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Gigabyte GA-M720-US3 review

Alan Lu
21 Sep 2009
Expert Reviews Best Buy Logo
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
45
inc VAT

The cheapest AMD motherboard in the group is also one of the best. It's a bargain.

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Specifications

AM2+, ATX, Nvidia NForce 720D chipset, supports: Sempron, Athlon 64, Athlon 64 X2, Athlon 64 FX, Phenom, Phenom II

Gigabyte's GA-M720-US3 is a budget AM2+ motherboard, and one of the cheapest we've ever seen.

Its looks like the perfect choice for anyone who wants to build a powerful computer on a tight budget. It has an Nvidia nForce 720D chipset, rather than the AMD chipsets used by all the other AMD motherboards here.

There's a PCI-E x16 slot for your graphics card and plenty of room for other expansion cards, with two PCI-E x1 slots and four PCI slots. Installing a double-height graphics card would block one of the PCI slots, but that leaves four slots free for sound cards, TV tuners and wireless cards. The four memory slots can accept up to 16GB of DDR2 RAM, so there's plenty for now and the future. It also supports fast 1,200MHz DDR2-9600 RAM. There are six SATA connectors, as well as IDE and floppy connectors.

The back panel provides both six- and four-pin FireWire connectors and eight USB ports. There's no eSATA port, but there are two PS/2 connectors, so you won't have to use any USB ports for your keyboard and mouse, leaving plenty for connecting external storage. A Realtek ALC888 sound chip provides onboard audio, with six analogue outputs (7.1 audio) and both optical and coaxial S/PDIF digital audio outputs. There's no integrated graphics processor, so you'll need to buy a PCI-E graphics card.

The GA-M720-US3 is easily the best value AM2+ motherboard we've seen, with loads of ports, plenty of room for expansion cards and fine performance. It's our Best Buy.

Basic Specifications

Rating*****
Processor socketAM2+
Form factorATX
Size305x215mm
Processor supportSempron, Athlon 64, Athlon 64 X2, Athlon 64 FX, Phenom, Phenom II
Processor external bus200MHz (2GHz HyperTransport)
Chipset north bridgeNvidia NForce 720D
Chipset south bridgeNvidia NForce 720D
Passively-cooled north bridgeyes
Integrated graphicsNo
Supported memory typeDDR2 667/800/1066/1200
Maximum memory speedPC2-9600
Memory slots4
Maximum memory16GB
Dual-channel supportyes

Buying Information

Price£45
Supplierhttp://www.kikatek.com
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 slots2
PCI slots4
Fan headers3
Floppy ports1
IDE ports1
Serial ATA ports6
RAID chipset (max disks)Nvidia NForce 720D (6x SATA II, RAID 0, 1, 5, 10, JBOD)

Features

Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Sound (ports)Realtek ALC888 (optical and coaxial S/PDIF, 6x analogue out)
USB2 ports / headers8/2
Firewire ports / headers2/1
Legacy ports2x PS/2, serial header
Other portsnone
Cables included2x SATA, 1x IDE, 1x floppy
Brackets includednone
Software includednone

Setup and Overclocking

Voltage adjustmentCPU/RAM/Chipset
CPU clock max adjustment600MHz

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