Testbed Setup
Overclocking / Benchmark Testbed
Processor 1 x Intel i7-875K ES CPU
2.93GHz, 8 Threads, 8MB L3

Intel i5 661 ES CPU
3.33GHz, 2 Cores 4 Threads
4MB L3
CPU Voltage Various
Cooling Intel air cooler, Heatkiller 3.0 waterblock, PA120.2 radiator and DDC ultra pump (with Petra top), 1/2 ID tubing for watercooling.
Power Supply Corsair HX950
Memory Corsair Dominator GT 8-8-8-24 2200MHz 4GB kit
G.Skill Perfect Storm 8-8-8-24 2200MHz 4GB kit.
Memory Settings Various
Video Cards MSI 275 Lightning (stock clocks)
Video Drivers nVidia 195.62 WHQL
Hard Drive Western Digital 7200RPM 1TB SATA 3/Gbps 32MB Buffer
OCZ Vertex 120GB SSD
Optical Drives Plextor PX-B900A, Toshiba SD-H802A
Case Open Test Bed - Dimastech Benching Station
Lian-Li V2110
Operating System Windows 7 64 bit
.

We utilized memory kits from Corsair and G.Skill to verify memory compatibility on our test boards. Our OS and primary applications are loaded on the OCZ Vertex 120GB SSD drive and our games operate off the WD Caviar Black 1TB drive. We did a clean install of the OS and applications for each motherboard. We used Intel's stock cooler for the stock comparison testing, while water-cooling via the superlative Heat Killer 3.0 water block was utilized for overclocking. For graphics duty, MSI’s GTX 275 Lighting GPU was used to provide performance comparisons between boards during gaming benchmarks.

For our test results we set up each board as closely as possible in regards to memory timings. Otherwise all other settings are left on auto. The P55 utilized 8GB of memory where possible, while the X58 platform contained 6GB. The P55 and X58 DDR3 timings were set to 7-7-7-20 1T at DDR3-1600 for the i7-920 and i7-870 processors at both stock and overclocked CPU settings.

We used DDR3-1333 6-6-6-18 1T timings for the i5-750 stock setup for all system benchmarks (non-gaming tests) as DDR3-1600 is not natively supported at a stock BCLK setting of 133. For our Clarkdale i5 661 and i3 540 CPU’s, we used 7-7-7-20 1N timings at DDR3-1333MHz with 8GB of memory (4GB on the Mini-ITX boards).

 

Power Consumption

Our power consumption testing utilizes the same batch of components under similar circumstances in a bid to monitor variances between idle and CPU load conditions. We install the vendor supplied power saving utilities on each board and enable power saving modes that don't involve any kind of underclocking or CPU core frequency modulation in order to run an apples to apples comparison.

ATX PSU switching losses are absent from our figures because we monitor power consumption directly at the DC rails of the PSU. These figures measure only the CPU, motherboard and memory DC power draw and exclude any other peripherals, such as cooling fans and hard drives etc. Actual AC power consumption for the motherboard will be anywhere from 15~40% higher than these figures depending upon the efficiency of your power supply.

Motherboard Power Consumption - Idle Power - i5 661 CPU - IGP

Motherboard Power Consumption - HD Video Playback - i5 661 CPU

Motherboard Power Consumption - OCCT Small FFT - i5 661 CPU

The H55N-USB3's idle power consumption is excellent, although you lose out on efficiency under load compared to boards from Intel and ECS. We suspect this is due to Gigabyte's choice of a more robust VRM to aid in overclocking. The Intel DH57JG does not support Lynnfield processors, while ECS's model is confined to a 87W TDP cap.

Board Features, Software and BIOS Gaming and 3D Performance
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  • Rajinder Gill - Wednesday, June 16, 2010 - link

    Hi,

    Yes, you can do that if you can get the right screws and washers to fit the H50 from somewhere. Or use a washer/nut combo as the poster below said. Just be sure not to overtighten.

    Later
    Raja
    Reply
  • tlmaclennan - Wednesday, June 16, 2010 - link

    Why not just figure out the thread and length of the mounting screws and get slightly longer ones from a hardware store or McMaster-Carr. Then grab four spacers for that screw size so that you can raise the bookplate over any components that you need to clear. Or just do away with the back-plate and use small nuts. Reply
  • shamans33 - Wednesday, June 16, 2010 - link

    Just to verify...You can't run IGP and discrete graphics at the same time on the H55 chipset (and therefore on this board).....Correct? Reply
  • shamans33 - Wednesday, June 16, 2010 - link

    The motherboard manual has a reference to running both at the same time, they describe it as "dual view" but I just want to double check... Reply
  • Rajinder Gill - Wednesday, June 16, 2010 - link

    Hi,

    Yes, I have tried this with a GTX 275 and a Clarkdale i5-655K. There is an option in BIOS to force the IGP on. Windows 7 will see both devices and you can extend displays.

    Hope this helps.
    -Raja
    Reply
  • shamans33 - Wednesday, June 16, 2010 - link

    Thank you for checking. :)

    Anandtech should have a checklist table of non-standard features on every motherboard review.
    Reply
  • Rajinder Gill - Wednesday, June 16, 2010 - link

    Thanks for the suggestion. I do try and keep on top of these things but sometimes things do slip by when you're trying to cover everything you can.

    -Raja
    Reply
  • shamans33 - Wednesday, June 16, 2010 - link

    Do you know of any upcoming AMD ITX motherboards? Reply
  • HTPCJim - Wednesday, June 16, 2010 - link

    When I think Mini-ITX, I think HTPC. Sadly, I still havent seen a mini ITX MB with built in wireless and a PCIe slot for an OTA tv tuner which are the missing ingredients for an HTPC. Reply
  • shamans33 - Wednesday, June 16, 2010 - link

    There's motherboards made by zotac that do that....

    For maximum compatibility, you should go with Zotac 9300 motherboards though. It's a very mature motherboard
    Reply

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