Gigabyte H55N USB3

BIOS & Overclocking

Testbed

Intel Core i3 530 2.93GHz Processor
Intel Reference Cooler
Gigabyte H55N USB3 Motherboard
4GB Corsair PC3-12800C8 Memory
XFX Radeon HD 5670 1GB GDDR5
Samsung Spinpoint F1 320GB Hard Disk Drive
Samsung 22x DVD+/-RW
BeQuiet Dark Power Pro 850W PSU
Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 

BIOS

One of the drawbacks of the Zotac H55 ITX was it's comparatively spartan BIOS, which inevitably lead to it's disappointing overclock. Thankfully we are pleased to say that Gigabyte have done quite the opposite. I will not bore you with the main menu or other constituent subcategories; let's delve straight into Motherboard Intelligent Tweaker (M.I.T).

Gigabyte H55N USB3

Gigabyte H55N USB3     Gigabyte H55N USB3


Within M.I.T, the user is provided with a small list of sub menu's that separate overclocking parameters into more managable (and less daunting) lists. First of all, Gigabyte have included a main overview page that indicates just about every important overclocking variable and it's current setting. If you are even a slightly forgetful individual, we believe that you would quite like this feature.

Gigabyte H55N USB3     Gigabyte H55N USB3


Gigabyte offer a reasonable level of tweaking ability. Bearing in mind that a Mini ITX machine is more than likely air cooled, higher voltage ranges aren't necessary. We were mostly pleased to see that Gigabyte have included a parameter to adjust Quickpath Frequency as this was inevitably what doomed Zotac's offering to the bin of appauling overclocks. With a better engineered BIOS, let's see just how far the H55N USB3.0 can go.

Max BCLK


The answer to the above is "very far". We commenced our overclocking attempts in a modest fashion by raising the BCLK in 5-10MHz increments, while maintaining low CPU and Memory frequencies. It was not long until we exceeded the Zotac H55's maximum BCLK of 150MHz and from then onwards the testbed felt like a ticking timebomb. Needless to say we had a long wait ahead of us as the ticking had not turned into a "BOOM" until a stunning 220MHz BCLK frequency. Later we were able to verify a max stable frequency just 10MHz shy of this at a pleasing 210MHz.

Gigabyte H55N USB3

Given that we have tested fully fledged Micro ATX and ATX H55/H57 motherboards that have struggled to break 200MHz, Gigabyte have done incredibly well to offer such a capable overclocker on a 17cm x 17cm PCB.

Max CPU Frequency

Given the nature of the test setup, the maximum CPU overclock was bound to be on the low side. Equipped with Intel's low profile reference cooler, we found our maximum stable frequency at 3.60GHz and an operational voltage of 1.175V.


With the formality of overclocking now completed, let's commence the testing.

 

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Most Recent Comments

16-06-2010, 06:38:26

tinytomlogan
Finally, Gigabyte have unleashed a rival to the critically acclaimed Zotac H55 ITX.

Continue Reading

16-06-2010, 06:59:35

Diablo
great review, but the maximum futuremark vantage scores are all identical and lower than the averages. Otherwise excellent work, and looks like a new ITX champ

16-06-2010, 07:23:22

Rastalovich
One of the futuremark graphs looks weird, with the average being bigger than the max. (or it could be my coffee's gone cold)

What's the ALC892R like ? Very important to me that.

Other than that, 90 (mrrp?), upto 10 off for online stores, I would definitely look for this one in something like a Scan Today special. If it went for 75-80 it sounds a bargain.

Great stuff.

16-06-2010, 08:52:30

Mul.
Hi guys

It would seem that I forgot to apply the correct labels on the Vantage graph. Minimum Maximum and Average actually refererred to Overall Score, GPU Score and CPU Score respectively.

As for the ALC892R, honestly I could not fault it. The sound quality was crisp enough and appeared to be at least as good as the previous 889 series.

21-06-2010, 04:59:51

leuis9
Atlast Gigabyte have a better motherboard device.having a maximum storage capacity with good intel processor.For Clarkdale processors, overclocking and underclocking is made easy thanks to a fully working multiplier control, and the ability to under-volt or over-volt CPUs in the H55N-USB3 BIOS. Memory overclocking is also rather good, all memory sub-timings are available, and each timing has an AUTO parameter which will scale with frequency, requiring no user-intervention to reach high operating speeds.
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