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Gigabyte GA-E350N-USB3

The Brazos Round-Up: Eight AMD E-350-Based Motherboards

The E350N-USB3 hits the middle of the market in features, having two USB 3.0 ports on the rear (but none for the front-panel), four SATA (but no eSATA) ports, and overclocking capability (but no Wi-Fi).

Gigabyte even addresses the legacy monitor and speaker markets with a VGA connector and six audio jacks. We’d have preferred anything else to the VGA connection. eSATA would have worked, or more USB ports, which are already supported by the underlying hardware. Switching from DVI-D and VGA to DVI-I and an adapter would have added cost, however.

The fan-cooled heat sink makes particular sense when paired with the E350N-USB3’s overclocking aspirations, as does its separate 4-pin CPU power connector.

Gigabyte’s minimal installation kit should be adequate for the typical mini-ITX build and nothing more, since it includes only two SATA cables.

E350N-USB3 Tuning

Gigabyte’s adherence to AMD’s reference frequency is nearly perfect at default settings. The board also detected our memory’s DDR3-1333 CAS 9 SPD values and used the appropriate settings, as seen in GPU-Z’s 667 MHz memory clock.

The APU reference clock is adjustable up to 120 MHz, slightly exceeding the clock ceiling most users will find for the E350. More voltage helps, but it’s unlikely anyone will need anything close to its 0.6 V maximum increase.

Other voltage limits include 2.10 V maximum for DRAM and 1.60 V for the chipset, again well beyond the settings most tuners will actually find useful.

Gigabyte also allows overclocking of the integrated Radeon HD 6310 graphics processor. We used default settings for our benchmarks to see how it would compete against other products at the same settings.

Gigabyte allows primary and secondary timings to be adjusted by the end-user for performance optimization. We again left these at stock to make the benchmarks fair.

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