You know, the release of Clarkdale Core i3 and i5 processors was partially successful really... many people feel that an IGP (integrated graphics) does not belong on a processor and the concept of it being only a dual-core processor feels a bit weird.
That does not mean though that these processors are incapable, to the contrary dear Watson... for generic PC usage or a fine HTPC these things kick major booty. Over the weekend I was building a new work PC, inserted a Core i7 661 (dual-core with turbo to 3.6 GHz). Popped in an ODD and SSD, 8 GB memory and boom. I had an incredibly fast Windows 7 based PC screaming and oozing with performance, yet while in idle this system only consumes just over 40 Watts (!)
So make no mistake, the H55 and H57 based motherboards with a Clarkdale processor certainly do not suck in the mainstream segment. Now, H55 is a chipset for your average mainstream entry level motherboards series, but there is in fact a small step up... it's based on the H57 chipset and will bring some more features to the table.
The H57 series offers a little more in the form of RAID support while it also packs a little more punch which we'll look at in this review of course. A more interesting feature on the H57H-MUS we'll be testing today is that it's packaged with two extra add-on controllers, one offers USB 3.0 through an onboard NEC uPD720200 host controller and the other a SATA 6G add-on controller, adding some greater compatibility and extra power for USB / SATA6G devices.
Follow us through the mystic images of the PCB, and of course a nice performance overview in our ECS H57H-MUS motherboard review. Have a peek at what seems to be a really nice motherboard, and then head onward to the next page please.