TINY MOTHERBOARDS SEEM to have become all the rage these days, and we’re not talking underpowered, feature derelict things either. Instead it seems like most of the motherboard manufacturers are pushing out some pretty serious hardware in the mini-ITX form factor, which has yet to take off in the consumer space outside of Atom systems.
Gigabyte’s upcoming board is called the GA-H55N-USB3 but we don’t have any more details than what the picture posted on Taiwanese website Xfastests provides. The board is based on the H55 chipset, although the picture is suggesting that there might be an H57 version at a later stage. The layout, just like the Zotac mini-ITX H55 board, is rather unusual compared to a regular desktop board with the chipset located above the CPU socket.
The H55N-USB3 isn’t quite as feature packed as Zotac’s board, although it does offer a pair of USB 3.0 ports in lieu of Zotac’s WiFi card. The rear I/O also consists of a PS/2 port, four USB 2.0 ports, a D-sub, DVI and HDMI port, an eSATA connector, most likely Gigabit Ethernet and 7.1-channel audio with optical S/PDIF out. Apart from this, the board appears to have a pair of USB 2.0 headers, four SATA ports, two memory slots and a PCI Express x16 slot. Gigabyte seems to have gone for a six phase power regulation design, which should make overclockers happy, as so far we haven’t seen any really overclockable mini-ITX boards.
We’re going to try to find out a bit more details about this board and hopefully get our hands on some better pictures. It is meant to go on sale sometime in mid-April for a yet unknown price. The good news for Gigabyte is that it seems to be the first of the top tier motherboard manufacturers to get ready to launch an H55 based mini-ITX board and beating the competition is never a bad thing.S|A
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