Asus P7H55D-M EVO LGA1156 microATX Motherboard

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FINAL THOUGHTS

The Asus P7H55D-M EVO is a very solid board with a good layout and plenty of features including eSATA, FireWire and USB 3.0, though it lacks RAID as the chipset does not support it. Compared to the Intel DH55TC, it offers a lot more features and uses higher quality components including better inductors, more solid-state capacitors, and VRM heatsinks. The board also has a nice BIOS with a more than healthy range of frequency and voltage options for all the major components. You'll be happy with it whether you like to overclock to get free performance increases or if you prefer to increase your system's energy efficiency through undervolting. The board's fan control is okay, with customizable settings available for the CPU fan, and a three-speed static setting for the secondary fan header.

The only true weakness we could find was the board's mysterious extra power draw compared to the DH55TC. Strangely, we measured an extra 5W DC draw from the CPU and VRMs when idle which disappeared on load, even though the total system difference remained almost constant at 12W DC regardless of the system state. It does have extra controllers powering the IDE/eSATA, USB 3.0, and FireWire ports, but this doesn't quite explain the measurements we recorded.

The P7H55D-M EVO carries a $135 price-tag, apparently making it the most expensive H55 board on the market at the moment. Even with the extra features it's rather high considering Gigabyte's GA-H55M-USB3 has similar specifications and only costs $110. Gigabyte's board has only minor differences including the addition of a DisplayPort connector, two PCI slots rather than one PCI and one PCI-E 1x slot, and a lack of VRM heatsinks.

Asus P7H55D-M EVO
PROS

* eSATA, FireWire, USB 3.0
* Liberal BIOS options for overclockers and undervolters
CONS

* Higher power consumption than DH55TC
* Price

Our thanks to ASUSTeK for the P7H55D-M EVO sample.

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