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Thread: GA-H55N-USB3 MB from GIGABYTE

  1. #1
    Maximum Bitrate Mickz's Avatar
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    GA-H55N-USB3 MB from GIGABYTE

    A Quick review of the GA-H55N-USB3 MB from GIGABYTE. – If it’s been done – apologies – I did search!

    Mini-ITX Form Factor; 17.0cm x 17.0cm

    One of the nicest features is included with the onboard (CPU) graphics, Its the software for roll your own Display driver with all associated parameters.

    I had 800x480 for my 8” 16:9 LCD running in a minute or so. No Drivers no hassles.

    This MB is one of the strongest and beautifully made MB I have seen in a long time.

    I run Win7, an Intel i3 540 INTEL CORE i3 3.06GHZ, 4GB of ram and a 60GB OCZ SSD.

    The total power consumption of the system when playing a movie is 36 to 46 watts. This thing runs silent and almost cold. This includes USB devices all running from an M4-ATX 250W supply.

    SSD drives resumes from STR in 2.2 seconds under Win7.

    The MB Post takes around 15 seconds from cold boot though – sigh - However the SSD drive loads Win7 in 10 to 12 seconds.


    Supporting the latest Intel® Core™ i7, Core™ i5 and Core™ i3 processors featuring the first time ever integrated graphics on chip and LGA 1156 socket(Core™ i5 and Core™ i3 processors only)

    Memory:

    1. 2 x 1.5V DDR3 DIMM sockets supporting up to 8 GB of system memory (Note 1)
    2. Dual channel memory architecture
    3. Support for DDR3 1666 (O.C.)/1333/1066/800 MHz memory modules
    4. Support for non-ECC memory modules
    5. Support for Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) memory modules


    Integrated in the Chipset: ONLY with an Intel CPU with integrated graphics.

    1 x D-Sub port
    1 x DVI-D port - The DVI-D port does not support D-Sub connection by an adapter.
    1 x HDMI port (Note 4)

    Audio:

    Realtek ALC892 codec. High Definition Audio 2/4/5.1/7.1-channel. Support for S/PDIF Out

    LAN:

    1 x Realtek RTL8111E chip (10/100/1000 Mbit


    Expansion:

    1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x16 (The PCIEX16 slot conforms to PCI Express 2.0 standard.)

    Storage:

    1. 4 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors supporting up to 4 SATA 3Gb/s devices
    2. 1 x eSATA 3Gb/s connector on the back panel supporting up to 1 SATA 3Gb/s device


    Integrated in the Chipset

    Up to 8 USB 2.0/1.1 ports (4 on the back panel, 4 via the USB brackets connected to the internal USB headers)

    NEC D720200F1 chip: Up to 2 USB 3.0/2.0 ports on the back panel

    Internal Connectors:

    1. 1 x 24-pin ATX main power connector Connectors
    2. 1 x 4-pin ATX 12V power connector
    3. 4 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors
    4. 1 x CPU fan header
    5. 1 x system fan header
    6. 1 x front panel header
    7. 1 x front panel audio header
    8. 1 x S/PDIF Out header
    9. 2 x USB 2.0/1.1 headers
    10. 1 x debug card header
    11. 1 x chassis intrusion header
    12. 1 x clearing CMOS jumper

    Back Panel:

    1. 1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse port Connectors
    2. 1 x D-Sub port (Note 2)
    3. 1 x DVI-D port (Note 2)(Note 3) (Note 4)
    4. 1 x optical S/PDIF Out connector
    5. 1 x HDMI port (Note 2)(Note 4)
    6. 4 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports
    7. 2 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports
    8. 1 x eSATA 3Gb/s connector
    9. 1 x RJ-45 port
    10. 6 x audio jacks (Center/Subwoofer Speaker Out/Rear Speaker Out/ Side Speaker Out/Line In/Line Out/Microphone)

  2. #2
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    Is that 15 seconds from power on to end of BIOS / start of loading windows? Thats pretty extreme!

    Did you trial that with no usb devices plugged in, video priority set in the bios to onboard first?

    Just that I am interested in this unit, however I would use cold boot quite often (M4 only allows for 19 hours on standby, so it cold boots at least once a week).

    Otherwise, thats one excellent looking board, I have been keen on this ever since it was announced, just need to push the wife for an upgrade I think!

  3. #3
    Maximum Bitrate Mickz's Avatar
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    I’m surprised at the time as well – From cold boot, there is about a 5 second delay before the CPU fan moves up in speed, at that point the normal post screen appears. From there it’s pretty quick considering that the SSD runs in AHCI mode – not IDE. This drive/port scanning appears to be fast compared to other MB’s I have.

    Yes I have on board graphics set to first.
    It makes no difference if I have no USB or 5 USB devices plugged in.

    A reboot is quick as this initial 5 second power on is skipped.

    Power on from suspend to the Win7 desktop – no hourglass, is around 2.5 seconds.
    Total cold boot from the SSD to the Front End on screen is around 32 to 37 seconds.

