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GA-H55N-USB3: Mini-ITX mobo with USB 3.0

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 17 comments

Designed to run home theater PCs, this Gigabyte motherboard also features USB 3.0 ports.

Spotted at Gigabyte's COMPUTEX 2010 booth was the GA-H55N-USB3, a mini-ITX motherboard designed to provide home theater PCs with enough power and a small profile. But the H55N elicits interest because of its generous provision of ports. You've got 2 USB 3.0 sockets complemented by five USB 2.0 ports. Rounding out this comprehensive line-up are eSATA, Gigabit Ethernet, six audio jacks, a PS/2 port, and S/PDIF.

On the video front, the H55N can output HDMI, DVI-I, and D-SUB signals—but only if one of those new Intel Core i3, i5, or i7 CPUs with integrated graphics are used. Alternatively users can also use the PCI Express x16 slot for discrete graphics, if they can find a way to fit everything into the usually small cases of the mini-ITX format.

The H55N has four SATA/300 ports for storage components, and two DDR3 1666 MHz DIMM sockets. This puts the maximum RAM at 8 GB. According to Gigabyte, the GA-H55N-USB3 costs around $130 depending on the retailer. It should hit the market right as you read this, or within this month at the latest.

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  • 1 Hide
    tokenz , June 2, 2010 8:43 PM
    Looks like it will be a capable htpc. I wonder about the graphics on it though. Will it do 1080p at a good bitrate through the graphics card on the processor?
  • 2 Hide
    danada , June 2, 2010 8:43 PM
    I like the Lian Li Spider in the background
  • 7 Hide
    sublifer , June 2, 2010 8:54 PM
    I'd love to see something like this around the $70 mark.
  • 6 Hide
    Onus , June 2, 2010 8:54 PM
    Very nice. I think I want to use a 45W AMD chip in an upcoming mini-ITX build, but this could be an interesting alternative.
  • -5 Hide
    gwolfman , June 2, 2010 9:17 PM
    No RAID, no thanks!
  • 3 Hide
    crom , June 2, 2010 9:31 PM
    It needs more PCI Express slots. If you want it to be a real HTPC it needs slots to put your TV tuner cards. I also wonder how the integrated Intel can handle Blu-Ray decoding.
  • 0 Hide
    most_wanted , June 2, 2010 11:34 PM
    it looks good, with numerous capacitors..and the price is acceptable as a product from gigabyte.
    though $100 will be a much more favourable price of course
  • 0 Hide
    traken , June 2, 2010 11:38 PM
    This is going in my next computer, as long as the reviews are decent to it. The only other recent Intel mini-itx boards are from DFI and Zotac. The Zotac one is apparently plagued with bios problems, while the DFI one has some problems of its own. Hmmm
  • 0 Hide
    liquidsnake718 , June 3, 2010 2:54 AM
    No onboard graphics, this will just use the processor h55 imbedded gpu, then forget this... i doubt that this will even run age of mythology
  • 0 Hide
    johnb4467 , June 3, 2010 3:40 AM
    The i3 / i5 igp's are actually quite good for blu-ray playback. I have been eyeing them for a potential HTPC for a good while now, and with them, the cpu utilization is extremely low. Couple that with being able to output lossless HD-audio formats, and it's quite a great little board.
    For gaming, this will not be enough GPU power. For htpc, which it was made for -- or even for a htpc / render station combo (which I'm looking into one for), this might be a perfect solution. The only thing I don't like is only having one pci-e port...but if you need more, then that's not what the mini-itx build is for; not a fault of its own, just not what you need. :) 

    As far as raid, well...there are esata solutions for that. :) 
  • 0 Hide
    gsacks , June 3, 2010 6:17 AM
    cromIt needs more PCI Express slots. If you want it to be a real HTPC it needs slots to put your TV tuner cards. I also wonder how the integrated Intel can handle Blu-Ray decoding.


    That is kind of a silly comment, since the mini-ITX form factor only supports one expansion slot. And a tuner is not essential for an HTPC. First, not everyone who has an HTPC uses it as a DVR, and second the HR-Homerun is an excellent HDTV tuner and work over your network. Does not require an PCIe slot.
  • 0 Hide
    amdfangirl , June 3, 2010 12:20 PM
    I wish I had it.

    I'd gladly switch to Intel with a mobo this *gasp* awesome.
  • 0 Hide
    Userremoved , June 3, 2010 2:07 PM
    I saw this earlier this month on Linus Tech Tips (NCIX on YouTube) it works nicely it even overclocks.
  • 0 Hide
    huron , June 3, 2010 4:51 PM
    tokenzLooks like it will be a capable htpc. I wonder about the graphics on it though. Will it do 1080p at a good bitrate through the graphics card on the processor?


    From everything I've seen, full HD playback is not a problem. I believe I read the original articles at Anandtech...I'm looking at i3/ITX for another HTPC - seems very capable.
  • 0 Hide
    huron , June 3, 2010 4:54 PM
    cromIt needs more PCI Express slots. If you want it to be a real HTPC it needs slots to put your TV tuner cards. I also wonder how the integrated Intel can handle Blu-Ray decoding.


    I think the ITX form factor is pretty limited in the number of slots it can have...for the small size, you have to make some sacrifices
  • -1 Hide
    klockwerk , July 16, 2010 3:35 PM
    HDMI is going away and will be replaced by ethernet connections. I think I'll wait for that.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , November 18, 2010 12:24 PM
    I used mine with i7 860 and managed to get just 3.2ghz on it... but I only spend 10 mins by increasing the multiplier SPD... nothing else... I did not mess with other memory settings, TRAs, etc etc.. it is also cool at 36-40 degrees Cel. Anyone knows additional settings I can change?