Power Consumption and Conclusions

Power consumption

ECS H55H-M LGA 1156 mATX Motherboard Review - Intel on a budget - Motherboards 62

ECS H55H-M LGA 1156 mATX Motherboard Review - Intel on a budget - Motherboards 63

We saw fairly significant power spikes in the H55H-M during load testing. Our load tests occurred during three rounds of Cinebench 11.5 on each of the three motherboards above and I couldn’t see any exclusive resources being taxed when we evaluated the H55H-M. During idle testing, the ECS board was only one watt lower than the ASRock motherboard. This isn’t a significant state, but both ECS and ASRock boards were outshined by the MSI H55M-ED55 that seemed to be the most power efficient board of the bunch.                             


Performance

ECS H55H-M LGA 1156 mATX Motherboard Review - Intel on a budget - Motherboards 64

The performance numbers we recorded during H55H-M testing were very surprising considering what ECS had to do to put this motherboard at below $70 retail. The board is stripped of almost everything but what the H55 chipset offers. They even seemed to trim down the heatsinks around the power capacitors to save a few bucks. But, we have to admit the performance we noticed in 3DMark, PCMark, and SiSandra was enough to make us do a double-take at this particular motherboard. ECS also cut down the PCB by more than 40mm in width, which also helps them keep the price down. Overall, don’t be fooled by this board’s small footprint and price. It packs plenty of punch for multimedia and basic HTPC builders.                              


Features 

ECS H55H-M LGA 1156 mATX Motherboard Review - Intel on a budget - Motherboards 65

The feature set associated with the H55H-M is what you’d expect from any H55-based motherboard — support for DDR3 1333, PCI-E x16, and all the latest i3/5/7 processors. The addition of eJiffy, a Linux-based system that allows users access to the internet without booting in the OS, as well as other programs like eOC overclocking, eBLU BIOS live updates, and eDLU driver live updates adds a bit more to this budget package that consumers should consider when they make their purchasing decision.                       

 

Pricing and Availability

As of Aug. 22, 2010, the ECS H55H-M was available at Newegg.com for $64.99 and $2.99 shipping. Consumers can also purchase this board at Amazon.com for $64.99 and eWiz.com for $81.99.


Final Thoughts

 

ECS H55H-M LGA 1156 mATX Motherboard Review - Intel on a budget - Motherboards 66

We like to thank ECS for providing the H55H-M for our review today. We’ve evaluated several H55 motherboards this year and overall been impressed with the capabilities provided by this chipset. It’s low power consumption also makes it an ideal option for HTPC builders and other users looking for a low-cost, budget solution that can handle multimedia applications and gaming at a high level. The lack of RAID and USB 3.0 support is an issue for users looking for a “future proof” solution, but those options can be handled by an add-on card too. So, if you’re look to save some cash and don’t need all the bells and whistles, the H55H-M provides users with a stable, no-frills solution that should be more than adequate for any home theater user or multimedia enthusiast.                                 


Pros

  • Affordable                                                           
  • Good overclocker
  • Decent gaming and multimedia capabilities
  • Smaller footprint than typical micro ATX form factor

Cons

  • No RAID support
  • No USB 3.0 or SATA 6GB/s support
  • No firewire support 

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