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::>Motherboards > 2015 > 04 > GIGABYTE GA-H81N-D2H

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12-04-2015


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Motherboard GIGABYTE GA-H81N-D2H: review and testing

We continue learn the available models to build entry-level multimedia systems, this time we will talk about the motherboard G GIGABYTE GA-H81N-D2H, which is made in the Mini-ITX format and has a number of distinctive features. In addition to familiar concept of Ultra Durable, novelty stands out by relatively low cost and lack of expansion slots PCI Express x16. This implies its use exclusively with an integrated processor, which has three video outputs on the interface panel, including modern HDMI to output image with resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels (4K Ultra HD).

Let's move on to the review of new item, and let’s start from its technical characteristics.

GIGABYTE GA-H81N-D2H

The specs:

Producer  

GIGABYTE

Model

GA-H81N-D2H (rev 1.0)

Chipset

Intel H81

Integrated processor

Socket LGA1150

Supported CPUs

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

Memory frequency

1600 / 1333 MHz

Memory support

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

Expansion slots

1 x PCI

Disk subsystem

Intel H81chipset supports:

2 x SATA 6 Gb/s

2 x SATA 3 Gb/s

LAN

1 x Realtek 8111F (10/100/1000 Мb/s)

Sound subsystem

Codec Realtek ALC887

8-channel sound

S/PDIF Out

Power

24-pin power socket ATX

4-pin power socket ATX12V

Fans

1 x CPU fan connector (4-pin)

1 x system fan connectors (4-pin)

Cooling

Aluminum radiators on chipset

Extenral I/O

1 x HDMI

1 x DVI-D

1 x D-Sub

2 х PS/2 (mouse and keyboard connection)

1 x LAN (RJ45)

2 x USB 3.0

2 x USB 2.0

3 x audio jacks

Internal I/O

1 x USB 2.0 each with support of two USB 2.0

2 x SATA 6 Gb/s

2 x SATA 3 Gb/s

1 x COM

1 x LPT

1 x connector of audio output to front panel

1 x set of front panel connectors

1 х CMOS

1 x S/PDIF Out

BIOS

AMI UEFI BIOS

1 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

Mini-ITX

170 х 170 mm

Producer website

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

Package and content

GIGABYTE GA-H81N-D2H

Package of the product is made of thick cardboard and decorated with quality printing in dark colors. The front side contains the usual names of the manufacturer and model of the device and a big logo branded concept Ultra Durable, which includes the following features:

  • Ultra Cool & Performance - power circuits uses high field-effect transistors with low on-resistance (Low RDS (on), as well as durable solid capacitors.
  • Ultra Safe - this model is equipped with additional protection of ports USB and LAN ESD. Each LAN and USB-port works in conjunction with a special protective filter that is able to withstand severe electrostatic discharge, which protects the system from power surges, even during a thunderstorm. Do note the presence of protective circuits, safeguard internal components against overvoltage and an improved laying of fiberglass in the PCB, thus reducing the negative impact of moisture.

GIGABYTE GA-H81N-D2H

The back side has a schematic representation of the motherboard and interface panel, and the description of the above-mentioned key advantages.

GIGABYTE GA-H81N-D2H

In the box with the test model, in addition to the disk with the software and the interface board plug, we found only two SATA cables, which is quite expected for an inexpensive device 

Design and features

GIGABYTE GA-H81N-D2H

GIGABYTE H81N-D2H is made on the dark brown printed circuit board in color format Mini-ITX (170 x 170 mm). It is framed very strictly, with a predominance of gray and dark shades. On-board elements layout is quite standard for the format of devices and has a thoughtful arrangement of key ports and connectors closer to the edges of the PCB.

GIGABYTE GA-H81N-D2H

Looking at the back side, you can see not only the traditional base plate of the socket and plastic clip fastening the single radiator, but a number of chips too large to fit on the front side.

GIGABYTE GA-H81N-D2H

Most ports and connectors are concentrated in the central part of the PCB. Here are: front panel audio leading-in socket, S/PDIF Out, connectors COM and LPT, as well as the block to activate additional interfaces USB 2.0. Total number of USB 2.0 sockets is four: two internal and two on the interface panel. As for the USB 3.0, its number is two and both are placed on interface panel. The operation of all USB ports is provided by chipset Intel H81.   

