Test System Specs & Notes

Initially the plan was to test all four Intel H55 motherboards using the default BIOS settings except for the DDR3 memory frequency and timings, which were set at 1333MHz and CAS8-8-8-20 in each case. All of the boards were using Intel's SpeedStep technology to save power when at an idle state.

For testing we used the Intel Core i3 540 processor as this is the most likely candidate to be paired with an Intel H55 motherboard. Since Turbo Boost is not available on Core i3 chips the motherboards were not tested using this technology. That said, this is a feature we often disable anyway when benchmarking as it can skew the results.

Interestingly, when loading the default BIOS settings, all of the H55 motherboards with the exception of the Asrock H55M Pro used a 133MHz FSB with the 23x clock multiplier for a clock speed of 3059MHz. Instead, the H55M Pro was overclocking the Core i3 540 processor by default utilizing a 138MHz FSB for a processor frequency of 3174MHz.

This gave Asrock's board a 115MHz clock speed advantage over the other H55 motherboards. Almost all the tests we ran favored the H55M Pro for this reason and therefore we forced the FSB back down to 133MHz to offer a fair comparison. It's a sly tactic by Asrock to make their product look superior in terms of performance, but certainly not the first time FSB overclocking has been used by a manufacturer to give their product an artificial edge in benchmarking.

Test System Specs
- Intel Core i5 750
- Intel Core i3 540
- x2 2GB G.Skill DDR3 PC3-12800 (CAS 8-8-8-24)
- Asrock P55 Extreme
- Asrock H55M Pro
- ECS H55H-CM
- Gigabyte H55M-UD2H
- Asus P7H55-M Pro
- OCZ GameXStream (700 watt)
- Seagate 500GB 7200-RPM (Serial ATA300)
- Radeon HD 5850 (1GB)
Software
- Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
- ATI Catalyst 10.2

Test System Specs
- AMD Athlon II X4 635
- x2 2GB G.Skill DDR3 PC3-12800 (CAS 8-8-8-24)
- Asus M4A785TD-M EVO
- OCZ GameXStream (700 watt)
- Seagate 500GB 7200-RPM (Serial ATA300)
- Radeon HD 5850 (1GB)
Software
- Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
- ATI Catalyst 10.2