Intel DH55TC - Page 8

..:: PCMark Vantage ::..

Finally today, we have the series of PCMark Vantage benchmark results. We chose to ran several of the individual tests and report each set of results as is. This shows where each processor may or may not perform better than the competitors. The primary benchmark where we saw the i5-661 run circles around the other two was in Communications. This benchmark is heavily based on encryption / decryption so we see the benefits of those additional AES instructions popping up again. There can be no doubt, if you encrypt your drive or files, Westmere can't be touched by anything else Intel has on the market for the mainstream or even high end desktop. That result provided a boost to the overall PCMark score and the i5-661 and i5-750 post nearly identical scores. The remainder of tests are a bit of a mixed bag. For Productivity we see the i5-661 shooting past the i5-750 and approaching i7-870 levels of performance, but in other benchmarks we return to the typical with the i7-870 besting both i5 solutions.

..:: Intel DH55TC Review Conclusion ::..

Overall, the Intel DH55TC offers a solid array of features, and of course comes with the stability and reliability that Intel motherboards are known for. I've had this board under extended testing for about two months now and have not come across any stability issues. This testing is conducted in a custom box with little airflow to ensure things stay heated up nicely to stress the components more so than a typical system with better airflow. The DH55TC benefits from the fact that the LGA 1156 processors do not put out much heat even under load, and that's with a stock Intel cooler. Throw something a little more substantive on there and you'll need not worry about temperature.

That said, I was a little disappointed with the ho-hum BIOS that is offered with the DH55TC. Other competing boards in a similar price range offer a wider selection of controls for performance tuning. If you're into tweaking your board even if it is a budget level board like this, then you'll likely want to look elsewhere if that's a key factor in your purchasing decision. In terms of overall performance, we were pleased with the results, but are still waiting arrival of competing H55 solutions to provide an apples to apples comparison. All of these boards in the H55 family are in a very tight price range, meaning a little extra performance here or there may result in a board being a better bang for your buck than another.

Conclusion for the DH55TC? It's a typical Intel motherboard to be frank. It offers a solid feature set that will suit the needs of the majority of users in its market, offers excellent stability and reliability, a trait Intel is known for, and offers support for a more powerful home theater or multimedia setup than has been available in the past. If you're in the market for a board that just plain works, give the Intel DH55TC a look, If you're a tweaker, you'll want to look somewhere else.