The Gigabyte Ga-MA69GM-S2H is a board that is targeted to the HTPC market. It has a rich feature set for a micro board, and will make a great board for its intended purpose. The addition of HDMI should make setup and use with your HTPC and plasma or LCD a piece of cake!
The layout of the board was really quite good. In fact, I would say that it is hard to find an mATX board that is either not terribly crowded, or that has placed things correctly on the board; but Gigabyte did it. The layout is smart and makes for easy installation and placement of components and wires.
The performance of the board is just absolutely outstanding. Gigabyte certainly has a winner in that catagory with the GA-MA69GM-S2H. This should make your HTPC setup just outstanding. The board easily handled everything that we through at it without even a whimper.
The bundle is pretty thin, but good enough to get you going. An HDMI cable would have been a nice bonus, but everything you add just means more cost, and I would rather get my own cable than pay more for a possibly low grade one.
Overclocking on the board was not as good as we expected, but we did run into issues with our board before we got finished with it. We have been in contact with Gigabyte, and they have been very helpful to help us with the issues we had in overclocking, and we expect to see a fix soon. If time permits, we will take another look at overclocking and update as necessary.
The price of the board is really quite good considering the feature set on the board. The price is not a problem, but availability may be. Right now it can be had at a handful of e-tailers for around $73 plus shipping, which is quite an aggressive price for such a feature rich board.
The Legit Bottom Line: Gigabyte has done it again! They have produced a fantastic performing board at a budget price that has great features, and from what we have seen on the net, has great overclocking ability as well. Unfortunately, we were unable to experience that, but as stated, if we can get a fix and time allows, we will update the overclocking section on this board. This board will fit the bill if you are looking for a low cost AMD based system, especially if you are looking at setting up an HTPC.