Inexpensive but is it really good value?

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By  Jason Saundalkar Published  March 28, 2010

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Key Specs

Form factor: micro-ATX
Memory type: DDR3
PCI slots: 1
Price: $85
Warranty: Two-year

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ECS is known for entry-level, inexpensive components, so it didn’t surprise us when we learnt that the H55H-CM retails for just US $85. At this price it is the least expensive board here.

Owing to the board’s positioning and low cost, it isn’t brimming with features. It only offers one PCI-E x16 slot for starters, so you can’t run a multi-GPU setup and also lacks an IDE header. Because of this you won’t be able to use older IDE hard drives or optical drives, if you’re upgrading from an older machine.

The H55H-CM ships without a rear-mounted e-SATA port as well, so you’ll have to rely on USB2.0 connectivity or invest on an e-SATA add-on card, if you want to connect via this interface to external storage devices.

The motherboard’s BIOS also restricts overclocking because while you can modify the CPU’s bus frequency and multiplier ratio, you cannot increase or decrease the CPU’s Vcore voltage. Similarly, while you can tweak the frequency of the PCI-E bus and your system memory, there are no voltage options here either. As a result the ECS is the least overclockable motherboard here.

Moving to performance the H55H-CM performed quite well. While its Cinebench 10 CPU score was the lowest in the grouptest, its results in our DivX 7, Lame 3.97, WinRAR and World in Conflict benchmarks were better than the much more expensive MSI H57M-ED65.

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