Conclusions and Final ThoughtsThe uniqueness of the G33 chipset really stood out throughout our brief encounter with the GA-G33M-S2H. We were impressed by the on-board features available with this board as well as its overclocking prowess. Future proofing products is typically very difficult for manufacturers, but the GA-G33M-S2H’s support for the next-gen 45 nm processors and 1333 FSB makes this motherboard very relevant for those users trying to stay ahead of the “upgrade curve”.
The GA-G33M-S2H’s G33 chipset and support for up to 8GB of DDR2-800 RAM should also easily meet the hefty performance requirements of Windows Vista and other memory and CPU intensive programs. The GMA 3100 GPU on board combined with the Silicon Image HDMI transmitter should offer excellent HDMI and DVI output as well as DX10 graphics support.
The bundled accessories were pretty scarce with the GA-G33M-S2H. We typically see tons of other little goodies combined with Gigabyte boards. But, the $119.99 price tag is very affordable for this type of board with these features so I guess we can let them slide on this one.
In the raw performance category, we didn’t see much improvement over the 965 chipset in our benchmarks. The lack of DDR3 support was also a bit disconcerting, but with the price of DDR3 these days it’s understandable why they left it out. The performance gains users have been seeing with the P35 and X38 chipsets suggest that consumers might be better off purchasing one of those boards unless they have space issue or want on-board support for HDMI. But, many newer video cards are also coming bundled with HDMI support so that is another option.
Pricing and Availability
The GA-G33M-S2H is available at a wide variety of online retailers, including Newegg and MWave. The best price we found was around $119.99 at Newegg.
The GA-G33M-S2H is the perfect solution for multimedia users who want to take advantage of the on-board video features and HDMI output. Gamers will also enjoy its action-packed features, but the G33 chipset is really geared toward enthusiasts who yearn to build powerful HTPCs for their family and friends to enjoy.
And if you have any questions or comments about the article, or would like to see what others have to say about the Gigabyte GA-G33M-S2H, just click into our Gigabyte motherboard forum to join in the discussion!
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