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ECS H67H2-M Black Edition Intel H67 Express Motherboard Review

ECS H67H2-M Black Edition Intel H67 Express Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: On the review bench today PCSTATS tests the ECS H67H2-M Black Edition microATX motherboard, built on the Intel H67 B3-stepping chipset and supporting socket LGA1155 Intel 2nd Generation Core i3/i5/i7 2xxx-series 32nm Sandy Bridge processors.
 84% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: ECS Jan 18 2012   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > ECS H67H2-M Black Edition

Intel H67 Express Chipset Explained

The Intel H67 Platform Controller Hub communicates with socket 1155 'Sandy Bridge' processors over a 20Gb/s DMI link, it contains eight PCI Express 2.0 lanes while the remaining 16-lanes come from the processor itself. Although the Intel H67 and P67 chipsets are very similar feature wise, the chipsets differ in regards to integrated graphics support. The Intel H67 includes Intel's Flexible Display Interface (FDI) so it can output video, the Intel P67 does not.

Intel's FDI can be thought of as a direct line to the integrated graphics core built into every Sandy Bridge microprocessor. An FDI link allows users to unlock Sandy Bridge's integrated graphics core and use it for everyday work, for tasks like hardware-based video transcoding acceleration via Intel Quick Sync, or light gaming.

With the Intel H67 users have access to H.264 & MPEG2 encode and support for HDMI 1.4 with 3D. Standard features brought forth by the Intel H67 / HD 3000 combo include a 4th generation Unified Shader Architecture, H.264, VC-1 and MPEG-2 hardware decoding, 12 Execution Units, Open GL 3.0, Shader Model 4.1 and DirectX 10.1 support.

Lack of DX11 support obviously limits the Intel H67 / HD 3000 IGP's usefulness in the FPS gaming arena, but by that same measure, IGPs aren't meant for intensive FPS gaming. The Intel HD 3000 IGP supports HDMI 1.4 which provides support for Stereo 3D and delivers uncompressed HD video and uncompressed multi-channel audio in a single cable, supporting 720p, 1080i and 1080p formats.

Intel Chipset Feature Breakdown

The Intel H67, P67 and Z68 chipsets are closely related, however the newer Intel Z68 chipset includes tweaking features of the P67 and tools like Intel SRT which PCSTATS has extensively dicussed in here and also here (worth the read!). The chipset feature breakdown chart helps understand the minor differences between each of the three 6-series core logic.

Intel Chipset Feature Comparison
Intel Z68 Express Intel P67 Express Intel H67 Express
CPU LGA 1155
Core i5/i7 2nd Gen.
LGA 1155
Core i5/i7 2nd Gen.
LGA 1155
Core i5/i7 2nd Gen.
Chipset Code Name Couger Point (65nm) Couger Point (65nm) Couger Point (65nm)
Bus Interface / Speed DMI 20Gb/s DMI 20Gb/s DMI 20Gb/s
Memory Support DDR3-1333, dual channel DDR3-1333, dual channel DDR3-1333, dual channel
Maximum Memory Capacity 32GB (64-bit) 32GB (64-bit) 32GB (64-bit)
Integrated Graphics Yes. via CPU - Yes. via CPU
Integrated Graphics Ports HDMI, DVI, DP, VGA - HDMI, DVI, DP, VGA
PCI Express 2.0 Lanes 8 8 8
PCI Express x1 Lanes 0 0 0
Intel Rapid Storage Technology Yes Yes Yes
Intel Smart Response Technology Yes - -
SATA 6Gb/s | SATA 3Gb/s | IDE Ports 2/4/0 2/4/0 2/4/0
RAID 0, 1, 5, 10 0, 1, 5, 10 0, 1, 5, 10
Intelgrated LAN 10/100/1000 MAC 10/100/1000 MAC 10/100/1000 MAC
USB 3.0 Ports 0 0 0
USB 2.0 Ports 14 14 14
PCI Masters 0 0 0
Intel High Definition Audio Yes Yes Yes

QuickSync - Video Transcoding Acceleration

Quick Sync is Intel's name for a hardware based video transcoding acceleration technology. Here's what it can do - In the PCSTATS labs we set about to convert a 450MB 1080i high definition MPEG2 video via Cyberlink MediaShow Espresso 6 to a 640x360 MP4 video format suitable for the iPhone 4.

Video Transcoding Test
Without Intel QuickSync

With Intel QuickSync

Intel Core i5 2500K /

48 sec 14 sec

Using an Intel Core i5 2500K / nVidia Geforce GTX470 / ECS H67H2-M test system, this video transcoded in ~48 seconds. Not a bad length of time, but with the videocard removed and Quick Sync enabled via the Intel HD3000 integrated graphics core things go even faster. The same 450MB video transcods in ~ 14 seconds with Intel Quick Sync enabled.

Socket LGA1155 for Intel 2nd-Generation Core i3/i5/i7 2xxx-series processors.

To use Intel QuickSync you need to plug your display into the motherboard's video ports and run off the Intel HD3000/2000 integrated graphics core. Pretty simple.

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Contents of Article: ECS H67H2-M Black Edition
 Pg 1.  ECS H67H2-M Black Edition Intel H67 Express Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  360-Degree Motherboard Gallery: Features and Layout
 Pg 3.  360-Degree Motherboard Gallery: Continued
 Pg 4.  BIOS Options and Motherboard Power Draw
 Pg 5.  — Intel H67 Express Chipset Explained
 Pg 6.  Power Draw and Test System Specs
 Pg 7.  Motherboard Benchmarks: Sysmark 2007
 Pg 8.  Motherboard Benchmarks: SiSoft Sandra - Processor
 Pg 9.  Motherboard Benchmarks: Sandra - Memory
 Pg 10.  Motherboard Benchmarks: PCMark Vantage
 Pg 11.  Motherboard Benchmarks: 3DMark11
 Pg 12.  Motherboard Benchmarks: 3DMark Vantage
 Pg 13.  Motherboard Benchmarks: 3DMark06
 Pg 14.  IGP Motherboard Benchmarks: DX 11 titles go bust!
 Pg 15.  IGP Motherboard Benchmarks: FEAR, Juarez, Crysis
 Pg 16.  IGP Motherboard Benchmarks: PCmark Vantage on IGP
 Pg 17.  Conclusions: ECS Black Edition H67 Motherboard

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