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::>Motherboards > 2014 > 04 > GIGABYTE GA-H81M-S1

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03-04-2014


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GIGABYTE GA-H81M-S1 motherboard review and testing performances

The hero of our overview is GIGABYTE GA-H81M-S1 motherboard. It was present by Taiwanese Company as one of the most reasonable solution for work with Intel 4th generation processors (Intel Haswell). So it I not a surprise that its basis is entry-level chipset Intel H81 Express. Using this chipset it became possible to put modern USB 3.0 and SATA 6 Gb/s interfaces.    

Speaking about the moderateness of GIGABYTE GA-H81M-S1 we want to mention that its retail price is $ 50-55 that makes it quite profitable for example bulk purchase for office PC build. Of course the new product will be suitable for low-cost home system and can be used as temporary replacement in case of your main motherboard damage.

But let’s proceed to the learning and identify its peculiarities: 

 GIGABYTE GA-H81M-S1 

The specs:

Manufacturer

GIGABYTE

Model

GA-H81M-S1 (rev 1.0)

Chipset

Intel H81 Express

CPU Socket

Socket LGA1150

Supported Processors

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

Frequency of memory used

1600 / 1333 MHz

Memory support

2 x 1,5В DDR3 DIMM- slots for up to 64GB of memory

Expansion slots

1 x PCI Express 2.0 x16

2 x PCI Express 2.0 x1

Disk subsystem

Intel H81 Express chipset supports:

2 x SATA 6 Gb/s

2 x SATA 3 Gb/s

LAN

1 x Realtek 8111F (10/100/1000 MB/s)

Audio subsystem

Realtek ALC887 codec

2 / 4 / 5.1 / 7.1-channel audio

Power connector

24-pin ATX power connector

4-pin ATX12V connector

Fans

1x fan connector CPU (4-pin)

1x system fan connector (4-pin)

Cooling

Aluminum cooler on chipset

External I/O ports

1 x D-Sub

1 x LAN (RJ45)

2 x USB 3.0

2 x USB 2.0

3 x audio ports

2 х PS/2 (mouse and keyboard)

Internal I/O ports

2x USB 2.0, each supporting two USB 2.0 connection

2x SATA 6Gb/s

2x SATA 3Gb/s

1x COM connector

1x Audio output connector on the front panel

1x Front panel connector block

BIOS

64 Mb AMI UEFI BIOS

PnP 1.0а, DMI 2.0, SM BIOS 2.6, ACPI 2.0а

Options

User Manual Guide

Warranty Brochure

Drivers And Utilities CD

2x SATA Cable

1x Interface Panel Plug

Form-factor, dimension

microATX

226 х 170 mm

Producer website

GIGABYTE
Updated versions of BIOS and drives are available here со страницы поддержки

Packaging and content

 GIGABYTE GA-H81M-S1 

GIGABYTE GA-H81M-S1 motherboard is supplied in cardboard box and has qualitative color printing of dark colors. The front side contains Company name, device type, logo of Ultra Durable 4 Plus conception that combines the following features:

  • Ultra Cool a new sample of high efficiency cooler is used for cooling.
  • Ultra Performance - circuitry includes high quality components such as solid-state capacitors and Field Effect Transistor with low channel resistance (Low RDS(on)). They have higher level of efficiency, stability and reliability.
  • Ultra Safe - this model is equipped with two chips with BIOS firmware download (main and additional) that will allow you to avoid a visit to the service center in case of main chip damage. Also there is an additional protection of USB and LAN connectors against electrostatic discharge. Each LAN and USB connector is operated with a special protective filter that can withstand severe electrostatic discharge. It protects the system against power instability even during a thunderstorm.

 GIGABYTE GA-H81M-S1 

The reverse side of the box attracts user’s attention by diagrammatic representation of motherboard and short technical specification. Several interesting features are specified:

  • circuit board additional protection against moisture and high temperature;
  • the usage of separate safety device for each USB port on interface panel. In case of damage of one of them will save the operation of another one.

The most useful for everyday usage will be such technologies as GIGABYTE ON/OFF Charge и 3x USB Power. Please use the link to find these materials in our previous overviews.   

GIGABYTE GA-H81M-S1 

Set of delivery of model under testing includes: two SATA cables, interface panel plug, driver disc and user manual. This kit is quite enough for the product of this price range.

Design and features of the board

 GIGABYTE GA-H81M-S1 

The basis of GIGABYTE GA-H81M-S1 motherboard is dark-brown microATX (226х170mm). It is performed quite strictly and looks more expansive.

The content is pretty convenient. Due to small amount of ports and sockets, they are placed closer to textolite end. As a result there are no complains to design and system build. The most important is the fact that the product does not make an impression of the simplest model.

 GIGABYTE GA-H81M-S1 

The reverse side has the support plate of CPU socket as well as plastic spring clips to fix chipset cooler.

 GIGABYTE GA-H81M-S1 

The lower part of textolite has the following ports and sockets: leading-in audio socket in front panel and system fan socket. Also here you will find two leading-in sockets for USB2.0 enable, as well as leading-in socket for front panel. Total number of USB 2.0 ports is six: four inside and two on interface panel.

 GIGABYTE GA-H81M-S1 

Disk subsystem organization is presented by four SATA ports placed perpendicularly to textolite surface. Two ports of black color correspond to standard SATA 3 Gb/s, and other two of white color to standard SATA 6 Gb/s. All of them operate due to Intel H81 Express chipset.

