This mighty but tiny little blue motherboard: the GA-H55N-USB3, is designed for desktop performance and destop parts, in as little space as possible.
It’s finally getting serious in the world of tiny motherboards as Gigabyte joins the fray with the launch of its first performance mini-ITX board. Measuring just 17cm x 17cm, the GA-H55N-USB3 is based on the H55 chipset and has USB 3, although it lacks the 802.11n WiFi and a few extra SATA ports that Zotac offers in its very capable mini-ITX board we previously reviewed
As you’d also expect there is the usual Gigabyte feature set of dual-BIOS, 2oz copper PCB and solid capacitors, although overclocking will be limited by the 3+1 phase power included – simply because of the physical size constraints of the mini-ITX platform.
Having sat down for a chat with Gigabyte motherboard gurus (one of whom used to work at VIA), they've always been well aware of the mini-ITX market but claim it wasn’t until Intel put its foot in with G45 that the whole industry moved with it: now there are channel partners requesting performance mini-ITX options to go alongside the new cases and other SFF components which are becoming more available.
Given the competitive feature set of 4 SATA, 1 eSATA, USB 3, x16 PCI-E, Gigabit Ethernet and a full complement of rear I/O ports, we expect the price of Gigabyte’s GA-H55N-US3 to slightly undercut the Zotac board. For bigger pictures, click here
Are you interested in Gigabyte’s latest mini-ITX H55 motherboard? Is mini-ITX a form-factor you think you'd have a use for, or do slightly larger micro-ATX boards do small computing just as well? Sound off in the forums