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Foxconn H61S review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £51
inc VAT

A fine Mini-ITX motherboard, but the lack of an HDMI output will put off those wanting to build a media centre PC


LGA1155, Mini-ITX, Intel H61 chipset, supports: 2nd gen Core i3, Core i5, Core i7

Back in January we reviewed the Foxconn H61S motherboard, which was the first Mini-ITX board we’d seen with support for Intel’s Sandy Bridge processors. The H61S is a more pared-down version, which will let you build a tiny PC on a budget.

Foxconn H61S

Mini-ITX motherboards are very small indeed; the H61S measures just 172x172mm, so is slightly smaller than a side plate. If you install the board in a Mini-ITX case (available for around £30) you can build a PC with a footprint smaller than a shoebox.

The H61S is a Socket LGA1155 motherboard, so supports all Intel’s latest Sandy Bridge processors. There are two memory slots for up to 8GB RAM and a PCI Express x16 slot for a dedicated graphics card, but this is also likely to be used for a wireless card or a TV tuner in a media centre PC.

Foxconn H61S ports

The single PCI Express slot is the limit of your internal expansion, and there are only two SATA 2 ports, which you’ll most likely take up with a hard disk and optical drive; as the board is so tiny, there are bound to be compromises when it comes to expansion. There are six USB ports on the rear as well as a PS/2 port for your keyboard, so you have plenty of room for external devices, and the board’s two USB headers will let you add another four USB ports if your case has the necessary connectors. There aren’t any USB3 ports, though, so you won’t be able to take advantage of the newest and fastest external hard disks.

The H61’s specification is pared down compared to that of the £70 H67S, and a glance at the back panel makes it easy to see where your £20 has been saved. The H61S is missing the more expensive board’s eSATA connector and only has 5.1 rather than 7.1 audio outputs, but most significantly has no HDMI output. If you want to plug the board into your TV you could always use the VGA output or a DVI to HDMI adaptor (around £5) but this means you’ll need to run a separate audio lead from the board’s audio outputs to your TV and won’t be able to plug the motherboard into an AV amp.

Foxconn H61S top

When fitted with our reference Intel Core i5-2500K processor and 4GB RAM, the motherboard was fast in our tests – it was slightly faster than our reference Core i5-2500K-equipped PC. The BIOS (an old-school text and keyboard version, not a flashy new graphical UEFI) has no overclocking options, but you don’t buy a Mini-ITX motherboard to build an overclocked gaming monster.

Foxconn’s H61S is an inexpensive base for a tiny Sandy Bridge PC with good performance. However, if you’re planning to put together a PC to live under your TV, you’re better off spending the extra £20 on the H67S with its HDMI output and 7.1 surround sound.

Basic Specifications

Rating ****
Processor socket LGA1155
Form factor Mini-ITX
Size 172x172mm
Processor support 2nd gen Core i3, Core i5, Core i7
Processor external bus 100MHz
Chipset north bridge Intel H61
Chipset south bridge Intel H61
Passively-cooled north bridge yes
Integrated graphics Yes
Supported memory type DDR3 1066/1333
Maximum memory speed PC3-10600
Memory slots 2
Maximum memory 8GB
Dual-channel support yes

Buying Information

Price £51

Internal Ports

Power connectors 1x 24-pin ATX, 1x 4-pin ATX
PCI-E x16 slots 1
Dual graphics architecture none
PCI-E x4 slots 0
PCI-E x1 slots 0
PCI slots 0
Fan headers 2
Floppy ports 0
IDE ports 0
Serial ATA ports 2
RAID chipset (max disks) none


Wired network ports 1x 10/100/1000
Sound (ports) Realtek High Definition Audio (3x analogue, S/PDIF header)
USB2 ports / headers 6/2
Firewire ports / headers none
Legacy ports PS/2, serial header
Other ports VGA, DVI
Cables included 2x SATA
Brackets included none
Software included none

Setup and Overclocking

Voltage adjustment none
CPU clock max adjustment 0MHz

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