Power Consumption and Conclusions
The power results were a bit higher on the H55M-ED55 than the other boards we put it up against in our benchmarks today. The idle scores were fairly balanced, but we noticed a 5-watt spike during load testing. We’ll have to work with MSI to determine if this power spike was due to optimizations they made to make the board more stable under similar loads it might see during gaming or other multi-threaded applications. Either way, it’s not a large issue and was very close to what we recorded on the other P55 and H55 motherboards used during our testing.
After throwing this board against a gauntlet of benchmarks and games, we can confidently say the H55M-ED55 was more than ready for the challenge. We were extremely impressed with three specific aspects of this motherboard — multimedia, gaming, and overclocking. Being able to overclock our i7-860 processor to 4GHz with ease gave us a lot of confidence that there was more headroom to hit overclocks well over 4.2GHz. This board’s 3DMark Vantage scores were equally impressive and showed us how versatile it was in different environments like Crysis Warhead and Far Cry 2. Lastly, our multimedia scores in PCMark and Sandra also showed positive signs that it can handle high-definition video and audio output as well as other video transcoding work that’s expected of typical HTPC systems.
MSI went out of their way to include many of their high-end features into this mainstream motherboard. Some of the key features consumers should focus on include the CrossfireX support for multiple GPUs on two PCIe x16 slots, DDR3-2100 support, OC Genie one-touch overclocking, and 8-channel HD audio. One of the only beefs about this board is its lack of support for newer technologies like USB 3.0 and SATA 3.0. This board also lacks RAID support, which has been a common feature in many Intel chipsets in the past.
Pricing and Availability
As of June 30, 2010, the MSI H55M-ED55 is available at Newegg.com for $109.99 before shipping. Consumers can also purchase this board at Amazon.com for $113.19 or Buy.com for $110.99.
We like to thank our friends at MSI for providing the H55M-ED55 for our review today. I’ve had the opportunity to test several MSI boards over the past two years and it seems each year they keep adding new features as well as improving the overall construction and quality of their products. The H55M-ED55 is a great example of their commitment to quality boards that are geared toward overclockers and gamers. We saw good performance results in both of these categories during testing and were impressed with how flexibilty and feature rich the BIOS was. The only complaints we could make about it would be the lack of USB 3.0/SATA3.0 support, but most boards at this price point and class do not have these features standard. The OC Genie button was a great addition and should be used frequently by novice PC builders looking to squeeze a few more megahertz from their Intel processors. Overall, this board really showcased the H55’s fundamental features well and showed that micro ATX boards are legit and can produce great performance for a variety of target user groups.
- Good quality and construction
- Excellent, stable overclocker
- Flexible gaming and multimedia capabilities
- Onboard OC Genie, base clock, power buttons
- No RAID support
- No USB 3.0 or SATA 6GB/s support
- No firewire support
The H55M-ED55’s overclocking and gaming capabilities earned it PC Perspective’s Silver Award!