GIGABYTE GA-965GM-S2 or Fatal1ty F-i90HD?

dbong1021

n00b
Joined
Apr 29, 2007
Messages
30
I've been hanging around and trying to see if the Fatal1ty board works its bugs out, but I've got a week or so left before I need to start buying parts.

System is meant to be for half HTPC, half daily surfing. Maybe even some web and photo work. Gaming isnt important.

I can't seem to find much on the GIGABYTE GA-965GM-S2, especially around here. Any opinions on this board? It gets fairly good reviews on Newegg ..

Gigabyte GA-965GM-S2 reviews

I was totally sold on the Fatl1ty board, until that monster thread came out and people were having some really bad luck with them.

Overclocking isn't a HUGE deal, but squeezing a bit extra out of my CPU would be nice. But I'm definitely not the type who wants to squeeze every last bit of juice out of it.
I would like to stick with integrated graphics for now. If the onboard video turns out to be complete crap, I'll upgrade the video later.

So what to do? Please help a SFF newbie!

Other than the motherboard I'll be buying or already have:

e4300
Corsair TWIN2X2048-6400C4 - 2GB
Microfly or Qpack II
 

Skott

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Aug 12, 2006
Messages
4,198
One mATX mobo I been eyeballing recently is the Foxconn G9657MA-8EKRS2H mobo. There's the cheaper 8KS2H version as well (it doesnt have IEEE but otherwise identical). Like all the previous Intel mATX mobos it doesnt allow much on overclocking (maybe 300fsb if you use a seperate video and sound card) but it has a clean layout and is Intel Quadcore ready. You might want to check it out.

Right now I consider the ABIT F-I90HD just too unstable and chancey to gamble on. So it looks like I'll being going with something that is stable in stock form but has a good upgrading path. The E6600 is reasonably priced now and couple that with a 8800GTS should make a nice SFF gaming rig. Then later upgrade to a Quadcore. Maybe by then there will be a good stable overclocking Intel mATX mobo availble?
 

bob511

n00b
Joined
Mar 7, 2007
Messages
33
The GA-965GM-S2 was the mATX board I went with before I picked up the F-i90HD. I'd say, with the exception of firewire, the latter is a superior board in just about every manner, especially when it comes to overclocking; the GA-965GM-S2 locks none of the buses, so while you can get some decent, mid-300s FSB overclocks, everything goes out of spec, and you lose the reliable use of onboard sound, network, and storage controllers. I've not run either with onboard video for any significant length of time, but it looks like the X700-level stuff on the Abit board outperforms the Gigabyte's Intel chip, though neither is going to be a safe 3D gaming bet. Both use Realtek's integrated audio, but the GA-965GM-S2 has no integrated digital-out (only a board header for an optional S/PDIF cable), while the F-i90HD has an optical out port built in. The Gigabyte board has two PCI slots (and one PCIe 1x) to the Abit's one PCI (and two PCIe 1x), so if you're using the onboard video the Gigabyte is probably more flexible in that regard, but it's cramped enough any video card that requires two brackets (in my case the X850XT) is going to completely block one of those PCI slots.

As for general reliability....well, it's always hard to judge from the small and self-selecting sample set of a message board. Several people had problems in the "gaming mATX" thread, but by contrast the survey thread Dillusion made was almost devoid of problematic boards. My first F-i90HD had flaky USB ports, so I immediately returned it to Fry's for a new board and have been running it hard ever since; after setting it in the corner for a couple of months, I just recently set up my GA-965GM-S2 again, only to find that the onboard Marvell NIC completely dies under heavy LAN traffic, so it's RMA time for it. Point being, I think, that motherboards are kind of a crapshoot to begin with, and bad boards are going to happen. It's still hard to say if the F-i90HD is exceptional in that regard.
 

dbong1021

n00b
Joined
Apr 29, 2007
Messages
30
Great replies guys.

Thanks very much. I'm still open to suggestions so if anyone else has opinions or suggestions, I'd love to hear them!
 

Skott

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Aug 12, 2006
Messages
4,198
Well, on the Intel mATX side of things the best mATX mobos seem to be the ASUS P5LD2-VM, The Foxconn G9657MA-8EKRS2H, The GA-965GM-S2, and the ABIT F-I90HD. Of those the ABIT is best in overclocking if the mobo you get isnt defective and dies on you. And thats a big if. The problem isnt just with overclocking though. Some of these mobos died under stock settings or came DOA out of the box. So overclocking isnt the blame apparently.

In Dillusion's fact finding thread the people mostly reporting there now are not the same people that had bad mobos and RMAed them. Most those people moved on it seems although some are posting there. So it tells even a smaller part of the story of what is or isnt wrong with the F-I90HD. In fact in that thread some people were experiencing newer problems not really reported before.