    I’ve just backed out the driveway in that time. As reversing camera does not need the PC running of course, I hardly notice the time.

    If you took off that 5 seconds and the AHCI scan you would be down to about 7 seconds. Oh well, I’m getting older and slower so maybe I don’t notice it as much.

    I have been so busy building, Programming and reverse engineering the Accord Climate-Control CPU and getting everything installed that I have not had a chance to sit down and go through all settings. Maybe in the New Year.

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    Thats good to know that things like USB devices doesn't change it, I know some other boards suffer from huge delays due to USB devices.

    Possibly that might clear up down the track from a bios update, but hey, if that's all that is wrong with the board, its almost nitpicking!

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    Maximum Bitrate Mickz's Avatar
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    Yes, quite so as it’s a rev 1 Bios.

    I can only add that this is my favourite all time MB.

    That delay is the only thing I can pick with it. It’s performed flawlessly with the hundreds of reboots, running power cuts and abuse as I modified the PSU and built the final System.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mickz View Post
    Yes, quite so as it’s a rev 1 Bios.

    I can only add that this is my favourite all time MB.

    That delay is the only thing I can pick with it. It’s performed flawlessly with the hundreds of reboots, running power cuts and abuse as I modified the PSU and built the final System.
    I couldn't agree more.

    I've been running this in my truck from about 6 months and couldn't be happier. As mentioned, not the fastest bootup on the block, but great features and flawless performance make up for it. I'm running an i3 530, 4gb RAM, 64gb SSD boot drive (SATAII), and a 500gb 2.5" media drive off an m2-ATX without a glich. I have the same board, processor and ram in a micro-ATX form factor running as a HTPC in the house.

    I plan to upgrade the drives to SataIII after Christmas (when I get some more money!)

    Highly recommended!

    VegasGuy

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    I was hoping for a bit more from your review because it's largely a rehash of the spec sheet which we can all find. What frontend are you running? What specific USB devices do you run? What BIOS settings have you modified? How is multitasking (i.e., playing music while running GPS)? CPU load while watching a movie? Is it a 1080P movie?

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    Maximum Bitrate Mickz's Avatar
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    This was mainly aimed at the quality and construction of the board.

    The Front End is designed and written by me.

    The USB devices and associated Microcontrollers are all designed, built and programmed by me.

    The only commercial USB devices are a Garmin GPS RX and a Digital-FM tuner with the tuner control software again written by me for the front end.

    I don’t watch movies while driving or while in the car.

    No mother-board running an I3 processor at over 3GHz and 4GB of ram should have any problem multitasking anything needed in a car-PC unless the software is crap or you are running a SMALL amount of ram.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mickz View Post
    This was mainly aimed at the quality and construction of the board.

    The Front End is designed and written by me.

    The USB devices and associated Microcontrollers are all designed, built and programmed by me.

    The only commercial USB devices are a Garmin GPS RX and a Digital-FM tuner with the tuner control software again written by me for the front end.

    I don’t watch movies while driving or while in the car.

    No mother-board running an I3 processor at over 3GHz and 4GB of ram should have any problem multitasking anything needed in a car-PC unless the software is crap or you are running a SMALL amount of ram.
    Ahhh I see. Sounds like an interesting setup you got. Agreed about your multitasking comment & software being poorly written which has been experience in the past.

    How long have you been running this new mobo?

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    To follow up with Mickz's post, here's a quick synopsis of my environment:

    Gigabyte GA-H55M-USB3 motherboard, i3 530 processor, 4gb RAM
    128gb Crucial SSD (boot), 500gb Hitachi 2.5 (media)
    Windows 7 ultimate, Centrafuse 3.1, Bluesoleil 8, Garmin GMPC
    XMPCR satellite radion, Visteon HDZ300 HD radio
    Generic ELM327 OBDII, BU-353 USB GPS
    Uniden BCT8 UHF/VHF scanner with custom control plugin
    RelayPros PWM81 8-channel relay controller with custom control plugin
    Creative HD webcam with custom control plugin
    Clear 3G/4G Wimax with Cradlepoint MDR1200 failover router
    DroidX with custom remote control app for Centrafuse
    Custom video streaming app for sending live video out to my media server.
    Over a dozen custom plugins for streaming internet media, Google services, traffic, weather, social media, RSS etc...

    If it's not pretty obvious, this is a fairly robust machine for a carPC. I can pretty much run anything and everything simultaneously without any real problem (as Mickz said, I'd be surprised if it didn't!).

    But if you need an example, I can encode and stream live, 30fps video from my Sony Handycam, while recording it locally and viewing it (along with my webcam) in a PIP display. I capture live GPS position data along with OBDII data and overlay it on the recording, while listening to XM radio and have Garmin provides navigation and routing. I see around 35-60% processor usage in this scenario.

    As a side note, the M2-ATX has no problem powering this setup. If you're looking for (an admittedly) high-performance system that is VERY frugal with it's power requirements, you'd be pretty hard pressed to find a better value than this motherboard. As I said, I have 2 (one ITX, one ATX). Highly recommended.

    VegasGuy

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