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Budget Computing: Nine H55 And H57 Motherboards Compared

Is Size A Feature?

The H55 and H57 chipsets may eventually be found in more systems than the P55, which debuted alongside Intel's Lynnfield-based Core i5 and Core i7 processors. After all, the H55 and H57 chipsets are aimed at the cost-conscious segments, where value is often more important than performance (and since Intel's chipsets now play such a small role in determining performance, this is a fair enough assessment).

Realizing that a majority of our readers are indeed interested in the value attainable from a more affordable platform, we decided to dedicated our largest H55 motherboard comparison to getting the most for your money. We requested that manufacturers send us their products best representing the greatest combination of features per dollar.

The result was an eclectic mix of ATX, microATX, and mini-ITX products that present value in several different ways. Our next page shows that the microATX motherboards offer the most features, while larger and smaller competitors use size to separate themselves from the herd.

Found on one of the motherboards being reviewed today, Intel’s H57 chipset is functionally very similar to the less-expensive H55. It includes a bit more USB 2.0 connectivity and the addition of Rapid Storage Technology, enabling software-based RAID support. The remaining motherboards employ H55, with two fewer USB 2.0 ports and SATA RAID modes disabled.