Asus' P5G41T-M LX2 is cheap for a DDR3 microATX motherboard, but it has no HDMI output and there are better-value alternatives available.
LGA775, microATX, Intel G41 chipset, supports: Celeron Dual Core, Pentium Dual Core, Core 2 Duo, Core 2 Quad, Core 2 Extreme
At just £41, Asus’ P5G41T-M LX2 is surprisingly cheap for a microATX motherboard that can take DDR3 memory. Although faster on paper than DDR2, DDR3 memory didn’t make this motherboard any quicker in our benchmarks than LGA775 boards with DDR2 RAM. We were surprised to find no overclocking controls. This isn’t a huge flaw as, for most people, the performance gains from overclocking aren’t worth the configuration hassle.
The integrated Intel GMA 4500 graphics chip isn’t quick enough for playing the latest 3D games, but it is powerful enough to play HD video. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a HDMI output, making this motherboard less than ideal if you want to build a high definition media centre PC. Without HDMI to carry both video and audio over a single cable to a TV, you’ll need to connect separate video and audio cables. There’s only one VGA port, so you’ll need a separate graphics card if you want to connect two monitors.
As expected for a compact microATX motherboard, there aren’t a huge number of expansion options but there are enough for most people. There are two PCI slots for accommodating add-ons such as a wireless networking adapter. There are four SATA ports for connecting hard disks, but there’s no RAID controller. There’s a PCI Express x16 slot for a dedicated graphics card. It’s sensibly located, so it’s unlikely a large graphics card will obstruct any other slots.
Asus’ P5G41T-M LX2 isn’t a bad motherboard, but it’s not especially quick in our benchmarks and is simply outclassed by the competition. Whether you want to build a media centre PC or a compact, general-purpose computer there are more generously equipped microATX motherboards such as the similarly priced MSI G41TM-E43.
|Processor support||Celeron Dual Core, Pentium Dual Core, 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|
|Supported memory type||DDR3 800/1066/1333/2200|
|Maximum memory speed||PC3-17600|
|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||0|
|Serial ATA ports||4|
|RAID chipset (max disks)||none|
|Wired network ports||1x 10/100/1000|
|Sound (ports)||Via VT1705 (3x analogue out)|
|USB2 ports / headers||4/4|
|Firewire ports / headers||0/0|
|Legacy ports||2x PS/2, serial|
|Cables included||1x SATA, 1x IDE|
|Software included||Norton Internet Security 2009|
Setup and Overclocking