MSI H55M ED55
Published: 17th February 2010 | Source: www.msi.com | Price: £89.00 |
All in all, we were left feeling quite impressed by the little MSI board. Throughout our entire suite of tests, the H55M ED55 maintained pace with our previously reviewed Asus P7H57D EVO; a motherboard that's priced over 50% higher than the former. I will concede however that the board has it's own set of limitations. For one, it's Micro ATX form factor means that Multi GPU solutions will be a tight (albeit entirely possible) fit at the cost of rendering all other expansion slots useless. The H55M ED55 also lacks the elaborate power phase design of the P7H57D EVO, which may restrict overclocks with more demanding Core i5 750/Core i7 8xx Processors. Finally, this board is not as "futureproof" as other H55/H57 boards due to the lack of USB3.0 and SATA 6.0GB/s ports.
But does any of this matter to you? How highly would you value a larger form factor, better power regulation and a small number of higher speed interfaces? This particular writer believes that if one is in the market for a bang for buck machine, then none of this should be a deciding factor. The endgame lies with the simple fact that the little MSI H55M ED55 performed identically to it's more expensive competition, overclocked to the same frequencies and saves you enough money to go out and buy a dedicated graphics card or a faster processor instead.
Our major gripe was the OC Genie tool as it well and truly flopped during the time we had to test it. The Genie tool is certainly not as "one second" an operation as it suggests, nor did it attain an overclock of any sort. By comparison, Asus' Turbo software performed flawlessly but as always, one's mileage may vary. Regardless, it's worrying that some individuals might be as unlucky as us with out "automated overclocking" endeavours and without realising will find themselves with a machine that is no faster but considerably warmer.
As a product it represents very good value for money. At a shade under £90 the MSI H55 ED55 is steadily approaching AMD 785G/790GX territory and when combined with the new Core i3 lineup, users now have a lot more choice in the mid-range market segment. Finally, when one considers it's Micro ATX form factor (this time on a positive note), this motherboard has the potential to be the basis of a fast and compact performance system.
- Good Overclocker (in manual mode!)
- Expansion for it's size
- Poor Overclocker (in auto mode!)