Gigabyte H55N USB3
Another day, another motherboard... Today we have taken the Gigabyte H55N USB3 through our testing process and now it's time for a conclusion.
This board is Gigabyte's first entry into the performance Mini ITX sector and it goes without saying that they have done a fantastic job at doing so. Quite predictably our favourite selling point is it's fantastic overclocking headroom. With a maximum BCLK frequency at or around the 200MHz mark, you are free to purchase just about any Core i3/i5/i7 CPU and theoretically be guaranteed an overclock of at least 4.00GHz. If overclocking is part of your master plan then forget about the Zotac H55 ITX as this is for you.
The board isn't a total winner however. As mentioned previously, the H55N USB3 lacks in terms of onboard hardware when compared to it's Zotac competition. There is no onboard WiFi and if you intend on fitting a dedicated graphics card, you will have to opt for a USB dongle instead. Also there aren't near as many USB or SATA ports and notable touches such as an external CMOS clear button are absent. That said, we found our sample to recover from overclocks better than the Zotac and unless you plan on building a NAS BOX with up to six Hard Disk Drives with something like the Fractal ITX case, the four SATA ports available on the Gigabyte will more than suffice. Finally, we would also like to point out that Gigabyte's offering can be bought for as little as £89.99, which is as much as £10-15 cheaper than the previously reviewed Zotac.
All in all, Gigabyte have truly pulled one out of the bag with the release of this Mini ITX motherboard. While I'm sure that there are individuals who would prefer the superior integrated features of the Zotac H55 ITX, we strongly believe that the choice for most performance orientated individuals should be very simple.
- Competitive Performance
- Overclocking ability