Final Thoughts, Pricing, Conclusion

Power consumption

We extensively tested the GA-E350-USB3 under idle and load conditions and found the mainboard to be very cool and efficient under both conditions. Power consumption has become a key factor in modern PC components and the GA-E350-USB3 lived up to my expectations for an efficient, low-power mini ITX motherboard.

 

Performance 

We put the GA-E350-USB3 through a series of synthetic and real-world benchmarks to assess and analyze how this board compares to other mini ITX motherboards. Our benchmark results for this board were much lower than the other boards we pitted it against in a variety of PC tasks that evaluated the GA-E350-USB3’s CPU, graphics, memory, and sub systems. I took a look at Gigabyte’s website after my first round of testing and ensured I had the latest drivers and BIOS and ran the tests a couple more time to ensure everything was done to make our findings as accurate as possible. In the end, the GA-E350-USB3 just didn’t perform at the same level as the other E-350 boards.

 

Features 

The feature set Gigabyte included with the GA-E350-USB3 is very comparable to most E-350 based motherboards. This board has a three-year warranty from Gigabyte and supports USB 3.0, SATA3 (6GB/s), USB power boost, and DDR3-1333 memory that is a bit higher than most mini ITX offerings in this category. Gigabyte’s third party software bundle that includes its EasyTune 6 technology helps users monitor and manage their system resources to get the most performance out of the GA-E350-USB3 as well. I think these types of applications is what separates a lot of vendor’s offerings and makes their products more attractive.

 

Pricing and Availability

As of Dec. 9, the Gigabyte GA-E350-USB3 was available at Newegg for $89.99 after mail-in rebate ($119.99 before rebate). Consumers can also purchase it at Amazon.com for $124.99.

 

Final Thoughts

We’d like to thank our friends at Gigabyte for providing the GA-E350-USB3 for our review today. I had high expectations for this E-350 motherboard, but the benchmark results didn’t give me what I was looking for from this board. The next Fusion APUs will provide better CPU performance as well as graphics and multimedia capabilities to help boost this platform into something consumers will drool over for their next home theater PC. While this board gives users adequate performance for Blu-ray playback and very low-end gaming, the GA-E350-USB3 really didn’t shine during testing and we would have to recommend that our readers wait for the next APU revisions from AMD. 

 

Strengths

  • Decent integrated graphics on APU via HD 6310
  • One PCI-E x16 slot
  • SATA 6GB/s support
  • Good overclocking options in BIOS

Weaknesses

  • Subpar benchmark results against other E-350 boards
  • APU lacked much overhead for overclocking
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