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MSI G31TM-P35 review



Introduction


MSI G31TM-P35 Released on: june 11 2009
Test Date: october 15 2010 Product page


The MSI G31TM-P35 is a very small Micro-ATX Form Factor 24.4cm(L) x 19.3cm(W) motherboard. Allthough this board has a small form factor (SFF), using it as a HTPC will need an extra vedeo card, because it lacks a HDMI and DVI connector. There's also no optical audio on the backpanel, using the SPDIF-out header will require an extra cable.


G31TM-P35 backpanel view

The backpanel still has a 'legacy' COM port but no LPT connector, furthermore a PS/2 keyboard and a PS/2 mouse connector. The VGA Graphics Card port had no problems with our 24 inch display and gave a clear and detailed image(1920x1080). The 6 in 1 audio jack can 'power' your 7.1 surround setup. There are 4 USB 2.0 ports, the ones below the VGA connector can hardly be used, because the space between these USB ports and the VGA is very tight, any 'oversized' USB connector or device will interfere with the VGA connector. The RJ45 jack also supports Gygabit LAN.


G31TM-P35 com and printer ports

This board still has a floppy connector, on a small board like it's perhaps better to use the space occupied by it for more space for the other components. For example the front panel connectors JFP1 and JFP2 could be placed elsewhere on the board, in the current position they interfere with large graphics cards. The PCI Express (PCI-E Gen 1) capabilities of the G31TM-P35 are about half the speed of boards that are equipped with the PCI Express version 2.0. Modern graphics cards are backward compatible with PCI express version 1.


G31TM-P35 pci express

Im between the CPU fan and the socket 775 on the edge of the board is a blue LED that indicates how many Phases are used by the APS (Active Phase Switching), this LED will light blue when CPU is in 2 or 3 phase power mode. The APS controls power demand for the Processor, RAM and Chipset PWM. (Pulse-width modulation (PWM) is a an efficient way of providing intermediate amounts of electrical power between fully on and fully off. The idea is of course saving power and making the board a bit 'greener'.


G31TM-P35 4 dimms

The two DIMMs support a maximum of 8GB DDR2 667/800MHz memory. We used an 'old' 500W PSU with a 20 pins power connector (with a 20 to 24 pin adapter) and had no problems.


G31TM-P35 4 epu and 3 phase power design

A closer look at the 3 phase power design and the socket 775. Three phases aren't much for overclocking a CPU, high end boards have up to 24 phases to 'feed' the power needs of the CPU.


  1. Introduction
  2. Bundle, box and gallery
  3. Motherboard Specifications
  4. BIOS screenshots
  5. Bundled software
  6. Test setup and overclocking
  1. CPU and Memory benchmarks
  2. Rendering
  3. Compression
  4. Graphics
  5. Power consumption
  6. Conclusion
        



Intel G31 logo

  1. Introduction
  2. Bundle, box and gallery
  3. Motherboard Specifications
  4. BIOS screenshots
  5. Bundled software
  6. Test setup and overclocking
  7. CPU and Memory benchmarks
  8. Rendering
  9. Compression
  10. Graphics
  11. Power consumption
  12. Conclusion

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