 GIGABYTE GA-H81M-S1 

GIGABYTE GA-H81M-S1 system board is equipped with two DIMM-slots for installation of standard DDR3 memory modules. Taking into account the peculiarities of the chipset, only one socket for channel is supported. This provides two-channel mode with maximum memory capacity 16Gb. This will be enough for everyday usage. Clock frequency of used models can be maximum 1600MHz.

As we can see a new product does not have leading-in socket for removable panel with USB 3.0 ports. That is why the user has only two corresponding sockets on interface panel. Since system logic Intel H81 Express provides the operation of only two USB 3.0 ports, the exterior controllers were used to realize the others.

 GIGABYTE GA-H81M-S1 

Single cooler of GIGABYTE GA-H81M-S1 is fixed on textolite by plastic spring clips. It provides heat removal out of Intel H81 Express chipset. During testing the temperature die not exceed 43,1°C and it is a good result for such cooler.

GIGABYTE GA-H81M-S1

GIGABYTE GA-H81M-S1

Processor power supply is performed via 3-phase scheme for computational cores and additional joints. Converter is based on a digital PWM controller 95812 HRZ.  Attentive readers may have noticed that in addition to solid capacitors on the motherboard there are electrolytic, i.e. less reliable and durable. However, we are going to reassure you: most important circuits, namely the power of CPU and RAM have only solid capacitors and ferrite core chokes and field-effect transistors with low resistance. Basic 24-pin and additional 4-pin connectors are use for power feeding. 

 GIGABYTE GA-H81M-S1 

To extend motherboard functionality the user has 3 slots:

  1. PCI Express 2.0 x16;
  2. PCI Express 2.0 x1;
  3. PCI Express 2.0 x1.

As we can see to organize graphics subsystem the user has one video card. It is quite logically regarding the price. Instead of Intel H87 Express chipset Intel H81 Express supports operation of PCI Express 2.0 lines.

Despite this fact, the carrying capacity of PCI Express 2.0 x16 will be enough for any modern video card. For other expansion cards (sound, network, video capture, etc.) there are two modern PCI Express 2.0 x1 sockets that completely corresponds compact dimensions and moderate cost.

GIGABYTE GA-H81M-S1

Opportunities of Multi I/O are based on ITE IT8620E chip, which controls the operation of the system fan, PS/2 ports, as well as provides the monitors.

 GIGABYTE GA-H81M-S1 

To support network connections there is gigabit LAN-controller Realtek RTL8111F.

 GIGABYTE GA-H81M-S1 

Sound subsystem is based on HAD codec of 8-channel sound Realtek ALC887 that supports 2/4/5.1/7.1. sound systems.

GIGABYTE GA-H81M-S1

Interface panel contains the following ports:

  • 1 x D-Sub;
  • 1 x LAN (RJ45);
  • 2 x USB 3.0;
  • 2 х USB 2.0;
  • 2 х PS/2 (mouse and keyboard);
  • 3 x audio ports.

Absolute advantage of interface panel with price $ 50 is a support of modern USB 3.0 ports. As for the rest it completely corresponds to the price.

GIGABYTE GA-H81M-S1

Cooling capacity inside the unit is pretty standard as for compact solution. There are 4 pin sockets to connect the fans.  One of them is used for the CPU cooling system, and other - to activate the system of fans.

UEFI BIOS

GIGABYTE GA-H81M-S1

GIGABYTE GA-H81M-S1 model is equipped with a modern UEFI insertion based on microcode AMI with an opportunity of changing of graphical interface, mouse control and support of storage device with capacity more 3 TB.

As you could notice, in BIOS mode there is no a separate section responsible for monitoring of voltage and temperature of main components, All necessary data ate reflected on the screen. Here you can watch CPU temperature, rotation speed of installed fans, check the voltage of RAM modules, CPU and power lines +12V, +5V and +3,3V.

GIGABYTE GA-H81M-S1

As you can see, the main screen has two main profiles of the system: “Standard” and “Performance”. The first contains the settings that are used on default, while the second offers to configure the system performance in overclocked condition. Also there is the possibility to another four profiles with the unique settings.

GIGABYTE GA-H81M-S1

Using inlay “Performance” you can choose one of six types of automatic system optimization in section Performance Upgrade.

GIGABYTE GA-H81M-S1

If required you can use “Voltage” profile to get an access to voltage adjustments for key system components.

Adjustments required to optimize the system:

Menu name     

Range

Pitch

CPU Clock Ratio

8 – MAX

1

System Memory Multiplier

800 – 1600

 

CPU Vcore

0,900 – 1,200

0,001

DRAM Voltage

1,500 – 1,700

0,1

Performance Upgrade

Auto, 20%, 40%, 60%, 80%, 100%

 

CPU Upgrade

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

Processor Graphics Clock

400 – 4000

50

Turbo Power Limit (Watts)

1 – 4096

1

Core Current Limit (Amps)

10 – 1000

1

CPU VRIN Voltage

1,700 – 1,900

0,010

CPU Graphics Voltage (VAXG)

0,900 – 1,100

0,001

CPU RING Voltage

0,950 – 1,149

0,001

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

Intel Processor Graphics Memory

32, 64, 96, 128, 192, 224, 256, 320, 384, 448, 512, 1024

 

Timing Control

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

 


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