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::>Motherboards > 2015 > 07 > GIGABYTE GA-H81M-D3H

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Republish review

02-07-2015


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Motherboard GIGABYTE GA-H81M-D3H: review and testing

GIGABYTE GA-H81M-D3H is a budget microATX model, designed to work with processors from Intel. It is logical that in the course of its development it was decided to use the youngest chipset (Intel H81) as the basis, making it possible to significantly reduce the final cost.

GIGABYTE GA-H81M-D3H

We would like to note that the chipset Intel H81 nominally does not support CPU overclocking and has less features. The key is its advantage, besides the price, is the support of interfaces USB 3.0 and SATA 6 Gb/s, which is important for the modern user who wants to save money, but not going to refuse high-speed data transfer methods.

The specs:

Producer  

GIGABYTE

Model

GA-H81M-D3H (rev 1.0)

Chipset

Intel H81

Processor socket

Socket LGA1150

Supported CPUs

Intel Core i7 / Core i5 / Core i3 / Pentium / Celeron 4th gen

Memory frequency

1600 / 1333 MHz

Memory support

4 x DDR3 DIMM-slots with memory support up to 16 GB

Expansion slots

1 x PCI Express 2.0 x16 (mode х16)

1 x PCI Express 2.0 x16 (mode х4)

2 x PCI

Disk subsystem

Intel H81 chipset supports:

2 x SATA 6 Gb/s (white)

2 x SATA 3 gb/s (black)

LAN

1 x Realtek 8111F (10/100/1000 Мb/s)

Sound subsystem

Codec Realtek ALC887

8-channel sound

Power

24-pin power socket ATX

8-pin power socket ATX12V

Fans

1 x CPU fan connector (4-pin)

1 x system fan connector (4-pin)

Cooling

Aluminum radiator on chipset

Extenral I/O

1 x DVI-D

1 x D-Sub

1 x HDMI

2 х PS/2

1 x COM

1 x LAN (RJ45)

2 x USB 3.0

4 x USB 2.0

3 x audio jacks

Internal I/O

2 x USB 2.0, with support of two USB 2.0

2 x SATA 6 Gb/s

2 x SATA 3 Gb/s

1 x LPT

1 х CMOS

1 x connector of audio output to front panel

1 x set of front panel connectors

BIOS

AMI UEFI BIOS

2 x 32 Мb

PnP 1.0a, DMI 2.7, WfM 2.0, SM BIOS 2.7, ACPI 5.0

Packaging

user manual

warranty card

disk with drives and documents

2 x SATA cables

1 х interface panel plug

Form-factor, dimensions

microATX

244 х 225 mm

Producer website

GIGABYTE
Updated versions of BIOS and drives are available at support page

Package and content

GIGABYTE GA-H81M-D3H

Package of new item is made of cardboard and decorated with high-quality printing in dark colors. On the front side, besides the usual names of the manufacturer and model of the device, you can pay attention to the logo of a branded concept Ultra Durable 4 Plus, which includes the following features:

  • Ultra Cool & Perfomance - the CPU power circuit uses high-performance field effect transistors with low on-resistance (Low RDS (on)) and long-life solid capacitors.
  • Ultra Safe - this model is equipped with an additional protection of ports USB and LAN ESD. Each LAN and USB port is paired with a special protective filter that is able to withstand severe electrostatic discharge, which protects the system against voltage surges, even during a storm. Also here is the presence of protective circuits, safeguard internal components from overvoltage, and an improved installation of fiberglass-based, thus reducing the negative impact of moisture.

GIGABYTE GA-H81M-D3H

On the reverse side of the box you can notice a schematic representation of the motherboard and its interface panel, and the description of the above-mentioned key advantages.

GIGABYTE GA-H81M-D3H

In the box with the testing model we found two SATA cables, software CD and plug to the interface panel.

Design and features

GIGABYTE GA-H81M-D3H

GIGABYTE GA-H81M-D3H is made on a compact dark brown PCB in format microATX (244 x 225 mm). Do note a little bit unconventional layout of on-board elements. For example, SATA ports are located on the right side, not in the lower right corner. Thus we did not face with inconvenience during assembly the system.

GIGABYTE GA-H81M-D3H

The discomfort may cause a close proximity of DIMM-slots and socket PCI Express 2.0 x16, and if you need to extract the memory modules you have to disable the preset video card.

GIGABYTE GA-H81M-D3H

The reverse side of GIGABYTE GA-H81M-D3H contains only standard base plate of the socket and plastic fastening clip of the radiator, which is responsible for cooling the chipset.

GIGABYTE GA-H81M-D3H

At the bottom of the board there are the following connectors: front panel audio leading-in socket, socket LPT, front panel connection module and CMOS reset. Also here are two modules for connection of additional interfaces USB 2.0. Total number of USB 2.0 sockets is eight: four are internal and four on the interface panel. Modules with connectors USB 3.0 are absent. 

GIGABYTE GA-H81M-D3H

The possibility of organizing a disk subsystem is presented by two ports SATA 6 Gb/s (white) and two SATA 3 Gb/s (black). All of them operate due to chipset.

GIGABYTE GA-H81M-D3H

The tested model is equipped by four DIMM-slots for memory modules of DDR3 standard that can operate in dual channel mode. Modules operating at frequencies from 1066 to 1600 MHz in the nominal mode are supported. The maximum amount is 16 GB that is more than enough for compact and inexpensive system.

GIGABYTE GA-H81M-D3H

Cooling system of the product includes one aluminum radiator that removes heat from chipset Intel H81. In the process of testing the following temperature indices were fixed: 

  • radiator of chipset cooling – 42.0°C (during overclocking – 42.4°C);
  • field-effect transistor of processor power subsystem – 87.4°C (during overclocking – 90.1°C);
  • chokes of processor power subsystem –67.1°C (during overclocking – 71.3°C).

