Sandy Bridge is out and in full force. Have you upgraded yet? If not, then you're missing out on some superb performance. It was only until last year that you needed an extensive liquid cooling setup to see 4.5GHz+ overclocks. With the newer processors and change in architecture, we can get to 4.9GHz+ on air coolers. With more extensive cooling we have seen speeds of 5.9GHz at recent competitions. I was able to get an overclock, on a mediocre cooler, to 4.8GHz with little trouble. But that was on a different board, geared toward a different segment of the computer market.
Intel has a large line of motherboards ranging from extreme performance, to the lowly bare essentials. One of the more popular markets that has come into play is the small computer or HTPC. These computers typically hit the lower price points in the market. People that build these PCs forgo the extra costs of extra high performance memory and discrete video cards. They also have a lower power requirement and have the ability to integrate with existing display solutions, like a television or old monitor. A good small form factor PC, or HTPC, can cost anywhere from $400 to $700 depending on necessity. I stress the "good" part of that statement as computers could be built cheaper. However, that requires a sacrifice on quality parts.
Purchasing the Intel DH67BL MicroATX motherboard isn't a sacrifice in quality. The DH67BL has all the necessary features that a HTPC, or anyone needing a small powerful computer, would need. The DH67BL has the LGA1155 socket that supports the newest Intel Core i7/i5/i3 Sandy Bridge processors. There are four 240-pin DIMM slots that support DDR3 memory modules at 1333MHz and 1066MHz speeds. Maximum supported memory is 32GB. The Intel H67 Express Chipset has the Intel Rapid Storage Technology capability. This allows RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 hard drive configurations. Onboard are DVI-I and HDMI connections to allow processors with Intel HD Graphics. Integrated is Intel High Definition Audio with a ALC892 Realtek codec. LAN support features a Intel 82579V Gigabit Ethernet Controller. For interfaces, you get 2 SATA 6.0 Gb/s ports, 3 SATA 3.0 Gb/s ports, one eSATA 3.0 Gb/s port, 2 USB 3.0 ports, and fourteen USB 2.0 ports. There is the possibility of expansion with a single PCI-E 2.0 x16, two PCI-E 2.0 x1, and a single PCI Conventional connector.
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