Question regarding H55 based 1156 motherboards

Hey guys.

Am building yet another PC for a friend, and I'm scratching my head when looking at the motherboard options. The budget is limited, so I had to look on the lower-end scale.

I have some doubts about some features on the H55 chipset, and as much as I've looked on the internet, I just couldn't find a reasonable explanation. So, here come the questions:

1.) Raid 0 on H55 chipsets - is it possible or not? The build will include two hdd's, which, ideally, should be run in RAID 0. I know the P55 chipset supports this, but unsure about the H55. I've set my eyes on Asrock's H55M PRO motherboard, which seems to offer quite a bit for the money, and has gotten positive reviews. However, I can't find any information about RAID support, not even on the Asrock homepage here:

If it does not support RAID 0, how much of a performance loss would this mean for the hard drive speeds?

2.) The Asrock motherboard has two PCI-E 2.0 slots, one running at 16x, the other at 4x. As far as I know, when using a Crossfire configuration, the difference in speed between 16x/4x and 8x/8x is insignificant when using a single display. Most motherboards in this price-range offer one PCI-E slot, or two in 16x/4x combination, those that offer 16x/16x or 8x/8x costs twice as much, or more. Is the investment worthwhile?

3.) Overclocking on H55. What are the chances of overclocking an I3 - 540 CPU from 3.06 to 4+ GHZ speeds? I don't think the chipset of the mobo should limit this, but it's better to ask

Thanks in advance for any input.
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More about question based 1156 motherboards
  1. 1. No, the H55 Chipset lacks RAID support; the H57 does support RAID ; good Intel WP Article,702559/Intel-H55-H57-and-Q57-New-chipsets-for-Clarkdale-processors/News/ A third-part Chipset would b required.
    2. Yes/No, the problem with most MOBOs with onboard GPU/VGA is shared bandwidth with one of the PCIe; therefore, even where supported it is not recommended to CF/SLI. In the instance of the H55M PRO you need to read the 'fine print'; it only supports 1 discrete ATI/AMD GPU in CF with the onboard GPU. {see page 11 of the manual 1.3}.
    3. Yes, but with caveats - here an OC H55 + i3-540 -

    If the Goal is: CF, RAID, & extreme OC then I would recommend the P55.

    Building chart as of the recall:
  2. Very useful post Jaquith, thanks a lot for your time in doing it :) Will have to read through it carefully
  3. I added 2 links that I forgot to place the the original post. {OC + Manual} links.

    Anytime, you're Welcome!
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