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Gigabyte MA78GPM-DS2H review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £80
inc VAT


AM2+, microATX, AMD 780G chipset, supports: Sempron, Athlon 64, Athlon 64 X2, Athlon 64 FX, Phenom, Phenom II

Gigabyte’s MA78GPM-DS2H is the only AMD microATX board here. Because of the dimensions it has a fiddly layout.

The motherboard has five SATA connections and an eSATA port, along with four USB ports, FireWire and a full complement of video outputs. It also has an AMD 780G Northbridge, a 700SB Southbridge and an onboard ATI Radeon HD 3200 graphics processor (capable of Blu-ray playback) with an HDMI output, which is useful if you’re building a media centre PC.

Like all AM2+ motherboards, the MA78GPM-DS2H supports Phenom II, but its performance doesn’t appear to be optimised for this processor. Our tests produced some surprising results. We’ve listed its performance with an AMD Phenom II 940, but the results we obtained were lower than when we fitted a less-powerful Phenom X4 9950. For example, its overall PCMark Vantage score was 4,441 with the Phenom II, but it achieved a score of 4,792 with the older processor. A future firmware upgrade may correct this but none was available at the time of testing.

With the minor irritations such as the lack of support for the very latest processors, Gigabyte’s MA78GPM-DS2H didn’t get off to a good start. However, its performance is fine with older processors, which is all you need if you want to build a compact media centre PC using a microATX motherboard and a case such as Antec’s Minuet 350. The graphics card’s ability to play Blu-ray movies means it’s good value, too.

Basic Specifications

Rating **
Processor socket AM2+
Form factor microATX
Size 244x224mm
Processor support Sempron, Athlon 64, Athlon 64 X2, Athlon 64 FX, Phenom, Phenom II
Processor external bus 266MHz (1,066MHz quad-pumped FSB)
Chipset north bridge AMD 780G
Chipset south bridge AMD SB700
Passively-cooled north bridge yes
Integrated graphics Yes
Supported memory type DDR2 667/800/1066
Maximum memory speed PC2-8500
Memory slots 4
Maximum memory 8GB
Dual-channel support yes

Buying Information

Price £80

Internal Ports

Power connectors 1x 24-pin ATX, 1x 4-pin ATX
PCI-E x16 slots 1
Dual graphics architecture none
PCI-E x4 slots 0
PCI-E x1 slots 1
PCI slots 2
Fan headers 3
Floppy ports 1
IDE ports 1
Serial ATA ports 5
RAID chipset (max disks) AMD SB700 (6x SATA II, RAID 0, 1, 10, JBOD)


Wired network ports 10/100/1000
Sound (ports) Realtek ALC889A (HDMI, optical S/PDIF, 6x analogue out)
USB2 ports / headers 4/4
Firewire ports / headers 1/1
Legacy ports 2x PS/2
Other ports VGA, DVI, HDMI, eSATA
Cables included 1x SATA, 1x IDE, 1x floppy
Brackets included none
Software included none

Setup and Overclocking

Voltage adjustment CPU/RAM/chipset
CPU clock max adjustment 500MHz

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