It doesn’t get much cheaper than this.
It’s remarkable that Gigabyte can deliver a motherboard with a street price under $100, yet it still packs Intel’s best Socket 1155 chipset, the Z77. It’s obviously had to cut some corners and the easiest way is to shrink the board size, so Gigabyte has gone for the micro-ATX format.
Understandably, this severely cuts back on your PCI/PCIe options, but amazingly there’s still room for dual PCIe video cards. However, the board strangely only supports CrossFire, not SLI. There’s also a PCI and PCIe x1 slot, making this a great little board for a souped-up HTPC or LAN box.
Gigabyte has stuck with the default four SATA 3Gbps and two SATA 6Gbps ports of the Z77 chipset, but it’s doubled the number of USB 3.0 ports to four. At this price point we can forgive the use of a cheaper Atheros network controller, which drives a single Gigabit Ethernet port. Likewise with the affordable audio solution, VIA’s budget VT2021 offering, which is paired with HDMI out and three 3.5mm stereo mini jacks.
Tweakers will likely find the power solution underwhelming, with no mention from Gigabyte about how many phases this board uses. In other words, it’s strictly designed for vanilla voltages. However, the board is equipped with quality capacitors and MOSFETs that Gigabyte claims have a 50,000-hour lifespan, so it hasn’t scrimped entirely on the energy solution.
Despite the rock-bottom pricing, this board performed well in our benchmarks, placing smack bang in the middle of our results. If you want a bargain board, you could do a lot worse than the GA-Z77M-D3H-MVP.
APC Benchmark Results:
|3DMark 11 (Performance mode)
|x264 HD Benchmark - Pass 1 (avg fps)
|x264 HD Benchmark - Pass 2 (avg fps)
|Aida read test (MB/s)
|Super Pi 8M test (sec)
|Shogun 2 (avg fps)
Special features :
- DVI-D, VGA and HDMI out
- 10 x USB 2.0 and 4 x USB 3.0
- DualBIOS 2 x 65Mb Flash AMI EFI BIOS
Pros : Amazing performance, incredibly cheap, dual AMD video card compatible.
Cons : Lack of PCI/PCIe slots, rudimentary audio and networking.
Verdict : 9 out of 10. Editor's choice.
Available from Gigabyte, Price $110.