Yes another cost-effective board, this time from Gigabyte. We’ll see whether this little fella is
As usual, the Gigabyte board comes with the lovely blue and white Gigabyte signature color. As you can see it’s a Micro-ATX board.
I like that the heatsink area is clear from any large heatsinks or any other possible obstacles.
The board has only 2 DIMM slots, typical of any Micro-ATX board.
What I liked about this board is that it comes with ATi CrossfireX support.
It has a host of output at the back, notice that it only has 1x PS/2 port.
6 SATA slots, good to go!
More details at the official product page.
The board just works fine as it is, I didn’t manage to run crossfire on it but I did manage to run dual GPU on it without any problem. I managed to overclock the Intel Pentium Dual Core G6950 up to 3.7Ghz with it too.
I didn’t like the way the board is for resetting CMOS. It’s just 2 pins and you need to find a jumper to link it before it resets. This is more than primitive. Nowadays boards come with a button for CMOS reset. Even if not, they’ll have 2 pin marked 1 – 2 – 3 where you just have to switch the jumper and it’s done. I think this is my only complaint on the board.
The 2nd PCI-E slot blocks accessibility to the having additional USB output (the one you connect to the casing) but this is not an issue in my book, considering you’re getting a low-cost CrossfireX board on MicroATX form factor so it is a compromise. Then of course there’s the covered pin area, which I think is nonsense since I need to be DIRECTLY above to view the color codes.
Good board, value for money for anyone who wants a low-cost setup. Same comment as my other review – just slap on a processor like the Pentium G6950 or Core i3-530 with IGP support and it’s ready to go. Use i5-750 and others with no IGP support and you’ll need an external graphic card.
Now many of you would be wondering how does this board compares to the MSI’s H55 offering that I reviewed earlier. MSI’s offering cost a little bit more, comes with 4x DIMM slots for greater RAM expansion and has the OCgenie for newbies to get instant overclock, and comes with an onboard PC Speaker.
Both come with expansion slots but they vary in the type offered, I really like the Gigabyte board for the CrossfireX support. 😀 This means I get to use 2 GPU on it, even if they don’t run SLI / CrossfireX.
Which is the board for you? It depends on your priority. My priority is to run dual graphic card and have no requirement on RAM nor do I need the OC Genie, hence the Gigabyte would be the better choice. For those who need not dual graphic card support but would like to have room for more RAM in future, thent he MSI board would be the better choice.