Anyone looking to build their own computer will need to make sure they’re choosing the very best components they can afford. One of the most essential components in any computer is the motherboard. This is the board which everything plugs into. Choosing the right motherboard will reduce your build costs and create a very reliable stable computer. One board that is worth a look at is the Gigabyte GA-H55M-UD2H.
What are the Advantages of Gigabyte GA-H55M-UD2H Motherboard?
- Great Value for Money.
- Lots of on board features.
- High Definition Video as standard.
- Can be Overclocked.
- Checking Compatibility.
This is a Micro-ATX board which means it’s one of the smallest full featured motherboards commonly available. This can be put into virtually any case which supports MicroATX motherboards. Despite its small size it has a lot of features on the board. This includes two full 16x PCI express expansion slots; this is quite an unusual feature on such a low priced motherboard. This motherboard uses the H55 chipset, which means it’s compatible with any Intel processor using the LGA1156 architecture. This even supports the very impressive i5 fusion chips, which have integrated GPU.
The Gigabyte UD2H supports the highest speed DDR3 2200Mhz currently available. The board features several video output options including VGA, Display port and HDMI to make it easy to connect to a variety of devices.
The most important specs of this motherboard are as follows:
- Supports Intel i3, i5 and i7 processors in the LGA1156 package
- Supports up to 16GB of DDR3 RAM (4 sticks of 4GB)
- Built in High Definition Audio
- Built in Wired LAN Networking
The connections on the board include:
- 5 SATA Connectors
- 1 eSata Connector
- 1 IDE Connector – For older drives
- 1 Floppy Disk connector – Just in case
- 2 x PCI Expansion Slots
- 2 x PCI Express Expansion Slots – Please note, one runs at 16x, the other is limited to 4x.
- Headers for a further 6 USB ports which can be located on the front, sides or rear of the case
As this is a MicroATX motherboard space is at a premium. This means that there are only four expansion slots in total, two PCI express ports, and two regular PCI slots. This does limit future expansion somewhat and this might be a problem for anyone that uses a lot of expansion cards. Also note that one of the PCI expresses slots only has 4 lanes.
The connectors on the back of the board include:
- Graphics Ports – DVI, VGA, Display Port and HDMI
- 6 USB ports built in (6 more can be added with headers, see above)
- 6 Audio Jacks for surround sound- Optical Audio Connector
- Optical Audio Jack
- RJ45 LAN Port
- eSATA connector
- One PS/2 Port for a mouse or keyboard
These ports make it easy to attach new peripherals to your computer. Unlike older boards, only a single PS/2 port is provided as normally both the mouse and keyboard will now be connected by USB.
Looking at the Design
Although you will be hiding this motherboard away inside a case and never see it, I still think aesthetics are very important. The UD2H is quite a nice looking board, although there is one minor issue with the layout. The RAM slots are located close to the main PCI-e slot. This means that your graphics card will be very close to the RAM, which could result in the buildup of excess heat which could cause the computer to be unstable.
This motherboard is designed using new techniques to reduce heat and power consumption. This makes it much easier to overlook the processors to higher speeds without suffering from instability problems.
What are the Key Features?
There are some very nice features included as standard on the UD2H board from Gigabyte. The Intel integrated graphics are quite impressive, although if you do need better graphics capabilities, then it is possible to add an extra graphics card in the PCI-e slot. One interesting feature is 3x USB, this allows you to charge certain devices from the USB port on your computer even when it is turned off.
Then Why is it so Cheap?
For such a full featured and powerful board it does seem like a great deal. The more suspicious among you might be wondering what is missing on the board. It is actually true that some corners have been cut in order to reduce the price. The most noticeable things missing from this board are USB 3.0 and 6 Gbps SATA. These aren’t deal breakers as few people will actually use them at the moment, but this could effectively limit the lifespan of this board when this technology becomes mainstream.
That said, this is a fantastic motherhood and is great value for money. The small size of the board and integrated graphics would make this an ideal motherboard for a home entertainment computer connected to your TV using the HDMI port.