The Gigabyte GA-MA69GM-S2H Motherboard Review

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Board Layout

gigabyte ga ma69gm s2h motherboard review

As mentioned, the Gigabyte GA-MA69GM-S2H motherboard is a small mATX for factor board.  Ideally, this board will be targeted at HTPC and budget conscious consumers.  Whether it would be attractive to any other group is something we intend to find out by the end of this review.  As you can see from the layout, the board is small, so things are a little trapped on the board, but really, it was not that hard to work with at all.  Gigabyte did a good job placing things on the board. 

gigabyte ga ma69gm s2h motherboard review

The top right of the board reveals our DDRII slots.  This board supports up to 16GB memory in dual channel configuration.  It is able to achieve DDR2 speeds of 800/667/533/400DDR.  We also see our 24-pin power connector nicely placed at the edge of the board.  That is also where we find both our IDE and floppy connectors. 

gigabyte ga ma69gm s2h motherboard review

The bottom right of the board is where we find the ATI SB600 southbridge location.  It is cooled by a pretty small aluminum heatsink.

gigabyte ga ma69gm s2h motherboard review

Our SATA ports are also at the bottom right of the board.  They have been turned on their sides, which can pose problems if you have a small case, as getting to them may be an issue, but it depends on the case. 

Next to the SATA connectors we have the front panal connector pins.

gigabyte ga ma69gm s2h motherboard review

The bottom right is where we find the AMD 690G north bridge.  It is also the location of two legacy PCI slots, as well as an x1 PCI-E and one x16 PCI-E slot.  We also have several chips located here on this section of the board…

gigabyte ga ma69gm s2h motherboard review

Audio is powered by the Realtek ALC889A chips, which supports 8-channel sound, and is Blu-Ray and HD-DVD audio compatibile.

gigabyte ga ma69gm s2h motherboard review

Gigabit lan is supported with the Realtek 8110SC controller.

gigabyte ga ma69gm s2h motherboard review

Fireiwire is present by using the Texas Instruments TSB43AB23 chip.

gigabyte ga ma69gm s2h motherboard review

The top left of the board is the location of our CPU socket.  This boards supports AMD Socket AM2 Athlon 64 FX,  Athlon 64 X2 Dual-Core, Athlon 64, and  Sempron processors.  In the top corner you can see the 4-pin power connector, which is nicely placed out of the way. 

gigabyte ga ma69gm s2h motherboard review

The back I/O ports include your typical keyboard and mouse ps/2 connectors, as well as VGA and DVI out for the onboard video.  The Gigabyte GA-MA69GM-S2H also includes four USB ports, a firewire port, your lan and sudio jacks, as well as an optical  SPDIF Out port and an HDMI out.  Certainly it looks as if this board is catered to an HTPC setup.  The HDMI is a nice addition to the board for sure! 

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