Gigabyte GA-H55N-USB3 Mini-ITX Motherboard
Author: Shawn Knight
Editor: Zahn Funk
Date: 12-27-2010
Provided by: Gigabyte
First Look

The GA-H55N-USB3 is the only Mini-ITX board in Gigabyte's entire lineup. Much like other Gigabyte boards, the H55N follows a dark blue / light blue / white color scheme for the PCB and board components, only on a much smaller scale. This board is modeled after its bigger brother, the GA-H55-USB3 and is marketed as a Hi-Def entertainment platform.

As you would expect on such a small board, components are placed in close proximity with each other. Starting near the center of the board, we see the 1156 CPU socket is closer to the bottom right of the board than the upper left corner where we are used to seeing it on a full size ATX layout. Flanking the socket we find Lower RDS(on) MOSFETS and Ferrite core chokes.

Also scattered across the board are Japanese Solid Capacitors, boasting 50,000 hours of operation. Furthermore, as a member of Gigabyte's Ultra Durable 3 line, this board features 2 oz Copper PCB which Gigabyte claims improves energy efficiency and enhanced stability for overclocking.

Moving on, we find the CMOS battery, iTE I/O controller chip, a clear CMOS jumper, H55 chipset and 4-pin CPU power connector just north of the CPU socket. To the left of the socket is the NEC D720200F1 USB 3.0 controller chip, a front panel audio header, S/PDIF Out header and the Realtek ALC982 chip. Below the CPU socket is the single PCIe x16 expansion slot and the two BIOS chips in the bottom right corner, labeled M_BIOS and B_BIOS. I assume these stand for Main BIOS and Backup BIOS, respectively.

More just ahead.

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