Budget Computing: Nine H55 And H57 Motherboards Compared

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liquidsnake718

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useless... this is just for HD movies and simple web based games, onboard gpus on motherboards are even better than this intel..... i wonder if this was larrabee...... or if larabee will really come to fruitition as I read in a toms article its basically dead.... however i wonder if this was larrabee.....
 

anamaniac

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I'm sad to see Quantum Force (Foxconn's enthusiast line, such as the Bloodrage) die.
At least Foxconn still makes really cheap stuff...

Honestly though, I'm more interested what's the lowest voltage you can get on stock clocks and DDR3 1066 cas6.
=)
 

dertechie

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[citation][nom]wintermint[/nom]Do anyone know how good is the integrated graphics found in these mobos? Can it handle some games?[/citation]

The IGP is integrated into the Clarkdale CPU. I believe it is simply a further evolution of the X4500HD, and can at least now claim to be on rough par with ATI's integrated graphics, assuming that AMD hasn't done much to up the ante in the 800-series chipsets. Check the reviews of the i5-661 and the i3-5x0s. The 661 is the fastest IGP they sell (there's a reason reviewers all got that particular chip), at 900 MHz, the others are clocked at 733 MHz or 533 MHz. No, it can't run Crysis.

Larrabee is dead, it wasn't worth it to Intel to actually build it. The project isn't dead, but Larrabee Mk I will never see mass production silicon.
 

ta152h

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[citation][nom]enzo matrix[/nom]Why do you guys only ever compare P55 and P57 boards? What about AM3? Or even 775 and AM2+?[/citation]

At least they moved to H55/H57, which is a platform that should sell a lot, rather than the brain-damaged P55 platform, which most sites spend a lot of time trying to convince (not that successfully, based on the bad sales) is a great platform.

Lynnfield/P55 is such a strange product, and appeals to such a limited segment of the market. It's not cheap, but it's a high-end product either. So, you get squeezed by x58, which is the real platform, or LGA 775, and now H55/H57 from below. It's not a big market segment, and I think it makes Intel's line a little confusing to average consumers, especially since the Clarksdale CPUs overlap it in cost from below, and the Bloomfield do from above.

It's obvious Intel didn't want to release CPUs with an IMC for the mainstream until they could move the IGP on-board the CPU. Since the IGP has to use the memory controller, there are compromises however you do it when you have an IMC. You either go to the processor, or you add the logic on the IGP (making it redundant), so Intel avoided that problem by putting it on the processor. The P55 is again neither fish nor fowl. It's got limited PCIe lanes, but doesn't have an IGP either.

There's a small segment where it makes sense. It's power efficient and the performance is only slightly less than Bloomfield in many situations, but I think the average consumer is going to find the H55/H57 much better for their needs (an IGP is critical in this market), and the enthusiast will want the full-blown Bloomfield. For that reason I think these motherboards are significant even though the P55 isn't. Maybe you don't want it, but, you'll probably have a friends/family neighbors asking about a computer with these products. They aren't technical marvels with their weird memory controller placed in the video controller, but aside from the distasteful technical compromises Intel made, they still address the market and needs of most people very well. The only one that is so offensive I could never bring myself to recommending is the new Pentium version. It probably is fine for most people, but it's so offensive, it's painful to recommend. I think LGA 775 is better at that point. Or AMD, of course.
 

sublifer

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This isn't budget computing/motherboards. ~$100 motherboards have always been available and are considered mid-range... Show us LGA1156 boards for $50-$70 and then we'll be talking budget stuff that office builders can use, but then we'd also need ~$70 CPUs as well. Nice to see the almost-full-featured mini-itx boards though. I really want those to get more popular but agree a second slot (like DTX) would have been even better.
 

JeanLuc

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[citation][nom]sublifer[/nom]A better budget combo with better performance per buck would be a 785G board with an Athlon II x3 like these:http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6813130237http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6819103724Thats $70+75=$145 instead of $110+125=$235[/citation]

Well don't just leave at that how much better is it "per buck"? Or are you just assuming that because it's cheaper its obviously better value?
 

