The Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H motherboard is obviously a micro-ATX motherboard, but it packs a ton of features for its size. Not too many micro-ATX motherboards have four memory slots, but this one does. Gigabyte says its GA-MA78GM-S2H supports up to 16GB of DDR2-1066 memory across four slots, so chances are you’ll never be memory capacity limited on this board. When it comes to power, the board features a four phase power system and uses a 24-pin ATX power supply header and an additional 4-pin ATX power connector. The layout overall is very clean with all the connectors located on the sides of the board.
The back of the Gigabyte MA78GM-S2H shows the large heat sink retention bracket that is used to safely secure the heat sink to the board.
The Gigabyte MA78GM-S2H motherboard has one full size x16 PCIe 2.0 slot for video cards and one x1 slot for RAID controllers or audio cards. The board also features two legacy PCI slots that are available for those wishing to use legacy cards.
The southbridge chipset (SB700) is has a much is passive cooled just like the northbridge. The five internal SATA headers along with the IDE headers are located right next to it. The rear I/O panel has four USB 2.0 headers and the motherboard features support for eight more USB 2.0 ports. This means the chipset can support 12 USB 2.0 ports (the most the chipset offers). The front panel (case) connectors are located to the left of the SATA II headers and are labeled, so using the manual is not needed.
With the passive chipset cooler removed, we can get an idea of what the 780G chipset looks like and how big it is. The passive cooler gets the job done, but those that plan on overclocking should look for improved active cooling solutions as things to get very hot since the Radeon Xpress 3200 IGP is inside this chipset.
The Gigabyte MA78GM-S2H has three display options including an HDMI output, dual-link DVI output and standard VGA. Only one of the two digital connections can be used at any given time. Other connectors on the rear I/O panel are the pair of PS2 ports, four USB 2.0 ports, FireWire 1394 connector, eSATA port, Gigabit Ethernet, analog 7.1-channel audio outputs, and an optical audio port. The optical audio output is ideal for users that don’t want to use the HDMI connection for their audio.