Gigabyte GA-M78SM-S2H Reviewajmatson - July 10, 2008
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I must say, I was quite amazed by the performance of the Gigabyte GA-M78SM-S2H motherboard. I mean, I know it is a mini board and not meant for hardcore applications and gaming, but it did very well for itself. In the majority of the tests, the Gigabyte 8200 board came close or the same as even the 780a full featured motherboards, but costs less than a third of some of them. This makes the GA-M78SM-S2H a great choice for a Home Theater PC or mid-end workstation, especially with the Integrated Graphics that support the Lumenex graphics engine and PureVideo Technology. It also supports DirectX 10 and Shader Model 4.0 for casual gaming, though you will not be breaking any records with the IGP in gaming.
There are a few drawbacks to the Gigabyte GA-M78SM-S2H however. First is that there are only two memory slots available on the board. Normally this should not be a problem, but if you use a large, wide heatsink for your CPU that blocks the first memory slot, you might be in trouble. Also, when the two RAM sticks are placed right next to each other there is less airflow in between them, which results in higher temperatures. Second, the overclocking performance was very poor on the Gigabyte 8200 board. I had more problems overclocking this board than any other I have reviewed or used. Other than that, this is a solid board and offers great stock performance for not a lot of money. The size of this motherboard makes it perfect for any small project you have in mind without taking up too much room.
- Stands up well with other boards with the same chipset
- Mini size great for HTPC
- Integrated video with support for Pure Video and Lumenex Graphics
- Plenty of connections for peripherals
- Only two memory slots
- Poor overclocking performance