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Gigabyte GA-EG41MF-S2H review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : 54
inc VAT

This budget motherboard has on-board graphics and an HDMI output, but its below-average performance means we can't recommend it.

Specifications

LGA775, microATX, Intel G41 chipset, supports: Celeron, Pentium 4, Pentium D, Pentium Extreme Edition, Core 2 Duo, Core 2 Quad, Core 2 Extreme

http://www.scan.co.uk

Gigabyte’s GA-EG41MF-S2H is a low-cost LGA775 microATX board.

Its four memory slot can can take up to 8GB of RAM, and it has the usual IDE and floppy drive connectors, but only four SATA ports, two of which were blocked when we connected a double-height graphics card. However, a standard graphics card left plenty of room to connect both a PCI-E x1 card in the slot above and a PCI card in the slot below. The on-board Intel GMA X4500HD graphics processor can handle HD video but not games. Its HDMI, DVI and VGA outputs, make it suitable for a media centre PC.

There are only four USB ports on the rear I/O panel, along with one FireWire port. Two spare USB headers can be connected to another two ports each, for a total of eight. There’s also an additional FireWire header, but no eSATA port. The board has a pair of PS/2 connectors, which are useful given the limited number of USB ports. There’s also a serial port header for the unlikely chance that you’ll ever need one.

On-board audio is provided by a Realtek ALC888 processor, which can output up to 7.1 analogue audio or digital audio via an optical S/PDIF output. The analogue ports can also be reassigned in the Realtek driver, so you can plug any audio device (input or output) into any port and configure it in software.

While some budget LGA775 motherboards exceeded our expectations in our tests, this one didn’t. Its overall score of 87 isn’t awful, but we prefer Asus’s P5QL, which costs the same but has better performance.

Basic Specifications

Rating ***
Processor socket LGA775
Form factor microATX
Size 244x224mm
Processor support Celeron, Pentium 4, Pentium D, Pentium Extreme Edition, Core 2 Duo, Core 2 Quad, Core 2 Extreme
Processor external bus 333MHz (1,333MHz quad-pumped FSB)
Chipset north bridge Intel G41
Chipset south bridge Intel ICH7
Passively-cooled north bridge yes
Integrated graphics Yes
Supported memory type DDR2 667/800
Maximum memory speed PC2-6400
Memory slots 4
Maximum memory 8GB
Dual-channel support yes

Buying Information

Price £54
Supplier http://www.scan.co.uk
Details www.gigabyte.com.tw

Internal Ports

Power connectors 1x 24-pin ATX, 1x 4-pin ATX
PCI-E x16 slots 1
Dual graphics architecture none
PCI-E x4 slots 0
PCI-E x1 slots 1
PCI slots 2
Fan headers 2
Floppy ports 1
IDE ports 1
Serial ATA ports 4
RAID chipset (max disks) none

Features

Wired network ports 1x 10/100/1000
Sound (ports) Realtek ALC888 (6x analogue out, optical S/PDIF)
USB2 ports / headers 4/2
Firewire ports / headers 1/1
Legacy ports 2x PS/2, parallel
Other ports HDMI, DVI, VGA
Cables included 2x SATA, 1x IDE, 1x floppy
Brackets included none
Software included none

Setup and Overclocking

Voltage adjustment CPU/RAM/chipset

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