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On Board Peripherals

The Intel H81 chipset is a single-chip solution, which is also known as a PCH (Platform Controller Hub). This chip has two SATA-600 ports and two SATA-300 ports, with no RAID support. The Gigabyte H81M-S2PH offers all of them. Figure 4 shows the SATA ports.

Gigabyte H81M-S2PHFigure 4: SATA-600 (white) and SATA-300 (black) ports

The Intel H81 chipset supports 18 USB 2.0 ports and two USB 3.0 ports. The Gigabyte H81M-S2PH offers only six USB 2.0 ports, two located on the motherboard’s rear panel and four available through two headers located at the motherboard; and two USB 3.0 ports, available on the motherboard’s rear panel.

The motherboard does not support FireWire or Thunderbolt ports.

This motherboard supports 7.1 audio format using a Realtek ALC887 codec. This codec has the same specifications as the Realtek ALC892, except that the ALC892 has two extra channels for audio streaming. The main specifications for this codec include 97 dB signal-to-noise ratio for the analog outputs, 90 dB signal-to-noise ratio for the analog inputs, and up to 192 kHz sampling rate for both inputs and outputs, with 24-bit resolution. These specs are good for the mainstream user, but if you are looking into working professionally with audio editing, you should look for a motherboard that provides an SNR of at least 97 dB for the analog inputs.

The analog audio outputs are shared, which means if you want to install a 5.1 analog speaker set, you can not use the microphone and line-in inputs. There is no optical SPDIF output. There is a header labeled “SPDIF_O”, where you can install an adapter to have a coaxial SPDIF output or to connect a cable to older video cards that required a physical connection to have audio on their HDMI outputs.

The portrayed motherboard has one Gigabit Ethernet port controlled by a Realtek RTL8111F chip.

In Figure 5, you can see the motherboard’s rear panel with PS/2 keyboard and mouse connectors, legacy serial and parallel ports, VGA output, two USB 3.0 ports, HDMI output, two USB 2.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet port, and the shared analog audio connectors.

Gigabyte H81M-S2PHFigure 5: Motherboard rear panel

Figure 6 shows the simple set of accessories that comes with the motherboard.

Gigabyte H81M-S2PHFigure 6: Accessories

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