Gigabyte GA-MA69G-S3H MotherboardFormer staff writer - August 5, 2007
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Hear the peaceful calm (HTPC), that would be not having to hear your children screaming “where did you put my movie!” That’s the acronym I would use for HTPC, but it actually stands for Home Theater Personal Computer. We have to face the facts that computers are becoming more prevalent in our everyday lives than ever before and manufacturers know this and are producing more products that are targeting these areas more than ever. When looking at an HTPC, High Definition (HD) is the key whether it is video or sound, and there are only a few components left that aren’t compatible with this standard.
When building an HTPC, most look to achieve the HD standard at a minimal cost, so to accommodate this we are seeing more motherboard manufacturers produce boards with onboard HD video and sound. Some have HDMI capabilities, which will also carry sound, and some choose to use DVI as the way to transport the HD digital image. With straight DVI, these motherboards must have an additional sound source onboard since, at this time, DVI is incapable of transferring sound by itself. We are also seeing two formats of motherboards that are equipped with the HD qualities, Micro-ATX and ATX. Micro- ATX allows for a smaller system case which will be more compact, whereas ATX will require a normal sized case and may not fit in most entertainment centers.
In our quest to build the perfect HTPC, Overclockers Club is reviewing a total of four integrated motherboards; this review's focus will be the Gigabyte GA-MA69G-S3H, which is Full ATX. This Gigabyte motherboard contains HD Audio, HDMI out, Video and is Crossfire capable.
Gigabyte is a well-known industry manufacturer of motherboards that was founded over two decades ago. Along with motherboards, Gigabyte also produces graphics cards, notebooks, digital home entertainment appliances, mobile and handheld devices, and networking servers.
The white and green box is not as image laden as some of its competitors, but is still bright enough to catch your eye. While the S3 is the biggest image on the box, what caught my eye was the S-Series print that has an aluminum glow. The back of the box describes the board's features. When you open the box, you will find the board's bundled accessories and underneath it all is the board itself.