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MSI H55-ED55 Review

Discussion in 'Motherboards & Memory' started by sno.lcn, Mar 22, 2010.

  1. sno.lcn

    sno.lcn

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    MSI H55M-ED55 Review

    With the release of Intel's Core i3/i5 with on-chip integrated graphics, tons of low-cost H55 motherboards have been popping up. MSI's mid-range H55 board, priced around $110 USD, is the H55M-ED5. If you've been keeping up with H55 performance numbers, you know that people are getting huge overclocks on mATX boards. Although MSI sent me this board for HTPC testing (as Intel's GMA HD IGP was intended), I also decided to test the limits of the ED55 and see just how much performance I could squeeze out of it.

    First Look

    Specs
    • Brand: MSI
    • Model: H55M-ED55
    • Socket Type: LGA 1156
    • Supported CPUs: Core i3/i5/i7
    • Chipset: H55
    • Memory Supported: Up to 16GB DDR3 1066/1333/1600 (OC)/2000 (OC)/2133 (OC) Dual Channel
    • Audio: Realtek ALC889, 8 Channels
    • LAN: Realtek 8111DL 10/100/1000Mbps
    • Form Factor: Micro-ATX

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    The H55M-ED55 comes in MSI's purple box, so we know right away it isn't part of their gaming or high end line.

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    MSI included the typical assortment of accessories, including a few SATA cables, user manual(s), I/O shield, and driver disc.

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    Here we see the same blue on black color scheme typical of current MSI motherboards. The H55M-ED55 has a nice, clean layout, and tons of extra features which I'll be discussing below. With the graphics integrated into the CPU, there's lots of extra real-estate available, which MSI has taken full advantage of.

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    In the upper right corner of the board, in addition to the black and blue DDR3 slots and 24-pin ATX connector, we find an onboard power button, base clock buttons, and the OC Genie button. I would love to have seen a reset button here as well, and possibly a clear cmos button. The last board I received from MSI (890GXM-G65) had only two fan headers. This board, I'm happy to say, has four.

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    In the lower right corner of the board we find a total of 6 SATA ports, the clear CMOS jumper, and the H55 chipset.

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    The H55M-ED55 has two PCI Express 16x slots, at 16x and 8x respectively. I don't see this listed in the specs, which only mention two 16x slots, but it's evident looking at the back of the board. There are also one PCI Express 1x slot and one PCI slot.

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    The I/O panel has all the connection options you could need for an HTPC, and more.

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    Removing the VRM heatpipe assembly, we notice only four total MOSFETs. But MSI says "1 phase DrMOS > 4 phase traditional MOSFET." I guess we'll find out when I put some clocks on this thing. Something nice MSI did was label everything on this motherboard (CPU vcore, CPU Core, CPU_VTT, etc), making it extremely easy to find various voltage read points.

    The BIOS

    Here we see a fairly straightforward BIOS, with all the settings you'd expect plus some extras.

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    Important BIOS Menus:

    MSI calls their overclocking section of BIOS the Cell Menu. From here you have total control of all the settings essential to overclocking. I'm not a big fan of the "+x.xxx" method of setting CPU voltage. This BIOS has fairly low voltage setting limits for CPU and GPU, but I'll discuss that in a bit.

    M-Flash is MSI's built-in BIOS backup and flashing utility. It reads from/writes to a USB flash drive, and is probably the quickest and easiest BIOS flashing method I've ever used.

    In the Overclocking Profile section, you can save settings for up to six OC profiles. This came in very handy during my testing.



    See the original review and testing results here -> http://www.overclockers.com/msi-h55med55-review/


    I'd like to thank Nick at MSI for giving me the opportunity to test this motherboard.
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2010
  2. map01ch New Member

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    Very interesting........ thanks for sharing

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