Gigabyte G31M-ES2L Motherboard Review

Gigabyte G31M-ES2L Motherboard Review

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.

The Appearance

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.

Gigabyte G31M-ES2L Motherboard Review

RAM slots, IDE and floppy connectors are at the usual location.

Gigabyte G31M-ES2L Motherboard Review

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.

Gigabyte G31M-ES2L Motherboard Review

Nothing to comment about the rear, I just wish that the GMA3100 has a DVI or HDMI output.

Gigabyte G31M-ES2L Motherboard Review

The Bundle and Details

– 2x Sata cable
– 1x FDD
– 1x IDE
– Back Panel
– Manual
– Driver CD

More details on this Socket LGA775 board at the official product page.

User Experience

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.

Gigabyte G31M-ES2L Motherboard Review

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.

Gigabyte G31M-ES2L Motherboard Review

Conclusion

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.

goldfries recommended

goldfries rated this product :

15 Comments

  1. Was wondering what processor were you using for the review anyway? As it seemed that different processors would actually given different FSB:RAM ratio. Last I heard, only 1333MHz processors can do 1:1

  2. Author

    Oops, forgot to state – I was using Pentium Dual-Core E2140.

    It’ll be damn funny / awkward / odd if that’s true cos 1333mhz processor is like E8400 and C2Q and those processors are +/- RM 600 and onwards, and people who buy those processors almost certainly do not settle for a G31 board. 🙂

  3. My bad, I was wanting to say 800MHz don’t have the 1:1 option, but 1066MHz above has the 1:1(appearing as 2.0 in the options) FSB:RAM ratio, just tried it on my newly acquired board with a BSEL modded E2160 🙂

    Basically whoever has the 800MHz chips can just get them BSEL modded for the 1:1 FSB:DRAM ratio, nothing some kitchen aluminium foil and industrial grade glue can’t do 😀

  4. just bought this mboard this morning.
    together with e7500, ram 2gb and hd4670…
    satisfied with it

  5. does it support up to max 4G ram without install 64bit windows?

    because some other board install 32bit won’t support 4G ram only 3G max.

  6. Author

    @kimi – nice. 😀

    @Ck – just as on other boards, you could put more than 4GB but the total available RAM is dependent on Window’s memory addressing. 🙂 With the 32bit OS you can run 4GB fine but only getting 3.x GB out of it.

  7. @goldfries – 10s for yr information. ^O^

  8. sifoo..can u help me with this board? before this my 88gt card run fine at pcie 16x bus.
    juz recently i’ve no idea when it became 8x bus only! only realize when i feel performance down when gaming. i’ve done clean driver and tried 190 and 191 forceware,but it still at 8x speed. can u help me? i hope dun have to format my window

  9. What’s up all, I’m mod to the forum and guts wanted to apprentice hey.


  10. Can I ask: does support 8x video card?

  11. Is this mother board support best for intel pentium P4 processor 3.0ghz 631me

  12. i use the same model … but i either dont have the pc spkrs or it is not working ,… pls help .. .


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