Specifications: Gigabyte H610M S2H DDR4
|Voltage Regulator||8 Phase (6x MOSFETs for Vcore)|
|Video Ports||(1) HDMI (v2.1)|
|(1) DisplayPort (v1.4)|
|USB Ports||(2) USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C (5 Gbps)|
|(4) USB 2.0 (480 Mbps)|
|Network Jacks||(1) GbE|
|Audio Jacks||(3) Analog|
|Legacy Ports/Jacks||(2) PS/2|
|PCIe x16||(1) v4.0 (x16)|
|PCIe x1||(1) v3.0 (x1)|
|DIMM slots||(2) DDR4 3200, 64GB Capacity|
|M.2 slots||(1) PCIe 3.0 x4 (32 Gbps), PCIe (up to 110mm)|
|SATA Ports||(4) SATA3 6 Gbps|
|USB Headers||(1) USB v3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps)|
|(2) USB v2.0 (480 Mbps)|
|Fan/Pump Headers||(3) 4-Pin (CPU, System)|
|RGB Headers||(3) aRGB Gen 2 (3-pin)|
|(1) AURA RGB (4-pin)|
|Ethernet Controller(s)||Realtek (1 Gbps)|
|Wi-Fi / Bluetooth||✗|
|HD Audio Codec||Realtek ALC897|
|DDL/DTS||✗ / ✗|
Inside the Box of the Gigabyte H610M S2H DDR4
Like the Asus previously and the MSI below, the included accessories in this tier of motherboard are bare bones. The Gigabyte H610M S2H DDR4 packs in a couple of SATA cables, a driver disk and that’s about it. Here’s the compete(ly short) list.
- (2) SATA cables
- I/O plate
- Support DVD
- User’s manual
Design of the H610M S2H DDR4
The H610M S2H DDR4 sports a jet-black PCB, along with solid and lined gray patterns that break up the monotony of an all-black motherboard. There are no heatsinks on the board outside of a small square with ribbing for extra surface area/cooling capability for the chipset. If you’re looking for integrated RGB lighting, you’ll need to look elsewhere or use the single 4-pin RGB header. In the end, it’s a budget board that doesn’t ask to be the center of attention.
The top half of the board is fully exposed, just like the Asus before it, and the MSI after. Above the VRMs is the required solid-pin 8-pin EPS connector to power the CPU. The first (of three) 4-pin fan headers sit immediately next to it. Surprisingly, each header outputs up to 2A/24W, so you shouldn’t have any issues putting in a pump or piggybacking fans on a single header if needed. As always, be careful not to overload the headers though.
Sliding past the socket area, we run into two unreinforced DRAM slots that secure the RAM with latches on both sides. Memory support is, of course, listed as DDR4 3200, which is the maximum stock speed for the platform. The system didn’t have any issues running our sticks with XMP at the 3200 MHz speed (these are DDR4 3600 sticks).
Along the right edge, we hit the 24-pin ATX connector for board power, four SATA ports, and a front-panel USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps) connector. Gigabyte does not mention RAID support in the manual. Since there’s no lane sharing on this board, you can run all four SATA ports and the M.2 socket concurrently, just like on the Asus we looked at up top.
Gigabyte says the power delivery is set up in a 6+1+1 hybrid configuration. Power flows from the EPS connector to an ON Semiconductor MCP81530 controller and then Vishay RA18B and RA12 MOSFETs (50A) for the low and high sides. Again, this is far from the most powerful VRM setup we’ve come across, but it only needs to support the CPUs at stock speeds.
On the bottom half of the board, starting on the left side, we see the exposed audio section with the Realtek ALC897 codec on display and four yellow caps dedicated to audio. This is an older codec, but should still be OK for many users.
In the middle, we spy two PCIe slots and one M.2 socket. The top full-length PCIe slot runs at PCIe 4.0 x16 speeds and connects through the CPU. Meanwhile, the bottom x1 slot runs at PCIe 3.0 x1 speeds and sources bandwidth through the chipset.
The M.2 socket above the full-length PCIe slot supports PCIe drives up to 80mm. The bandwidth for the slot is similar to the other H610 boards, sporting a PCIe 3.0 x4 (32 Gbps) interface. SATA-based M.2 modules are not supported on this board either.
There are several headers across the bottom, including USB and RGB, etc. Below is a complete list of all the headers in this area.
- Front panel audio
- COM header
- 4-pin RGB header
- TPM header
- (2) USB 2.0 headers
- 4-pin System fan header
- Clear CMOS jumper
- Front panel header
One of the first things we notice about the rear IO area, outside of how sparse it is compared to B660/Z690, is the IO plate does not come preinstalled. Like the Asus, the IO plate is a simple piece of aluminum with holes cut out for the ports and stamped labels.
Working left to right, we hit two PS/2 ports (mouse and keyboard) first. Next is every video output from the last decade. This includes D-SUB, DVI-D, HDMI (v2.1), and DisplayPorts (v1.2) to use with integrated graphics. There are six USB ports, four USB 2.0 (480 Mbps) in black and two USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps) ports in blue. Six USB ports on the rear IO isn’t a lot, so be sure you don’t need more or that you can use the front panel ports. Above a set of USB 2.0 ports is the Intel GbE port, and to the right is a 3-plug (analog) audio stack. You won’t find the optical SPDIF on any of these motherboards.
Gigabyte’s H610 BIOS’ are much like Z690/B660 and matches the Aorus models we’ve looked at previously. The difference is that Aorus uses a black and orange theme while these budget boards are black and yellow (along with lacking overclocking options/capability). They all start in an informational EZ Mode that displays system information with limited functionality. You can enable XMP profiles from here, access Smart Fan 6 for fan control, Q-Flash, or the Advanced Mode.
When working in the Advanced portion of the BIOS, major headers are listed across the top, with sub-headings below. Everything is easy to find (especially since you can’t overclock). So you don’t have to bounce around as much. I still wish the company would enable page up/down functionality, but the BIOS is easy to read, and it’s not too hard to find what you’re looking for outside of that. And if you want to know how to access your BIOS (from any system), we can help!
On the software side of things, Gigabyte’s primary tool is the App Center. This application is a central repository for all its applications, some Windows settings, and other third-party software. Simply download the applications you want, install them, and an icon shows up on the screen. We installed @BIOS (BIOS flashing utility), Easy Tune (overclocking/system tweaking), RGB Fusion 2.0 (to control RGB lighting) and last but not least, SIV (for monitoring). The Gigabyte website has many other helpful applications, including USB charging, LAN, and more that aren’t covered here. Overall, I like App Center’s small footprint and found its tools helpful.
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