GIGABYTE has added its first Intel Apollo Lake-based desktop motherboard to its product list. The platform is designed primarily for low-power entry-level PCs, but the manufacturer decided to tailor its J3455N-D3H also for customers who need various legacy I/O technologies, indicating that this board was perhaps orignally designed for a specific customer but is now being released to the wider public. The mainboard is equipped with a host of older interfaces, including COM, LPT, PS/2, D-Sub and PCI.

Just like the name suggests, the GIGABYTE GA-J3455N-D3H is based on the the Intel Celeron J3455 processor (four Goldmont cores clocked at 1.5/2.3 GHz, 2 MB cache, dual-channel DRAM controller, HD Graphics 500, 10W TDP) that feature Intel’s ninth-generation graphics architecture (Gen9) as well as a refined media playback engine with hardware-accelerated playback of 4K video encoded using HEVC and VP9 codecs. The Mini-ITX motherboard is equipped with two DDR3L SO-DIMM slots (supporting up to 16 GB of DDR3L-1866), two Realtek GbE controllers, four SATA connectors (two controlled by the ASMedia ASM1061), one HDMI 1.4 output (up to 3840×2160 at 30 Hz), a connector for a TPM module, USB 3.0 headers (additional USB 2.0 ports are supported using the internal header and a Genesys Logic USB 2.0 hub) and so on.

In addition to the aforementioned regular I/O capabilities of a modern PC, the GIGABYTE GA-J3455N-D3H also features a number of legacy interfaces. The latter includes two COM ports, an LPT port header, PS/2 connectors for keyboard and mouse, a D-Sub output for displays, as well as a PCI slot for various add-on cards (and such cards may carry additional legacy interfaces, such as PATA, etc.). While the presence of the connectors makes the motherboard a viable candidate for a system running legacy applications, it should be noted that Intel’s Apollo Lake is not supported by Windows 7, 8, Vista or XP. Windows 10 does support legacy hardware, including COM, PCI and other interfaces, but the problem is those old software applications that use COM ports or PCI cards might not work in Windows 10, or require VMs and abstraction to do so. Therefore, to use them, one will need to install Windows 7 or XP on a virtual machine, which is not always convenient. Failing this, a Linux distribution might be a preferred option.

GIGABYTE's Intel Apollo Lake Motherboard
CPU Intel Celeron J3455
4C/4T Goldmont
1.5 - 2.3 GHz
2MB cache
10 W TDP
Graphics HD Graphics 500
12 EUs
250 - 750 MHz
PCH Integrated into CPU
Memory 2 GB DDR3L-1866 pre-installed
Two SO-DIMM slots,
up to 16 GB of DDR3L-1866
Ethernet 2 × Realtek GbE controllers
Display Outputs D-Sub (implementation unclear)
HDMI 1.4
Storage 2 × SATA 6 Gbps (SoC)
2 × SATA 6 Gbps (ASM1061)
Audio Realtek ALC887
7.1 channel audio
USB 2 × USB 3.0 Type-A
2 × USB 2.0
Other I/O 2 × COM ports
LPT internal header
2 × PS/2
Form-Factor Mini-ITX
OS Windows 10
Detailed Specifications Link

While the GA-J3455N-D3H motherboard is heading to retail, the presence of two GbE ports indicates that GIGABYTE either plans to offer the platform to corporate customers, or is already shipping it to interested parties. If the latter is the case, it looks like GIGABYTE has clients who need more or less modern low-cost PCs with legacy interfaces in their corporate networks. It's always easier to replace a $500 PC connected to a $500k machine than to replace the machine, after all.

GIGABYTE has not announced MSRP of its J3455N-D3H motherboard or its actual release date. Keeping in mind that the COM, PS/2 and LPT controller, the additional SATA controller as well as a PCIe-to-PCI bridge all cost money, we expect GIGABYTE’s Apollo Lake-based platform to cost more than the base Apollo Lake solutions available.

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  • nathanddrews - Thursday, April 13, 2017 - link

    I have a tiny ITX case and PSU ready and waiting.
  • mode_13h - Friday, April 14, 2017 - link

    I just pulled the trigger on a ASRock J4205-ITX. After spending hours looking at cases on Newegg, I found a decent case and 60W 12V external Seasonic PSU from They don't advertise it as Seasonic, but it's this:
  • Vatharian - Friday, April 14, 2017 - link

    I find the lack of M.2 SSD connector on Atom boards disturbing - not even PCIe, SATA one would be sufficient. Because of this I jumped the gun on ASUS H110T. It ended up twice as expensive, even with 35W -T processor it eats 4x energy, but at least it uses external DC (12-19V, so as it happens most big-jack HP PSUs work just fine and connector is the same). Before that I used J1900DC-ITX, which is Baytrail with same DC jack.

    Sourcing good quality 12V power bricks (especially for pico-PSU) is risky adventure, so far I have found that Delta and Sparkle make a couple, and you can get them without smashing your piggy bank. Getting a board that accepts 19V DC is even better, as laptop bricks are dirt-cheap.
  • Ej24 - Friday, April 14, 2017 - link

    I messed around with shady power bricks for a while and decided risking my $150 thin m-itx board and $300 i7-4790T wasn't worth it. I just got mine from when they were having a sale. I just signed up for email updates and got a legit Dell 120W DC power brick for $50 when they were 50% off.
  • mode_13h - Friday, April 14, 2017 - link

    Why do you care about M.2 speeds on an Atom? If your application is that performance-sensitive, then upgrading to a performance-optimized CPU architecture will typically deliver more gains than faster storage.

    I initially considered lack of a full-sized M.2 slot to be a negative, for the J4205-ITX, until I realized that for my purposes, GigE will generally be the bottleneck. And, SATA SSDs are cheaper, as well. Even so, if I use a 1 TB SATA SSD, it'd cost more than the PSU + everything else in the box, combined.

    BTW, from what I can tell, these Goldmont cores should be roughly comparable to a Core2. Intel has said relatively little about them, but I found a pretty good resource:
  • mode_13h - Friday, April 14, 2017 - link

    BTW, at 35W, is it fanless?

    For me, that's a pretty big deal - I want fanless and ideally NUC size. I'm already compromising by going with Mini-ITX. I wouldn't want to then use a big enough case to accommodate a passive 35W heatsink that doesn't at least need a case fan.
  • woggs - Thursday, April 13, 2017 - link

    This article makes me wonder who plagiarizes who...
  • JoeyJoJo123 - Thursday, April 13, 2017 - link

    It's possible both sources get the same info form Gigabyte and therefore publish the same news.
  • FanlessTech - Thursday, April 13, 2017 - link

    From Gigabyte or elsewhere ^^'
  • ezridah - Thursday, April 13, 2017 - link

    This is more than just getting info from the same source. One of these is clearly an exact copy of the other with some words switched for other synonyms. I'm guessing technewsdir is the copier. The words that are different make less sense in the context and who the hell writes things like one.3 instead of 1.3...

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