Sandy Bridge goodness at a budget.
While it’s true that any new technology comes in quite expensive, it doesn’t long for it to come down in price and be enjoyed by the masses. And so it was that Intel announced the new lineup of H61 express chipsets based on budget motherboards earlier this year. Today I’ll be looking at the ECS H61H2-A and see how this $70 motherboard performs.
Opening the box I see that the ECS H61H2-A is supplied with a rear I/O panel, two SATA cables, a drivers CD and a manual. Pretty basic stuff, but at $70 I wasn’t really expecting much. I guess now is a good time to mention that the ECS H61H2-A ships with USB 2.0 ports (on the rear as well as onboard adapters) and SATA II (3GB/s) ports. Such are the bare specs (and perhaps necessities) of an H61 chipset that it doesn’t natively support USB 3.0 or SATA III.
Looking at the ECS H61H2-A, it looks pretty barebones with only two ram slots and one PCIe x16 slot. The only additional heatsinks are those on the VRMs near the CPU housing and on the H61 chipset below. Even the rear I/O panel seems a bit lackluster.