Right now there are a number of quality options for budget-conscious users looking to build a new computer. The AMD Phenom II X2 processor series, for example, will get you a fine deal of processing power at just $110 for the 3.2GHz flagship part. Combine this with the affordable AMD 785G based motherboards selling for around $70 and you have the makings of a seriously good value platform.
However, if you are willing to part with a little more cash, then the new Intel Core i3 series might be the way to go. When compared to the dual-core Phenom II X2 555, consumers will pay about $20-$30 more for a Core i3 530 processor, while compatible Intel H55 motherboards are on average $20-$30 more than the AMD alternative as well.
There are a number of quality H55 motherboards available at reasonable prices. Both Asus and Gigabyte have been very competitive with their products in this regard. The Asus P7H55-M Pro for example costs just $100, while the Gigabyte H55M-UD2H is just slightly more expensive at $105.
Despite their affordable price tags there is nothing cheap about either of these products. In fact, they both appear quite high-end and are very well equipped in terms of features. Moreover, if you require something a little cheaper both Asrock and ECS have H55 based motherboards for as little as $80.
The Asrock H55M Pro is an unassuming motherboard with quite an impressive feature set for the money. The ECS H55H-CM on the other hand is more what you'd expect from a product in its price range as it is rather light on features.
Picking the right board for your next Intel H55 based build is no easy task with so many great MicroATX options priced at $100 or less. Therefore in our round-up we have included these four rather different products, which will be put through the usual batch of tests, while we scrutinize their on-board features and overclocking abilities. Read on as we try and determine which provides consumers with the best bang for their buck.