In the end though no one yet has been able to pinpoint a cause for all the problems. Is it software? Is it Hardware? Or is it a bit of both? No one knows. ABIT isnt saying diddly either. In their eyes everything is hunky dory fine. Dillusion said he may have an idea but he hasnt said what it is. It looks like he's looking at RAM compatability near as I can tell.
 

Ziuck

n00b
Joined
Mar 16, 2004
Messages
15
I happen to have both boards. The Gigabyte in on my main pc and the i90 is in my gaming machine.

bob511 hit most of the main points. I tried onboard video on the Gigabyte and had nothing but problems with it. Awful quality when running at 1600x1200 and I don't think I was able to give it more than 8MB of memory! The only issue I have with the Gigabyte is with on board audio. When using headphones I have no low end. It works perfect with powered speakers but no headphones, they need an amp. I would assume it is an issue with my board and not common? I was going to send it in to be repaired but read it could take 4-6 weeks, no thanks!

I have had 0 problems with my i90 and am even running it O/C. I purchased it at Fry's the week it was released. I personally think this "issue" is blown way out of proportion and is very negligible.
 

texmaster

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Apr 30, 2007
Messages
1,271
I've got the gigbyte board but have yet to get it to overclock.

No matter what it says in bios, it doesn't translate to the operating system, in my case, win xp.

Its been driving me nuts and if anyone has a solution I would love to hear it.
 

dbong1021

n00b
Joined
Apr 29, 2007
Messages
30
wow, you guys weren't kidding about the ga-965gm-s2's inability to overclock!

I can't get the bios to go more than 20-30 over stock FSB / ~20% overclock :mad: Anymore than that and the BIOS starts being unable to recognize hard drives and other weird behavior.

Am I doing something wrong? Or is that pretty much why these S2's are considered the "safe" models?

This is with an e4300 or an e6600 with Blue Orb II's. 2GB Corsair XMS2 DDR2800 C4's

Oh .. and the latest F6 BIOS too
 

pvhk

Gawd
Joined
Nov 21, 2006
Messages
830
wow, you guys weren't kidding about the ga-965gm-s2's inability to overclock!

I can't get the bios to go more than 20-30 over stock FSB / ~20% overclock :mad: Anymore than that and the BIOS starts being unable to recognize hard drives and other weird behavior.

Am I doing something wrong? Or is that pretty much why these S2's are considered the "safe" models?

This is with an e4300 or an e6600 with Blue Orb II's. 2GB Corsair XMS2 DDR2800 C4's
with a e4300, you won't go too far without the bsel mod!
But with a e6600 you can hit up to fsb@310 (last bios) using bios settings and more with easytune5:
it's in french but screens talk by themselves:
from my pal drazendead:
clockgenoe9.png

http://forum.hardware.fr/forum2.php...rstnum=5420003&currentnum=0&filter=1#t5467738
 

dbong1021

n00b
Joined
Apr 29, 2007
Messages
30
Hmm, I'm going to have to look into that bsel mod then. I never heard anything about it for the e4300 ... all I heard was how great of an OC'er it is and didn't know it needed additional help to get better OC's.

Sweeet oc on the e6600!

I gave up on easytune5 b/c the settings wouldn't stick after a reboot.

In ET5, I would set the overclock and then hit GO. Then I hit save. Rebooted and it went back to previous settings. Did I do something wrong?
 

pvhk

Gawd
Joined
Nov 21, 2006
Messages
830
Hmm, I'm going to have to look into that bsel mod then. I never heard anything about it for the e4300 ... all I heard was how great of an OC'er it is and didn't know it needed additional help to get better OC's.

Sweeet oc on the e6600!

I gave up on easytune5 b/c the settings wouldn't stick after a reboot.

In ET5, I would set the overclock and then hit GO. Then I hit save. Rebooted and it went back to previous settings. Did I do something wrong?
you cannot save settings with et5, that 's the big pb!
 

dbong1021

n00b
Joined
Apr 29, 2007
Messages
30
you cannot save settings with et5, that 's the big pb!

ahh OK, so I'm not crazy :)

I guess I'll just be happy with the 310fsb via BIOS then. Until the new Gigabyte board reviews start coming out that is !! Damn this hobby .. damn it!!!
 

Steeeeve

2[H]4U
Joined
Jul 26, 2005
Messages
2,596
I'd go with the F-I90HD.

Some people claim it is unstable but it has a normal death rate since the first batch went out. The problem now is that people see there was a problem so they will post if they have one. I still have a pretty good price on the boards at my store and overall the board is a good deal and is better for HTPC use.
 

W6FO

Gawd
Joined
Dec 12, 2005
Messages
608
If the new Gigabyte GA-G33M-DS2R isn't in the US by the end of June, I'll be buying a F-I90HD from Steeeve and GA will have probably lost me as a loyal customer for the past 6 years..
 

pvhk

Gawd
Joined
Nov 21, 2006
Messages
830
8 dead mb on my french threads, that's to much to be normal!
no particular issue with the gigabyte for the moment (also on my french thread) and we are a lot now to own this g33...
 
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