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Gigabyte to launch Core i5 mini-ITX board

Gigabyte to launch Core i5 mini-ITX board

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.

Gigabyte to launch Core i5 mini-ITX board Gigabyte to try mini-ITX, launches H55 board

15 Comments

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stonedsurd 14th April 2010, 11:29 Quote
More choice can never be a bad thing.

Get one in for a review!
do_it_anyway 14th April 2010, 11:39 Quote
If I was to buy one these form factors it would be to make a tiny media PC that the wife would not mind having under the telly.
With this in mind it seems an omission to leave out the 802.11n Wifi. At first I thought they may have left out n but included b/g but I have looked at the photo's and don't see any wifi at all, just a LAN port. All of which means I think Gigabyte have missed a large section of the market.
After all, there is no option to add a wireless card......
ffjason 14th April 2010, 11:43 Quote
I am definitely interested. I currently have a core 2 setup on m-itx so this would be a nice upgrade path to have avalable.
Bindibadgi 14th April 2010, 11:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by do_it_anyway
If I was to buy one these form factors it would be to make a tiny media PC that the wife would not mind having under the telly.
With this in mind it seems an omission to leave out the 802.11n Wifi. At first I thought they may have left out n but included b/g but I have looked at the photo's and don't see any wifi at all, just a LAN port. All of which means I think Gigabyte have missed a large section of the market.
After all, there is no option to add a wireless card......

USB Wifi or PCI-E x1 since the x16 slot is backward compatible ;)
V3ctor 14th April 2010, 11:58 Quote
Those SATA ports up there are reaaaally strange... but it's a great little mobo :)
bodkin 14th April 2010, 12:17 Quote
Thats rely nice! Are there any passive cpu coolers that can handle a undervolted i5?
do_it_anyway 14th April 2010, 12:38 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi

USB Wifi or PCI-E x1 since the x16 slot is backward compatible ;)
I would use the PCI-E for dedicated graphics for better HD decoding, but how did I forget USB wireless? How utterly stupid of me. Thanks for that. Its back on the shopping list :)
Singularity 14th April 2010, 13:41 Quote
Why better HD decoding? The IGP in the i3/i5 CPUs does HD decoding normally.
Bindibadgi 14th April 2010, 15:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Singularity
Why better HD decoding? The IGP in the i3/i5 CPUs does HD decoding normally.

This ^^

A big honking graphics card + small mini-ITX board kinda defeats the point
jjsyht 14th April 2010, 17:39 Quote
This can be one hell of a gaming machine!!! :D

For under-Telly machine, Atom + ION does it best
do_it_anyway 14th April 2010, 19:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
Quote:
Originally Posted by Singularity
Why better HD decoding? The IGP in the i3/i5 CPUs does HD decoding normally.

This ^^

A big honking graphics card + small mini-ITX board kinda defeats the point
Ooops. Having a really bad day :(
Could've sworn when the IGP was first reviewed it struggled with Blu-ray playback, but looking back at this: http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/graphics/2010/01/25/intel-gma-hd-graphics-performance/7
I can see that bluray playback was fine. Really don't know wether I am coming or going today. Back to school for me.
Incidently, I wasn't thinking about a dobber of a card, just a passive little one, but it doesn't matter any more.
Denis_iii 14th April 2010, 20:59 Quote
nice, shame about no SATA 3
i'd add this to a Sugo SG07 with a ATI HD5870
Farting Bob 14th April 2010, 23:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by bodkin
Thats rely nice! Are there any passive cpu coolers that can handle a undervolted i5?

Yes, many. Pretty much any heatpipe based tower heatsink large enough for a 120mm fan. Finding one that will fit in a small case that you would put this into though might be harder.
Solaralchemist 21st April 2010, 06:40 Quote
I like the mini-itx form factor, I use it for most of my HTPC builds, and honestly I actually very happy to see a good quality board manufacturer enter the space. I want another decent option other than Zotac! That being said I'll have to wait till I start using H55 boards from either till they put a Nvidia chip on the board, I want future mini-htpc builds to be 3d ready! :)
madefila 22nd April 2010, 20:11 Quote
Can you recommend a quiet power supply for this type of board, even an external brick. I have a spare Antec 1480 case with a full height Sony BD ROM but the power supply it come with is as noisy as jet engine. It only use is a PVR and music player I have a USB Hauppauge Freeview stick All works fine with Win 7, except tha noisy power supply.
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