Overview

ASRock’s H67 lineup consists of 6 boards, ranging from $100 to $140, in both micro-ATX and mini-ITX form.  The H67M-GE/HT comes in at $120, and even comes with a USB 3.0 Front Panel with space for an SSD in there.   After a blast with the board, I can safely say ASRock were aiming for the midrange.

Of note, the ASRock board falls down on the single thread benchmarks compared to the P67.  On further inspection, it seems that in single threaded mode, the full 4x turbo was not being applied, but rather a 3x turbo was in place.  It did hit the 4x turbo on occasion, for a minuscule amount of time here and there, but due to the 3x turbo implementation, the ASRock board falls behind.  I emailed ASRock about this, and they responded that this is how the H67 is meant to work, which leads to the conclusion that, if the other H67 boards behave similarly, there are more stringent rules on what constitutes a single thread process on the H67 chipset from Intel themselves.

Visual Inspection

Typically, when I see a blue and white motherboard, I think Gigabyte.  However, with Gigabyte moving towards a black livery on their high end boards, it leaves another company to barge in on the space – enter ASRock.  Maybe blue and white ports are cheaper to produce or something.

One of the first things to notice about this H67 board compared to any others are the small VRM coolers.  The board offers a 4+2 digital VRM setup, four fan headers (three three-pin, one four-pin), and standard mounting holes for your 1155/1156 CPU coolers.  There are also mounting holes for socket 775 coolers, making that old cooler last even longer.  There is enough space to mount a number of large air coolers, or your favorite all-in-one water cooler.

The low profile chipset cooler is used, so as not to interfere with large PCIe x16 cards.  With a dual-slot PCIe x16 card, there is still access to a PCIe x1 and PCI slot; however I would have preferred one of the PCIe x1 slots above the PCIe x16.  There are five SATA ports on board – two SATA 6 Gb/s (white) and three SATA 3 GB/s (blue).  The SATA ports are sticking out of the board, contrary to what we have seen with the P67 boards so far – they are also facing each other, potentially making wiring more difficult if all 5 ports are being used.

We were not expecting debug LED and power/reset buttons on this $120 board, and true to form, none are provided.  However, as you will see on the ECS board which comes in at $145 later in this combination review, they do come in on some H67 products.  In our P67 reviews thus far however, the cheap ASRock P67 board had the debug LED and power/reset buttons and the more expensive ASUS/Gigabyte boards did not.  This time, we are not so lucky.  But with H67, maybe we do not need them.  We will look into this later.

In terms of legacy connectors, we still have the floppy connector here, and the PS/2 port on the back panel.  Onboard ports come in the form of 3 USB 2.0 headers, one USB 3.0 header, and an extra firewire port.

The back panel is not exactly brimming with connectivity, but we are looking at four USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, gigabit Ethernet, eSATA, audio, and quad display outputs – DisplayPort, HDMI, DVI-D and D-Sub. 

H67 – What to expect ASRock H67M-GE/HT: Board Features, In The Box, Software
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  • james.jwb - Sunday, March 27, 2011 - link

    "However, I remember the time when I was a scrimping student. I wanted high gaming performance at the lowest cost – if Sandy Bridge was out then, and I was specifically after the Sandy Bridge platform over anything AMD, then a H67 with an i3-2100 and the biggest graphics card I could afford would be a viable option."

    When I was in this position, i'd go for the cheapest CPU and overclock it so it was faster than anything on the market. I'd be surprised if this wasn't the norm for people on a tight budget.
    Reply
  • IanCutress - Sunday, March 27, 2011 - link

    My argument mainly for my comment is that the CPU is becoming less of a factor for gaming, thus shifting the focus away from a CPU OC to a large GPU. It used to be the case that the CPU made a large difference as well, but it my mind it's not that much of an issue with a strong default CPU speed and cores available. Nevertheless, the AMD + cheap tri/quad core is on the other side of the coin.

    Ian
    Reply
  • slickr - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    Intel mobos are crap. Only for overclocking and only for graphics, where is the middle?

    And they are too expensive, hopefully AMD wipes the floor with them with their new Buldozer platform.
    Reply
  • omelet - Sunday, March 27, 2011 - link

    Wouldn't someone wanting SB gaming on a budget be more likely to want an H61? You can get such a board from ASRock for like 60 bucks. That's $60 more you'd be able to spend on the GPU, and you'd still have every feature you need. The only real performance difference is that there's no SATA 6Gbps, but budget gamers don't have drives that need that anyway. Reply
  • yzkbug - Sunday, March 27, 2011 - link

    Totally agree. I’m looking for a good, reliable, budget-priced motherboard for my new HTPC. Would love to see a comparison review of H61 motherboards, especially the power comparison numbers. Reply
  • Taft12 - Sunday, March 27, 2011 - link

    I'd need to know at what point the 6 PCIE lanes on H61 begins to get in the way of the GPUs performance. Someone will surely do the testing to show us in the near future. Noticeable on, say, a 6850? Or do we need a much higher-end GPU for a bottlenect? Reply
  • DanNeely - Sunday, March 27, 2011 - link

    The GPU would still be running on the 16 lanes from the CPU. You just have 2 less lanes for 2ndary slots and onboard devices. I don't think it's likely to be an issue except in that you're much less likely to get a second x4 slot (1/11 vs 6/16 on newegg), and the 1 H61 board that does it has legacy PCI slots for the other 2 spaces, while 5/6 H67 boards have at least 1 1x slot as well. Reply
  • omelet - Sunday, March 27, 2011 - link

    This is very confusing. All the boards claim to have x16 slots, but they can't possibly run at x16 if none of the boards on the table even have 16 lanes. A P67 running two cards would have to run each at 4x, or even lower if there are any x1 slots on the board (as there are on most boards).

    It might be explained as being an x16 slot running at a lower speed, except for the fact that P67 and P55 both specify that they can run two cards at x8/x8, which can only mean that they run the x16 slots at 8 lanes each when you have two cards plugged in. That should also be impossible according to the table.

    Other sources I've found on the internet seem to imply that the x16 slot on the H61 runs at full x16 speed. I think perhaps we just need some clarification on what the values on the table here mean.
    Reply
  • ajp_anton - Sunday, March 27, 2011 - link

    There are two sources for PCIe lanes. The CPUs all have x16 (only for graphics), the rest (what is shown in the table) come from the motherboard chip (H67 etc). Reply
  • Roland00Address - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    No ahci means no trim for SSDs. Just pointing this out for while a gamer on a budget may not care about this feature, people who want a quicker machine for everday use or htpc and thus want a SSD would be better suited with H67. Reply

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