Gigabyte H55N-USB3: De Facto LGA1156 Mini-ITX Board?

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A board's layout is important as the positioning of components can dictate compatibility with other products like third party heatsinks and also disrupt airflow, making a system more thermally challenging, those this latter aspect is less important on a mini-ITX product.

The short distance between a potential graphics card and the CPU makes choosing a third party heatsink difficult. For smaller cases, our forum dwellers prefer the Thermalright AXP-140. In larger cases, anything that does not extend beyond the mounting lines on the board is suitable, like the Scythe Samurai ZZ.

Cooling may be an issue on the H55N as the PCH heatsink is rather small and a nameplate covers the top. There is also nothing helping cool the voltage regulation circuitry to the left of the CPU socket.

From another angle.

The back panel includes DVI, HDMI, S/PDIF, eSATA, and USB 3.0 (blue) connectors; it's a fairly standard assortment. Please note that the video outputs only work with CPUs supporting Intel GMA HD graphics, i.e. dual core LGA1156 models.

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