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A board's layout is important in several regards. The positioning of components
can dictate compatibility with other products like third party heatsinks and
long dual-slot graphics cards. Poorly placed connectors can also disrupt airflow
and make the system more thermally challenging.
The P7H55D-M EVO's layout is excellent. The power connectors are on the
edges of the board and the IDE port is thankfully on its side. In addition,
the board's 6 SATA ports don't interfere with oversized graphics cards.
The CPU socket is surrounded by short, solid-state capacitors and has
plenty of clearance on all sides. There are two 4-pin PWM fan headers
located midway between the socket and the first PCI-E 1x slot.
The most striking feature of the board are the funky VRM heatsinks with
fins of various thickness sticking out at several different angles. They
are only 2.7cm tall measured from the PCB surface which is not enough
to cause any problems for third party coolers.
The back panel is stocked with S/PDIF, FireWire, eSATA, and a pair of
USB 3.0 ports distinguished by their blue color. HDMI, DVI and VGA are
also available for use but only when the board is paired with a Clarkdale
processor with Intel GMA HD graphics.
Narrower heatsinks like the Thermalright MUX-120 won't hang over the memory
slots, but wider ones may interfere with DIMMs with large heatspreaders.
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