Inside the retail H55 package we find the board itself, motherboard manual in multiple languages, I/O shield, EVGA visual installation guide, P55 / H55 driver and utilities installation CD, 4-pin Molex-to-2x SATA power adapter, 2x USB / 1394 FireWire expansion bracket and two SATA cables. The board was properly wrapped in an anti-static bag and showed no signs of damage from being shipped.
For an enthusiast level board, the physical user manual is very lacking. While it looks adequate from the outside, you soon learn otherwise as there are only 13 pages written in English. Only key hardware features are mentioned in the book and the only BIOS information listed is how to access it. There is no mention of any of the BIOS options or their function. There is a slightly more in depth PDF manual on the included CD, but it still doesn't cover all of the BIOS settings.
As we mentioned earlier, the H55 from EVGA is one of only a small handful of full size ATX boards based on the new H55 / H57 / Q57 chipsets from Intel. This particular board, much like their P55 offerings, is built on a stylish black PCB and appears to have a nice, logical layout.
The first thing I noticed about this board was that it supports both LGA 775 and LGA 1156 coolers. This could save you some money if you are upgrading from a 775 system – you can simply recycle your current heatsink. I'm all for increased compatibility and saving money so this earns brownie points in my book.
The I/O panel offers the following interfaces: PS/2 keyboard port, eight USB 2.0 ports, CMOS clear button, DisplayPort port, VGA port, DVI port, FireWire port, Network port and audio ports. Noticeably missing is an eSATA port and an S/PDIF connector. The latter is provided on the board but you will need to supply your own expansion module. I also thought it odd that EVGA went with DisplayPort instead of the more popular HDMI port.
Eight USB ports should be plenty, but if not, there are four additional ports to be had using the onboard headers. I also appreciate the clear CMOS button being easily accessible from outside the case.
Continue ahead as we dig in deeper with the H55.