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GIGABYTE H55N-USB3 (Intel H55 Express) Mini-ITX Motherboard - BIOS and Overclocking

Want to drop some power in your pocket? Well, GIGABYTE has an interesting board for you to consider. The Mini-ITX H55N-USB3 is small, yet powerful.

| Socket LGA 1156 in Motherboards | Posted: Jul 28, 2010 7:44 am
TweakTown Rating: 91%Manufacturer: GIGABYTE

BIOS

 

Despite its small size the H55N-USB3 has a very complete BIOS. When you get into the BIOS you are greeted by the now familiar M.I.T pages. GIGABYTE has developed these pages to make sure that you get the most information on each page.

 

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Now this is a laudable goal, but it does cause some moving around to find things when you are overclocking. For reference there is a single page with all of the current CPU information on it. It is nice to be able to view it, but it is not of much use when you are trying to get the CPU going.

 

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To get into the meat of the clock settings, your first stop should be the Advanced Frequency Settings page. Here on a single page you can find most of the options you need to adjust the BCLK, ratio, GPU clock, etc. You can also change some of the core CPU features like HyperThreading and Turbo mode by drilling down into the ADV CPU core Features menu.

 

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Other pages cover the memory settings and basic voltage controls.

 

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The rest of the pages deal with the usual peripherals that are attached to the system.

 

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Overclocking

 

For our overclocking tests with the H55N-USB3 we used the EasyTune 6 software and ran the QuickBoost. This got us to a great starting point to push things further. However, no matter what we did we were not able to get much higher than a 162MHz BCLK (QuickBoost ran us up to 160MHz). We ended up with a stable clock of 162x25 (4.212GHz). This is somewhat behind our lab record for this CPU.

 

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You can see the validation for the Core i5 661 and the H55N-USB3 here.

 

As all overclocking results are dependent on the hardware you use, your results may vary. Results of our overclocking tests are included in the performance section with the stock scores.

 


EasyTune 6

 

The EasyTune software is nice, but it can be a little complex for the first time overclocker.

 

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when you open the utility it takes you to the Tuner; here you have three basic options for a quick OC to get things rolling. You can choose to switch out of that to get more control over the clock you are looking to get.

 

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On the easy page you can change the BLCK only while on the Advanced page you get considerably more room to play.

 

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There is more to see in EasyTune 6. The first tab gives you the same read out that CPUz would. These tie in with the memory information on the memory tab.

 

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You can also change the options for GB's smart fans. There is also a fairly nice hardware monitor.

 

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Important Editor Note: Our maximum overclocking result is the best result we managed in our limited time of testing the motherboard. Due to time constraints we weren't able to tweak the motherboard to the absolute maximum and find the highest possible FSB, as this could take days to find properly. We do however spend at least a few hours overclocking every motherboard to try and find the highest possible overclock in that time frame. You may or may not be able to overclock higher if you spend more time tweaking or as new BIOS updates are released. "Burn-in" time might also come into play if you believe in that.

 

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