The Gigabyte GA-G31M-ES2L Motherboard is an ideal choice for system builders and is not overpriced at a reasonable £40 including VAT. Gigabyte are one of the better motherboard manufacturers in my opinion and have never let me down in the past so there was only going to be one choice when I built my latest PC.
The motherboard is pretty much the standard atx format and is surprisingly small and compact measuring about 24.5cm x 19.5cm so would probably fit in a small form factor case (for anyone who may want to build a media centre).
The motherboard also supports a wide range of processors including the 'high-end' Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Quad CPUs as well as the 'lower-end' Celeron and Pentium Dual Core. Obviously it supports the 64-bit processors as well which is pretty much standard nowadays. The maximum supported bus speed is 1600MHz on a Socket 775 CPU.
The motherboard supports 4GB of DDR-2 ram via the two slots on the motherboard. The supported speeds for the memory are 5300, 6400 & 8500.
The motherboard also has an Onboard Video controller (Intel GMA 3100) as well as a Audio controller (Realtek ALC883) that offers HD sound quality and 7.1 channel surround as well as a Gigabit Ethernet controller (Realtek RTL8111C).
- The motherboard is lightning fast.
- Jumperless setup
- Can be easily overclocked
- Failsafe if you overclock too much, just restart the computer and it will revert to the default setting.
- Sound quality is excellent via the onboard controller
- Lan card is really fast and never seems to lag.
- Onboard video is not very good for gaming.
Paired with quality memory and a decent power supply (at least 550W) you have a really solid system. I would recommend this motherboard to any budget PC builders.
Other Info from Giga-Byte
Interfaces: 1 x audio - line-In - 4 PIN MPC ¦ 1 x storage - floppy interface - 34 PIN IDC ¦ 1 x keyboard - generic - 6 pin mini-DIN (PS/2 style) ¦ 1 x mouse - generic - 6 pin mini-DIN (PS/2 style) ¦ 1 x parallel - IEEE 1284 (EPP/ECP) - 25 pin D-Sub (DB-25) ¦ 1 x serial - RS-232 - 9 pin D-Sub (DB-9) ¦ 1 x display / video - VGA - 15 pin HD D-Sub (HD-15) ¦ 4 x Hi-Speed USB - 4 PIN USB Type A ¦ 1 x network - Ethernet 10Base-T/100Base-TX/1000Base-T - RJ-45 ¦ 1 x audio - line-out - mini-phone stereo 3.5 mm ¦ 1 x audio - line-In - mini-phone stereo 3.5 mm ¦ 1 x microphone - input - mini-phone 3.5mm
Storage: Intel ICH7 : Serial ATA-300 - connector(s): 4 x 7pin Serial ATA - 4 Device(s) ¦ Intel ICH7 : ATA-100 - connector(s): 1 x 40pin IDC - 2 Device(s)