Gigabyte H77M-D3H review

A motherboard for movies, with a budget twist

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Festooned with features the new Gigabyte H77M-D3H most demonstrably is not. That much is obvious from the most cursory perusal of the rear panel, for instance.

We liked

If it's a home theatre rig based on DVI connectivity, why spend more? Simply drop in your Intel chip of choice, some memory and some storage and you're pretty much good to go. Performance at stock clocks is also good enough that you won't notice the gap to pricier motherboards.

We disliked

Flexibility isn't the Gigabyte H77M-D3H's strongest point. Partly that's thanks to the limitations Intel has placed on the H77 chipset. But Gigabyte has also cut a few corners to hit its price target. If you're planning a system that can turn its hand to almost any task, frustration is likely.

Final verdict

Where the Asus P8H77-M Pro has every imaginable video output option, along with tasty extras such as an optical S/PDIF port and eSATA, the Gigabyte H77M-D3H looks slightly sorry for itself. You don't even get 6.1 analogue sound connectivity, which could be considered an oversight on a motherboard that ostensibly should appeal most to movie buffs.

Of course, there's another way of looking at all that. For starters, DisplayPort is pretty much irrelevant to home theatre larks, so why pay for it? The same goes for extra analogue sound sockets and the optical S/PDIF port.

In practice, most users will simply plug into the HDMI port and syphon off video and audio in digital formats, job done. If that's your plan, you won't care about the missing features. That said, it's always handy to have an eSATA port for heaving large video files on and off.

And you could argue that £15/$30 isn't a lot more to pay for having the option of future flexibility and more features. You never know when your needs might change or if you may want to put a given system to a different use.

Moreover, like any H77 board, its general appeal isn't that broad. You can't overclock it and multi-GPU support is limited to AMD's CrossFireX platform. If you had no intention to overclock or go with SLI, it wouldn't actually make a bad gaming platform. But we prefer to have more options available.

Given a narrow enough remit, this may be all the 7 Series board you really need.

Tags

Tech Specs

Product TypeDesktop Motherboard
Chipset ManufacturerIntel
Chipset ModelH77 Express
Multi GPU SupportedCrossFireX
Onboard VideoCPU Dependent Video
Number of PCI Express x16 Slots2
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Processor SocketSocket H2 LGA-1155
Brand NameGigabyte
Form FactorMicro ATX
Processor SupportedCore i3, Core i5, Core i7, Pentium Dual-core, Celeron Dual-Core
Total Processor Supported1
Maximum Memory32 GB
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityWEEE
64-bit ProcessingYes
Number of Memory Slots4
Number of PCI Slots1
Audio Channels7.1
Gigabit EthernetYes
Number of SATA Interfaces6
RAID SupportedYes
Number of Total Expansion Slots4
HDMIYes
DVIYes
Number of Network (RJ-45) Ports1
Network (RJ-45)Yes
Total Number of USB Ports6
Number of USB 3.0 Ports2
PS/2 PortYes
Number of PS/2 Ports1
Total Number of Onboard USB Ports8
Number of Onboard USB 2.0 Ports6
PCI Express StandardPCI Express 3.0, PCI Express 2.0
Total Number of PCI Express Slots3
Memory Form FactorDIMM
Width244 mm
Depth220 mm
ManufacturerGIGABYTE Technology, Inc
Product ModelGA-H77M-D3H
Product NameUltra Durable 4 Classic GA-H77M-D3H Desktop Motherboard
Product LineUltra Durable 4 Classic
Controller TypeSerial ATA/600, Serial ATA/300
Manufacturer Part NumberGA-H77M-D3H
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://uk.giga-byte.com
Marketing Information

GIGABYTE Ultra Durable 4 Classic motherboards embrace a range of exclusive features that guarantee DIY PC builders the absolute best protection for their PC, with built-in features that prevent common malfunction threats users encounter on a day-to-day basis.