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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  • bigboxes - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    That's why I always have a spare video card for just such an emergency. Since my motherboards tend to be on the higher end they don't have video out anyways. I wouldn't want the mfg to take away other ports just to include video out. It makes sense on HTPC applications as well as low end or micro-ATX boxes where utility is the priority. I just buy a cheap card that is $30 after rebate and leave it in the box until I need it for troubleshooting or in case of emergency.
  • rustycurse - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    on page 1:
    "The same question ultimately applies to the Sandy Bridge chipsets – why only allow CPU overclocking on P67 (and Z68 in the future)? "
    I was always thought that term 'Sandy Bridge' is applied to CPU technology and 'Cougar point' to the chipset or am I wrong?
    ...but about shown mobos ... neither of them suit my tasks. I won't buy it
  • crispbp04 - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    "The ECS H67H2-M is a few serious check points against it as a board to use."

    is or has?
  • WasabiVengeance - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    Quick question: How many of those vid outputs can the board actually use simultaneously? Previously intel chipsets were limited to 2.
  • Shadowmaster625 - Monday, March 28, 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."

    That would be a huge waste of money. Why buy an i3-2100 if you're just going to plug in a gpu anyway? And why buy an H67 when it clearly costs $50 beyond what it should, especially since it has no northbridge.

    An ASRock M3A770DE motherboard AND an Athlon X3 cpu together costs the same as one of these H67 scams. Not to mention the $125 for the intel cpu. No way. If I needed more cpu performance I would get the Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition and still have an extra $50 that could go into a better gpu.
  • DaveSimmons - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    For budget gaming, H61 seems the better choice by far, with motherboards in the $60-65 range, At that price the price advantage of AMD budget CPUs go away (at stock speed anyway) and the intel HSF is quieter than stock AMD HSF from what I've read.

    SilentPCReview compared Intel Core i3-2100 vs. AMD Phenom II X2 565 and the intel won on both performance and power use. Spend a bit more for an i5 and you'll have a solid midrange gaming system.at a budget price.
  • ritchan - Tuesday, March 29, 2011 - link

    "With H67 and its no overclocking rule, the market that wants a cheaper board can get that cheaper board."

    Yet these reviewed boards are still on average more expensive than an AMD board in an equivalent market segment. Which support overclocking and core unlocking. Also, bargain bin motherboards haven't been known for their overclocking prowess, i.e. the power window argument doesn't hold. If you're buying cheap, you get that power window anyway.

    Also notice how the cheaper AMD boards like the 870-UD3R or MSI's boards come with absolutely no heatsinks on the VRMs. Bye bye, power window argument.

    Stop trying to justify negative market segmentation. The H67/P67 split is a step back from where things were before, and it only gives Intel a good excuse to charge extra for overclocking enabled chipsets in the future. Wait, they're already doing that... and you're sugarcoating it for them.
  • glad2meetu - Tuesday, March 29, 2011 - link

    I think Intel has done a very poor job with the Sandy Bridge release. Intel appears like it is lost in the woods these days and needs a new CEO.

    I think I would choose a ASUS or a Gigabyte motherboard if I had to pick one for Sandy Bridge. I am surprised how poor the Intel chipsets are. Intel inside no longer means anything special.
  • strikeback03 - Tuesday, March 29, 2011 - link

    The CPUs are special. The rest of the platform, not so much. If Z68 had been included at launch, and all 6 series chipsets had included USB3 and all SATA ports 6Gbps (not just 2) then I would have a different opinion.
  • strikeback03 - Tuesday, March 29, 2011 - link

    Is a cooling fan for RAM really necessary on a platform that allows essentially no overclocking and has relatively fixed memory settings?

    Also, Intel advertising these CPUs as having a certain multiplier in single-threaded mode then not letting the motherboards use that multiplier is a load of bull.

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