MSI H61MU-E35 review

Bargain power - the two words MSI wants associated with its H61MU-E35 board

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Our Verdict

A surprisingly well-specified board for the lowest end of the market


  • Good added extras
  • Great use of higher-end parts


  • Low performance
  • Some form factor niggles

The H61 chipset is the budget end of the Sandy Bridge spectrum, but MSI is trying to add a little more value with its H621MU-E35.

There are a couple of routes to take if you are designing a motherboard for the value end of the market: do you just give the basics at a good price? Or do you add features you think people will want and indeed pay extra for in a board in this market segment?

While Foxconn has taken one route with Intel's H61 value chipset with the H61MX, MSI has taken the polar opposite with the H61MU-E35.

They might both be built around Intel's value chipset and a Micro-ATX PCB, but there the similarity ends.

While Foxconn has stuck to the basics of the H61 chipset and even cut back on them, MSI has taken the standard features of the H61 and added to them with the likes of USB 3.0 and HDMI.

MSI's so called 'Military Class II' components have been added into the power circuitry – something normally associated with motherboards higher up the MSI food chain in – as have integrated audio and even that HDMI output.

All of which certainly gives it the edge over Foxconn's offering.


Tech Specs

Product TypeDesktop Motherboard
Chipset ManufacturerIntel
Chipset ModelH61 Express
Onboard VideoCPU Dependent Video
Number of PCI Express x16 Slots1
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Processor SocketSocket H2 LGA-1155
Brand NameMSI
Form FactorMicro ATX
Processor SupportedCore i7, Core i5, Core i3
Total Processor Supported1
Maximum Memory16 GB
Number of Memory Slots2
Number of PCI Slots1
Audio Channels7.1
Fast EthernetYes
Number of SATA Interfaces4
Number of Total Expansion Slots4
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 Ports3
Number of Onboard USB 2.0 Ports3
PCI Express StandardPCI Express 2.0
Total Number of PCI Express Slots3
Width245 mm
Depth215 mm
ManufacturerMicro-Star International Co., Ltd
Product ModelH61MU-E35 (B3)
Product NameH61MU-E35 (B3) Desktop Motherboard
Controller TypeSerial ATA/300
Manufacturer Part NumberH61MU-E35 (B3)
Manufacturer Website Address