Gigabyte G41M-ES2L is a value motheboard for Intel socket LGA775 processors based on Intel G41 chipset, which replaces G31 as the simpliest chipset from Intel, supporting 45 nm CPUs, 1,333 MHz front side bus and 800 MHz memory modules in dual channel configuration.

The main difference from the Intel G41 to the earlier G31 and G33 is the graphics engine, called Intel Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 4500, which is DirectX 10 (shader 4.0), while G33 engine is called GMA 3100 and is DirectX 9 (Shader 2.0). This, however, may not make a big difference in gaming, because besides the graphic engine being most updated, it is not powerful enought to run newer games with high image quality.

Another difference from G41 and G31 is the fact the first one supported DDR3 memories (which depends if the motherboard manufacturer put DDR3 sockets on the board, being that most manufacturers do not include them). Actually, G33 already had this support.

A problem with G41 is the southbridge chip used. G41 (as well as G31) makes a combo with a southbridge chip from ICH7 series, while in G33 it is combined with a southbridge chip from ICH9 series. The differences between ICH7 and ICH9 are the number of USB ports (12 on ICH9 and eight on ICH7), the presence of a parallel ATA port (present on ICH7 and not on ICH9, which is an advantage of this motherboard) and six SATA-300 ports on ICH9R (but four on other versions). Being that G41 is a newer chipset, Intel could had combined it with ICH9.

A feature from this motherboard that is being promoted by Gigabyte is called "Easy Energy Saver", which, according do Gigabyte, adjusts CPU voltage according with its demands, reducing power waste when processor is idle.

G41M-ES2LFigure 1: Box.

In general terms G41M-ES2L is an inexpensive and simple motherboard yet with some amazing detais, like the power saving feature we pointed out above and others like Dual BIOS, which brings two independent BIOS chips. The second BIOS chip is a backup chip and comes to scene if the first one fails. So you can update the BIOS with no fear of losing your motherboard if something (as a power failure) occurs during the process.

G41M-ES2LFigure 2: Gigabyte G41M-ES2L.

Let’s take a closer look on Gigabyte G41M-ES2L features.

Rafael Otto Coelho is a physicist with a master's degree in Education, and is a college professor in Brazil.