Motherboards for the LGA1156 processors from Intel were quite expensive. However, the prices are dramatically decreasing in the recent months. But now, budget PCs that are using Intel are back on the market. The most suitable motherboard for budget PCs is the Asus P7H55-M from Asus. This motherboard uses the H55 Express chipset.
There are several versions of this microATX motherboard. The expensive versions are adding extras like USB 3.0 and SATA 3. However, for regular users, the basic version of this motherboard is already sufficient. The basic version can even be considered as a well-equipped motherboard, finding the low pricing. The other cheap board, the Gigabyte GA-H55M-S2 is missing few things to compromise its low price, but this one does not.
The Asus P7H55-M motherboard can fully complement four memory slots. The users of this motherboard can add up to 16 GB of memory. This motherboard also has an IDE connector, something that the GA-H55M-S2 does not have.
There are some additional ports on the back panel of this motherboard. There is an HDMI output, which is excellent because most monitors on the market now have HDMI inputs. The users can output audio through the HDMI, including high definition audios.
To use the VGA and HDMI outputs of this motherboard, the users need to use an Intel processor that has a built-in graphics core. Even though most of the chips have graphics core, the Corei5-750 and Corei5-760 do not. Ideally, this motherboard should be accompanied by the Pentium G6950. This processor costs around £65, but a PC that uses this combination should not have any problem with Full HD video playback.
People who want to play modern 3D games with this motherboard will need to add a graphics card. There is a PCI-Express x16 slot provided on this motherboard. There are also PCI-Express x1 slot and standard PCI slot that can be used for older cards.
This motherboard has 6 SATA 2 ports for internal storage devices. It also has 6 USB ports on the back panel, and a Gigabit Ethernet port for wired networking. People who need USB3 support can use the P7H55-M/USB3, but they would have to pay around £75 for it.
For benchmarking, we assemble the P7H55-M with Core i5-750 processor and 4 GB DDR memory. The assembly scored 138 overall, and it is relatively the same results as other boards based on this chipset.
The P7H55-M motherboard is not a fancy motherboard with features like USB3, but it can provide the users with many things that they need from a good PC. Intel is going to launch its new processors codenamed with Sandy Bridge. However, there are rumours that the motherboard prices are likely to be high. People will have to wait for a long time if they want to build an affordable PC using them.
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