The Gigabyte G31M-ES2L is a very popular motherboard, not only for being a low-cost setup option and having integrated graphic system but for its overclocking feature.
Just like any of the Gigabyte motherboards, the PCB is blue and the rest of the components such as PCI-E slots, RAM slots and various connectors are of assorted colors.
RAM slots, IDE and floppy connectors are at the usual location.
Sames goes to the SATA connectors, what I like was that the SATA connectors were placed a distance away from the PCI-E connector.
This has always been what I’m most concerned of since there are some boards that have SATA connectors placed in such a way that there’s no way to use the SATA connector and a PCI-E card with cooler size that occupies 2 PCI-E slots.
Nothing to comment about the rear, I just wish that the GMA3100 has a DVI or HDMI output.
The Bundle and Details
– 2x Sata cable
– 1x FDD
– 1x IDE
– Back Panel
– Driver CD
More details on this Socket LGA775 board at the official product page.
The board is good for overclocking BUT there’s a huge limitation on the FSB:RAM ratio setting as it does not allow 1:1 ratio. Flashing to the latest BIOS didn’t help either.
The lowest ratio I could get was 1:2.66, that’s like 3:4 so if the system runs at 1333 FSB (333mhz) then the RAM would already be at 888mhz DDR speed.
That affects the headroom quite a fair bit, you need at DDR2 1066 RAM just to run at 1600 FSB while motherboards with 1:1 ratio could do it with DDR2 800 RAM.
While the lack of 1:1 FSB:RAM ratio was limiting, the features are more than enough for overclocking purpose and only those who crave more detailed settings may be disappointed.
I like this motherboard very much.
A great low-cost option with decent overclocking features to push the processor further, just in case anyone has the urge to do so.