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Gigabyte MA78GPM-DS2H review

Alan Lu
24 Feb 2009
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
80
inc VAT

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Specifications

AM2+, microATX, AMD 780G chipset, supports: Sempron, Athlon 64, Athlon 64 X2, Athlon 64 FX, Phenom, Phenom II

Gigabyte's MA78GPM-DS2H is the only AMD microATX board here. Because of the dimensions it has a fiddly layout.

The motherboard has five SATA connections and an eSATA port, along with four USB ports, FireWire and a full complement of video outputs. It also has an AMD 780G Northbridge, a 700SB Southbridge and an onboard ATI Radeon HD 3200 graphics processor (capable of Blu-ray playback) with an HDMI output, which is useful if you're building a media centre PC.

Like all AM2+ motherboards, the MA78GPM-DS2H supports Phenom II, but its performance doesn't appear to be optimised for this processor. Our tests produced some surprising results. We've listed its performance with an AMD Phenom II 940, but the results we obtained were lower than when we fitted a less-powerful Phenom X4 9950. For example, its overall PCMark Vantage score was 4,441 with the Phenom II, but it achieved a score of 4,792 with the older processor. A future firmware upgrade may correct this but none was available at the time of testing.

With the minor irritations such as the lack of support for the very latest processors, Gigabyte's MA78GPM-DS2H didn't get off to a good start. However, its performance is fine with older processors, which is all you need if you want to build a compact media centre PC using a microATX motherboard and a case such as Antec's Minuet 350. The graphics card's ability to play Blu-ray movies means it's good value, too.

Basic Specifications

Rating**
Processor socketAM2+
Form factormicroATX
Size244x224mm
Processor supportSempron, Athlon 64, Athlon 64 X2, Athlon 64 FX, Phenom, Phenom II
Processor external bus266MHz (1,066MHz quad-pumped FSB)
Chipset north bridgeAMD 780G
Chipset south bridgeAMD SB700
Passively-cooled north bridgeyes
Integrated graphicsYes
Supported memory typeDDR2 667/800/1066
Maximum memory speedPC2-8500
Memory slots4
Maximum memory8GB
Dual-channel supportyes

Buying Information

Price£80
Supplierhttp://www.tekheads.co.uk
Detailswww.gigabyte.com.tw

Internal Ports

Power connectors1x 24-pin ATX, 1x 4-pin ATX
PCI-E x16 slots1
Dual graphics architecturenone
PCI-E x4 slots0
PCI-E x1 slots1
PCI slots2
Fan headers3
Floppy ports1
IDE ports1
Serial ATA ports5
RAID chipset (max disks)AMD SB700 (6x SATA II, RAID 0, 1, 10, JBOD)

Features

Wired network ports10/100/1000
Sound (ports)Realtek ALC889A (HDMI, optical S/PDIF, 6x analogue out)
USB2 ports / headers4/4
Firewire ports / headers1/1
Legacy ports2x PS/2
Other portsVGA, DVI, HDMI, eSATA
Cables included1x SATA, 1x IDE, 1x floppy
Brackets includednone
Software includednone

Setup and Overclocking

Voltage adjustmentCPU/RAM/chipset
CPU clock max adjustment500MHz

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