Demonstrated results are average, but as there is a large reserve up to the critical temperature.

GIGABYTE GA-H81M-D3H

GIGABYTE GA-H81M-D3H

Processor power supply is performed via 3-phase scheme for computational cores and additional joints. The transformer is based on PWM controller ISL95812. The circuitry is made by high quality components such as: solid capacitors and transistors with low resistance of open channel. Basic 24-pin and additional 8-pin connectors are use for power feeding.   

GIGABYTE GA-H81M-D3H

To extend the functionality of the product user has four slots:

  1. PCI Express 2.0 x16 (mode х16);
  2. PCI;
  3. PCI;
  4. PCI Express 2.0 x16 (mode х4).

Despite the presence of two slots PCI Express 2.0 x16, it is impossible to install two video cards because there is no support for technologies NVIDIA SLI and AMD CrossFireX. In addition, the chipset Intel H81 does not support distribution lines between the slots. As a result, the second slot PCI Express 2.0 should be used for other expansion cards.

GIGABYTE GA-H81M-D3H

If you decided to take advantage of the graphics core integrated into the CPU, you have three video outputs: HDMI, DVI-D and D-Sub, navigated by the chips ASMedia ASM1442 and PTN3360DBS.

GIGABYTE GA-H81M-D3H

Since the chipset Intel H81 does not support bus PCI, and operation of the two corresponding connectors is realized by bridge PCIE-PCI, based on the controller ITE IT8892E.

GIGABYTE GA-H81M-D3H

Multi I/O capabilities are based on chip ITE IT8620E which controls the operation of the system fans, COM, LPT and PS/2 ports, as well as provides the monitoring.

GIGABYTE GA-H81M-D3H

To support network connections there is a GB LAN-controller Realtek 8111F. Software GIGABYTE LAN Optimizer allows distribute network resources between application.

GIGABYTE GA-H81M-D3H

Sound subsystem of model is based on the 8-channel codec Realtek ALC887 which supports audio formats 2/4/5.1/7.1.

GIGABYTE GA-H81M-D3H

Interface panel of the model contains the following ports:

  • 1 x HDMI;
  • 1 x D-Sub;
  • 1 x DVI-D;
  • 2 x PS/2;
  • 1 x LAN (RJ45);
  • 2 x USB 3.0;
  • 4 x USB 2.0;
  • 1 х COM;
  • 3 x audio jacks.

As you can see, the novelty is equipped not only with modern ports USB 3.0, but the interface COM, which can be required in the case of the building of office or industrial system. Also note the presence of three video outputs, and separate PS/2 ports for connection of mouse and keyboard. As for features, you should take into account inconvenient connection of multichannel speakers.

GIGABYTE GA-H81M-D3H

The possibility of organizing the cooling system inside the body of GIGABYTE GA-H81M-S2V is very standard. There are two 4-pin fan connectors, one of which serves to cool the CPU, while the others are intended for the system fan.

UEFI BIOS

GIGABYTE GA-H81M-D3H

The tested model is equipped with modern firmware UEFI based on microcode AMI with a nice graphical user interface, the ability to control via mouse and support for drives larger than 3TB.

GIGABYTE GA-H81M-D3H

Most of the settings related to changes in frequency of the CPU, integrated graphics core and RAM are grouped under «MB Intelligent Tweaker» («M.I.T.») where they are separated by sections.

GIGABYTE GA-H81M-D3H

Multiplier allows you to set the frequency of the memory modules as part of the 800 MHz to 1600 MHz.

GIGABYTE GA-H81M-D3H

If necessary the section “Advanced Memory Settings” can provide the access to settings of memory latency.

GIGABYTE GA-H81M-D3H

Also there is ability to fine tune of voltages on basic components of system.

Adjustments required to optimize the system:

Parameter

Menu

Range

Step

CPU multiplier

CPU Clock Ratio

8 – MAX

 

RAM frequency

System Memory Multiplier

800 – 1600

 

CPU voltage

CPU Vcore

0,900 – 1,200

0,001

Automatic overclocking profiles

CPU Upgrade

Auto; 4,3; 4,4; 4,5; 4,6; 4,7 GHz

 

RAM voltage

DRAM Voltage

1,160 – 1,700

0,020

Chipset voltage

PCH Core

0,955 – 1,150

0,005

Graphics core frequency

Processor Graphics Clock

400 – 4000

50

 

Turbo Power Limit

1 – 4096

1

 

Core Current Limit

10 – 1000

1

 

CPU VRIN Voltage

1,700 – 1,900

0,010

CPU Graphics Voltage

CPU Graphics Voltage

0,900 – 1,100

0,001

 

CPU RING Voltage

0,950 – 1,149

0,001

System Agent Voltage

CPU System Agent Voltage

-0,100 − +0,100

0,001

 

CPU I/O Analog Voltage

-0,100 – +0,100

0,001

 

CPU I/O Digital Voltage

-0,100 – +0,100

0,001

 

PCH I/O

1,400 – 1,600

0,005

Capacity of memory for CPU graphics core

Intel Processor Graphics Memory

32, 64, 96, 128, 192, 224, 256, 320, 384, 448, 512

 

RAM timing

Timing Control

CAS, tRCD, tRP, tRAS, tRRD, tWTR, tWR, tWTP, tWL, tRFC, tRTP, tFAW

 

GIGABYTE GA-H81M-D3H

The section «PC Health Status» opens access for monitoring the temperature of the processor and chipset, as well as speed of installed fans. Additionally you can monitor the voltage at the processor core, memory modules and power supply rails +12V and +3.3V.


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