Asrock H55 Motherboards

Along with the release of the new Clarkdale processors, a wave of new supporting motherboards will follow. The Asrock H55DE3 (ATX) and H55M Pro (mATX) motherboards both utilize the Intel H55 chipset and should become available soon at a reasonably affordable price point.

Both motherboards support ATI CrossFireX and Quad CrossFireX taking full advantage of the dual PCI Express x16 slots, however only the primary PCI Express x16 slot provides full bandwidth, while the secondary is a PCI Express x4 port (2.5GT/s).

Both H55 boards utilize DDR3 memory in a dual-channel configuration and by default support DDR3-1066/1333 and 1600.

These motherboards are somewhat light on SATA ports as Asrock has decided to just stick with the six ports provided by the H55 chipset. While six ports is generally enough for a budget desktop motherboard, Asrock has sacrificed some ports to provide eSATA on the I/O panel. This leaves the H55DE3 with just four ports, and five for the H55M Pro.

RAID is not supported as this is not a feature offered by the H55 chipset. Those seeking RAID will be required to pick up a H57 or Q57-based board instead.

Although the boards' design are quite basic and do not feature elements such as 90-degree mounted SATA ports, there are some other user-friendly aspects included. For example, Asrock has enabled the use of LGA775 coolers by providing two sets of mounting holes even though these are LGA1156 motherboards.

Finally, what makes these unique compared to existing P55 boards are the ports for HDMI, DVI-D and D-Sub found on the I/O panel. Along with these ports the Asrock H55DE3 features four USB 2.0 ports, dual eSATA ports, five audio jacks, a single LAN port, S/PDIF port and PS/2 port on the I/O panel. The H55M Pro sports a similar configuration, though it swaps one of the eSATA ports for a USB 2.0 port, while also adding Firewire.