It’s finally getting serious in the world of tiny motherboards as Gigabyte joins the fray with the launch of its first performance mini-ITX board. Measuring just 17cm x 17cm, the GA-H55N-USB3 is based on the H55 chipset and has USB 3, although it lacks the 802.11n WiFi and a few extra SATA ports that Zotac offers in its very capable mini-ITX board we previously reviewed
As you’d also expect there is the usual Gigabyte feature set of dual-BIOS, 2oz copper PCB and solid capacitors, although overclocking will be limited by the 3+1 phase power included – simply because of the physical size constraints of the mini-ITX platform.
Having sat down for a chat with Gigabyte motherboard gurus (one of whom used to work at VIA), they've always been well aware of the mini-ITX market but claim it wasn’t until Intel put its foot in with G45 that the whole industry moved with it: now there are channel partners requesting performance mini-ITX options to go alongside the new cases and other SFF components which are becoming more available.
Given the competitive feature set of 4 SATA, 1 eSATA, USB 3, x16 PCI-E, Gigabit Ethernet and a full complement of rear I/O ports, we expect the price of Gigabyte’s GA-H55N-US3 to slightly undercut the Zotac board. For bigger pictures, click here
Are you interested in Gigabyte’s latest mini-ITX H55 motherboard? Is mini-ITX a form-factor you think you'd have a use for, or do slightly larger micro-ATX boards do small computing just as well? Sound off in the forums