Gigabyte GA-E350N-USB3 Motherboard Review

By on March 21, 2011
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The smallest of them all.

Good: Small size, Quiet operations, Smooth HD playback
Bad: Expected more than two USB 3.0 ports given the name, E-350 processor provides netbook level performance
Price: AED 580
* The price is the Suggested Retail Price at the time of review. Please call a retailer to confirm the latest price for this product.

Enough talk about the potential of the Gigabyte GA-E350N, let’s look at how it performs. For benchmarking it, I have used Kingston 2x 2GB HyperX DDR3 ram and Kingston V-Series 64GB SSD with Windows 7 Ultimate. All of this is powered by a 1200W Cooler Master Silent Pro Gold PSU. For comparisons I have tested the ASUS E35M1-M and the Zotac Zbox AD03.

In all of the benchmarks above, the Gigabyte GA-E350 plays second fiddle to the ASUS E35M1-M despite both of them being similarly specced. Both the ASUS and the Gigabyte boards posted 21fps on StarCraft II at lowest possible settings on a resolution of 1280×720.

Running an mkv copy of the Dark Knight on 1080p and 720p as well as the Bluray directly posed no problems at all as the playback was smooth and without a hitch. I also noticed that the fan remained ultra quiet throughout the testing and temperatures went up to 55°C.

At the end of the day if you’re looking for a decent (and very small) M-ATX motherboard for your new HTPC, the Gigabyte GA-350N-USB3 should serve you just fine. It’s small enough to fit in any case and hardly draws much power, depending on your ram, HDD and bluray drive. It barely makes any noise and is good for HD content, but don’t look into it if you’re hoping for CPU intensive tasks.

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From auditing to editing, I now test and analyze the latest gadgets and games instead of the latest financial statements. Both jobs are equally intense and rewarding. When I'm not burning up hardware in the name of science, you'll find me nuking in DOTA 2 or engineering in TF2.

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