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Oct 10, 2012

Intel H87 and Q87-Based Haswell Motherboards

We may have covered the high-end mainboards that Haswell chips (LGA 1150) will get to use as a power base in 2013, but we've yet to speak about the range one step below, or the business-oriented chipsets, so we will do that now.

While the Z87 powers four mainboards, the H87 only has three under its belt. They should be enough to cover their target consumer segment though (upper mainstream and business sectors). Granted, Intel has the special Q87 chipset for business users, but we'll get to those as soon as we're done with H87, all of which have DVI-I, HDMI and a DisplayPort. The first platform, called Intel DH87MC and codenamed Meadow Creek, has support for up to 32 GB of DDR3 RAM (four DIMM slots), 5 SATA 6.0 Gbps slots, four USB 3.0 ports, three PCI Express slots (one x16, one x4 and one x1) and a mini PCI Express card connector. Unlike on the Z87, the legacy PCI interface is supported (three slots are present), so no one has to throw away their good old network or sound cards. Then again, the 10-channel audio and integrated LAN may be better than that hardware, but we digress.

The second board, DH87RL Round Lake, is a uATX (microATX) model with the same memory support and PCI Express / PCI / mini PCIe slot layout (but with one extra PCI-e x1). The storage support is the same as well but, oddly enough, Round Lake has six USB 3.0 ports. It makes us wonder why the ATX Meadow Creek is even there.

The third H87 mainboard is also a microATX, but has 2 DIMM slots (16 GB RAM max), one PCIe x16 slot, two mini PCIe card connectors, four SATA 6 Gbps ports, six USB 3.0 ports and 10-channel audio.  And now we may as well mention the Q87 models, DQ87RG (Rainbow Bridge) and DQ87PG (Spring Cave), both microATX platforms with comparable specs (to H87), but two LAN ports instead of one (if we're reading things right) and support for Small Business Advantage technology. Sales will begin in April 2013, assuming the roadmap slides are real, which they probably are.

Intel Chipsets
Image credits to Intel

Leaked Intel slide showing upcoming motherboards
Images credits to ComputerBase


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