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Foxconn H55MX-S

Budget Computing: Nine H55 And H57 Motherboards Compared
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As the only microATX motherboard in today’s lineup to provide two memory slots, it’s no surprise that the H55MX-S is also the least expensive. Yet the basic features are there for any non-overclocker who appreciates good value, including dual-display capability over an HDMI and a DVI-I port that, unlike those of competing microATX motherboards, actually supports a DVI-to-VGA adapter (since there's not a separate VGA output to monopolize the GPU's single analog pipeline).

The H55MX-S also supports upgrading from integrated to discrete graphics via a PCIe 2.0 x16 slot, although users who want both integrated and discrete graphics to function simultaneously must instead use either the x4 slot or legacy PCI.

The H55MX-S also includes a floppy header and internal serial port breakout, in addition to a rear-panel serial port, making it a good choice for some business system upgrades. However, the lack of any parallel port is somewhat of a setback for the system integrator market, since many legacy software packages require a parallel port security dongle.

Long double-slot graphics cards don’t fall within the H55MX-S’ market, so we were only slightly disappointed when our GeForce GTX 260 graphics card blocked access to two of its SATA ports. A little more concerning is the bottom-rear corner front-panel audio connection, which can be difficult to reach with the short cables of some cases.

BIOS Features

BIOS tuning of the H55MX-S is limited to DRAM speed, timings, and voltage. The CPU ratio can be changed downward, but the base clock and core voltage can only be altered via software.

Accessories

As the least-expensive motherboard in today’s lineup, the H55MX-S has nothing to be ashamed about for its scarcity of drive cables. Instead, the presence of two cables can be viewed as an indictment of its pricier competitors. The one thing we would have liked to see (but not pay for) is a DVI-to-VGA adapter, since the board supports it and has no VGA output on the I/O panel.

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