Crashman

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[citation][nom]daniel266[/nom]WOW ! one more article about intel !! why im not suprised... hope that this comment dont disapear magically...[/citation]

Intel had a new chipset, why wouldn't a site cover that? Please look for upcoming articles on AMD's new chipset as soon as its released :)
 

Crashman

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[citation][nom]sublifer[/nom]This isn't budget computing/motherboards. ~$100 motherboards have always been available and are considered mid-range... Show us LGA1156 boards for $50-$70 and then we'll be talking budget stuff that office builders can use, but then we'd also need ~$70 CPUs as well. Nice to see the almost-full-featured mini-itx boards though. I really want those to get more popular but agree a second slot (like DTX) would have been even better.[/citation]

Higher-ups decided to use the "budget" label, these are actually "value segement" boards for the most part. The author knows the difference between the sub-$100 "budget" market and the $100-140 "value" market, and most of these boards fit into the later.
 

Crashman

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[citation][nom]The Wasp[/nom]How about the Zotac H55-ITX ??[/citation]

Couldn't meet the deadline...this article would have been published two to three weeks earlier if not for a processor failure.
 
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Guest

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Do you guys plan on eventually doing a review of the Zotac H55-ITX? If that thing can perform it looks like one really sweet board.
 

Crashman

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[citation][nom]Nightraptor14[/nom]Do you guys plan on eventually doing a review of the Zotac H55-ITX? If that thing can perform it looks like one really sweet board.[/citation]

Patrick is working on an article using that board :)
 
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Wow I was just thinking about building a budget Intel build for my friend and was wondering about the motherboards. Thanks Tom!
 

ananke

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It is my opinion, but anything Intel less than i7-920 is not worth the money. I don't recommend i5-750 either. For gaming and all-around tasks cheap AMD + 785G and good /expensive/ video is the best. For rendering - get i7-920 and above. Socket 1156 is total waste of money.

Btw, when are you THG guys going to make some ATI vs NVidia computing article? Like Photoshop, video transcoding, etc.
 

jalyst

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Thomas, thank-you for the excellent review!

Could you please clarify what you meant by:
"Remember, though, that adding any card to the x16 slot defeats on-board graphics, so riser card users who prefer a x1 slot will prefer the competing P7H55D-M EVO."

I don't suppose you could throw in a GA-H57M-USB3 at the last minute and give us some thoughts?! :)
I would've especially loved to know how it handles Mem/CPU OC's compared to the Biostar, and whether it's crossfire implementation works, unlike the rest.

It was a shame not to see any H57-based mATX boards at all in the review.

Thanks again!
 

jalyst

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Also I think you were mistaken in thinking GA-H55M-USB3 is exactly the same as GA-H57M-USB3, except for Intel soft-RAID...

Contrary to this claim:
"Other handy (but less spectacular) features include a second x16-length slot that uses four 2.5 Gb/s lanes from the chipset, allowing any PCIe card to be installed without interfering with the integrated graphics engine of Clarkdale-based processors."

I believe GA-H55M-USB3's x16-length slot only has 1x 2.5 GB/s lane.
Hence making it unsuitable for Crossfire, and hence not certified.

See here:
http://www.gigabyte.com.tw/Products/Motherboard/Products_ComparisonSheet.aspx?ProductID=3307,3308
http://www.gigabyte.com.tw/Products/Motherboard/Products_Spec.aspx?ProductID=3308
http://www.gigabyte.com.tw/Products/Motherboard/Products_Spec.aspx?ProductID=3307

Would be really awesome if you could throw GA-H57M-USB3 into the mix
and see how it fairs!

Thank-you.
 

jalyst

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[citation][nom]jalyst[/nom]Could you please clarify what you meant by:"Remember, though, that adding any card to the x16 slot defeats on-board graphics, so riser card users who prefer a x1 slot will prefer the competing P7H55D-M EVO."[/citation]

To clarify, I thought a card had to be greater than 4x in the 16x lane slot before the IGP becomes disabled? Thanks.

 
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