Thursday, November 26th 2009

ASRock H55 Motherboard Lineup Detailed

The third motherboard vendor in the league to be ready with products based on the Intel H5x Express chipset is ASRock, whose first wave consists of one ATX, and two micro-ATX form-factor motherboards, based on the H55 Express chipset. The H55 Express chipset is known to bring along the Flexible Display Interface, which handles the connectivity of the embedded graphics processors Intel's upcoming Core i3 and Core i5 "Clarkdale" processors feature, completing Intel's portfolio of processors based on the Nehalem/Westmere architectures across all segments. H55 Express is a toned-down version of the H57 Express chipset, it lacks support for technologies such as Remote PC Assist, Rapid Storage, and has slightly lesser number of USB 2.0 ports and lesser PCI-Express lanes in its local hub.

The two micro-ATX motherboards from ASRock are the H55M Pro and H55M. These boards are nearly same, in having 4+1 phase CPU VRM, display connectivity that includes DVI, D-Sub, and HDMI, expansion slots which include a PCI-Express 2.0 x16, a PCI-Express x16 (electrical x4), and one each of PCI-Express x1 and PCI. Both feature high-grade DuraCap solid-state capacitors, 8-channel audio, gigabit Ethernet, and eSATA. The two differ with the H55M Pro being slightly broader to accommodate four DDR3 DIMM slots, while the H55M has two, the H55M Pro has five out of six SATA 3 Gbps ports from its PCH assigned as internal ports, with one eSATA, and features FireWire, while the H55M has four internal SATA 3 Gbps ports, two ports are assigned as eSATA, and FireWire is absent.

The lone ATX motherboard is the H55DE3, which coarsely builds on the design of the H55M. It has four DDR3 DIMM slots, and being an ATX board, it makes room for an extra PCI-E x1 and PCI slot, and gives a spacing after the PCI-Express 2.0 x16 slot. It continues to have the rear-panel the H55M does, including 8-channel audio, two eSATA ports leaving the remaining four SATA 3 Gbps ports from the PCH as internal ports. Other features include the ability to install LGA-775 CPU coolers on H55M and H55M Pro, and a trial-pack of Creative X-Fi MB software. ASRock's motherboards could arrive in early January, 2010.

Source: OCWorkbench
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