GIGABYTE GA-H81N-D2H

In the upper right corner of the PCB there is a module to connect the front panel, CMOS and the two fan connectors.

GIGABYTE GA-H81N-D2H

The possibility of organizing a disk subsystem is presented by two ports SATA 6 Gb/s (black) and two SATA 3 Gb/s (white). All interfaces are realized by chipset.

GIGABYTE GA-H81N-D2H

Main board GIGABYTE GA-H81N-D2H is equipped with two DIMM-slots for memory modules DDR3 that can operate in dual-channel mode. Modules operating at frequencies up to 1066 in nominal mode are supported. Maximum memory capacity may be up to 16 GB which is enough for compact system.  

GIGABYTE GA-H81N-D2H

Cooling system of the product includes one aluminum radiator that provides heat removal from system logic Intel H81.

In the process of testing the following temperature indices were fixed:

  • radiator for chipset cooling – 55.7°C;
  • field-effect transistor of CPU power subsystem – 68°C;
  • chokes of CPU power subsystem – 63.2°C.

Despite the mounting method (using plastic clips) and low heat dissipation area, chipset heatsink adequately copes with its task.

GIGABYTE GA-H81N-D2H

GIGABYTE GA-H81N-D2H

Processor power supply is performed via 3-phase scheme for computational cores and additional joints. Converter is based on a digital PWM controller ISL95812. All power components of CPU have high reliability level: solid capacitors and FETs with low-resistance channel. Basic 24-pin and additional 4-pin connectors are use for power feeding.     

GIGABYTE GA-H81N-D2H

As we mentioned in the beginning, the novelty doesn’t have slot PCI Express x16 for graphics cards, and to expand its functionality you can use only a single slot PCI.

GIGABYTE GA-H81N-D2H

Since the chipset Intel H81 doesn’t support bus PCI, the functioning of the respective slot is implemented by the bridge PCIE-PCI, based on the controller ITE IT8892E.

GIGABYTE GA-H81N-D2H

If you decided to take advantage of the integrated graphics core, then you have three video outputs: DVI-D, D-Sub and HDMI, which operate through the controller ASMedia ASM1442K.

GIGABYTE GA-H81N-D2H

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

GIGABYTE GA-H81N-D2H

To support network connection there is gigabit LAN-controller Realtek 8111F. A proprietary utility GIGABYTE LAN Optimizer helps to manage network resources between applications.

GIGABYTE GA-H81N-D2H

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-H81N-D2H

Interface panel of ASUS H81M-C model contains the following ports:

  • 1 x LAN (RJ45);
  • 2 x USB 3.0;
  • 2 x USB 2.0;
  • 1 x HDMI;
  • 1 x DVI-D;
  • 1 x D-Sub;
  • 2 x PS/2 mouse and keyboard connection;
  • 3 x audio jacks.

Note very successful layout of interface panel, especially taking into account the cost of the board. It includes three video outputs, number of USB ports, as well as the ability to place ports COM and LPT using the appropriate connectors on the PCB. The features contain only inconvenient connection of multichannel speakers, where you have to use the audio outputs on the front panel.

GIGABYTE GA-H81N-D2H

The possibility of organizing the cooling system inside the body is pretty standard for the format Mini-ITX. There are two 4-pin fan connectors, one of which is used for the CPU cooling system, while the second is intended for system fans.

UEFI BIOS

GIGABYTE GA-H81N-D2H

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

GIGABYTE GA-H81N-D2H

Most of the settings related to changes in frequency of the clock (BCLK), CPU, integrated graphics core and memory are grouped under «MB Intelligent Tweaker» («M.I.T.»), where they are conveniently separated in thematic subsections.

GIGABYTE GA-H81N-D2H

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

GIGABYTE GA-H81N-D2H

In the subsection «Advanced Memory Settings» you can access the memory timings adjustments.

GIGABYTE GA-H81N-D2H

Also it is possible to fine-tune the voltage on the main components of the system.

Settings required for optimizing the system are summarized in the table:

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

Profiles of automatic overclocking

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

GPU 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

GPU 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 – 1,700

0,005

Capacity of memory required 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-H81N-D2H

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 over the lines +12V, +5V and +3.3V. A special mention is given to the possibility of taking screenshots.


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