In the land of less non-enthusiast hardware fanatics there's big bucks to be made on budget and more `economic´ products. Face it, they sell a dime a dollar and the volume on budget products is just so high compared to say high-end products. Funny thing is that the low-entry products often offer the best overall value.
See a motherboard like we'll be testing today has the H55 chipset and that all by tiself comes with a sturdy feature set, support for the latest Core i3 and I5 processors and well do not forget that the baseline performance (non overclocked) among motherboards with a similar sharing chipset is 99% similar to the more expensive products.
So if you can live just fine with just one Gigabit Ethernet connector, six SATA2 ports and analog 5.1 audio you can save 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. But make no mistake, it's compatible with say a Core i7 870 as well, So this 65 EUR ECS H55H-M motherboard, has everything .. including graphics (though very low level), DVI and SUB-D connector and that embedded IGP on the processor (not motherboard) will allow you to playback high-definition 1080P content.
So pair a motherboard like this with a proper processor and you already will have built yourself 80% of your PC. Not bad really, let's have a closer look.