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


View All Comments

  • don^don - Tuesday, June 15, 2010 - link

    i hav ta agree there mate. i came in here this morning, click on the link, and was expecting some 1080p benchmark for this board using Intel's HD graphic with some i3, but cant find any. hope anand will include em in the next ITX board review. it'l come in handy. Reply
  • Shadowmaster625 - Tuesday, June 15, 2010 - link

    And why would you want to spend $110+ for a motherboard and $125+ for a case? To look cool or something? Sheesh... It's a box with wires coming out of it. It is no different than one that costs $19. Reply
  • dia - Tuesday, June 15, 2010 - link

    A mini-ITX oriented case that can hold a decent size PSU and a full length graphics cards with space for a number of internal drives for $19? Link me to it please, I want one! Reply
  • DaveSimmons - Tuesday, June 15, 2010 - link

    Size, noise, heat. Some of us are willing to pay extra to fit a PC into 1/4 the space of a cheap minitower while still running cool and quiet.

    The Silverstone will fit a large full-height video card and 3.5" HD while using a large (= less noisy) fan for cooling.
  • Taft12 - Wednesday, June 16, 2010 - link

    The Lian Li Q07 is half the price of the Q08 and looks almost the same to me... That's the way I would go:

  • Servando Silva - Tuesday, June 15, 2010 - link

    I´d wouldn't choose the DFI mobo because it's P55 based. For a Mini-ITX in HTPC, you won't be able to use Intel HD graphics with Clarkdale.
    Otherwise, this is a a good choise and GB might be able to fix the BIOS problems within their next updates, while DFI has a lack of BIOS Support (sadly).
  • ajp_anton - Tuesday, June 15, 2010 - link

    When talking about USB3 for other vendor's MBs, you say that you could use a PCIe card for them. Are you sure it will work? Intel's built-into-CPU PCIe controller is only guaranteed to work with graphics cards. Reply
  • Rajinder Gill - Tuesday, June 15, 2010 - link

    Provided the BIOS is geared for it there should not be a problem. Reply
  • ajp_anton - Tuesday, June 15, 2010 - link

    I had about 10 mails about this with Gigabyte concerning another motherboard + a PCIe TV tuner until they finally contacted Intel, only to find out that no BIOS update could fix it as the problem is in Intel's PCIe controller. Reply
  • Rajinder Gill - Tuesday, June 15, 2010 - link

    First point of call for me was ASUS (as they are available at this time of day) and I was told that it can work if the BIOS supports it. Unfortunately, I don't have any PCIe USB cards on hand right now to test it. If I hear anything different, I'll report back.


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