, in fact they'll be released two of them each with their own derivative sidekicks. This is needed to run the integrated graphics via what's labeled as the Flexible Display Interface (FDI). Intel is offering two new chipsets to the market, H55 and H57/Q57. P55 actually should also work fine, yet obviously not with the embedded IGP. We will actually put this to the test today.
Now you might think the platform will be cheap and well, honestly it's average at best. Intel will charge its partners 40 to 44 USD per chip per 1K units. In a pale comparison, Intel charges 40 USD for a P55 chip to the motherboard manufacturers.
We received the ECS H55H-M motherboard and will pair it with a Core i5 661 dual core processor for a test run. Let's check out what this 196 USD processor will bring to the table. But first, let's have a look a some photos of the motherboard itself.
ECS H55H-I Mini ITX motherboard review We test the ECS H55H-I. It's been topic amongst many of the male versus female species for decades now and here at Guru3D today we will bring you the definitive answer to the eternal question ... does size matter ?! Pop on a Clarkdale based processor like the Core i3 or Core i5 series and you can use it's HDMI, DVI of DSUB graphics connector. Audio ? No worries the embedded Realtek ACL 8982 eight channel audio codec will happily output to analog or coaxial or optical TOSLINK S/PDIF connectors, need USB ? Well, the rear panel has six of them, need SATA2 ? Here we spot four ports and one eSATA, dual channel memory ? Yep supported, up-to 1600 MHz and in the end if you do not want to use the embedded graphics from the processor, then you can even pop in a full x16 PCIe graphics card and make a wicked gaming rig out of this very handy H55H-I motherboard.
ECS H55H-M motherboard review If you can live just fine with just one Gigabit Ethernet connector, six SATA2 ports and analog 5.1 audio you can safe yourself a lot of buckaroonies alright. Yes you'd have a fairly high performance 'regular' PC which certainly doesn't have to be expensive. Today we look at such a product, it's the all new H55 chipset based ECS H55H-M motherboard priced at roughly 55 EUR / 79 USD. It comes in that all too familiar green PCB color, all the features you need to run a very decent PC, it's mATX based allowing much flexibility and even has a x16 PCIe slot should you want to seat a dedicated graphics card on it. And sure, being H55 -- if you pair it with a series 600 Core i5 processor or the Core i3 series (Clarkdale) processor you can make use of the embedded GPU inside that processor as well.