Review MSI H81M-E35 V2

Review MSI H81M-E35 V2

Motherboard MSI H81M-E35 V2 based on the H81 Express chipset and costs $ 60, just fitting into the price range of low-end $ 60 – $ 80. The board is made in the microATX form factor with three-phase power supply (2 + 1) but can be successfully unlocked to overclock the processor Intel Pentium G3258, supported by the CPU and the list includes even more powerful processors with a TDP of 84 watts. In this board lacks some ports typical of other competing products based on chipset H81, but maybe it’s for the better? Let’s find out.

Review MSI H81M-E35 V2 | Specifications

If you’ve ever worked with the budgetary system, you will be pleased to find this platform useful features, it is not typical for this class. Instead of two ports SATA MSI offers four. There is also a separate USB 3.0 bus terminals for the front and rear. The board uses a high-quality codec ALC887, instead of the ALC662, occurring on cheap solutions. Also on the board MSI H81M-E35 V2 plenty of room and connectors for discrete Wi-Fi-adapter.

Review MSI H81M-E35 V2

Review MSI H81M-E35 V2 | Options

Package MSI H81M-E35 V2 contains a minimum of accessories, which is typical for this price range. In the box you will find the board itself, a compact User Manual, CD with drivers, the frame at the back of the housing and the two cable SATA 6Gb / s. Third SATA cable would not be amiss, although the board with such a price, and that’s enough.

Manual miniature, about 15×10 cm and open page at all times strive to slam. The text written by an eighth type. Instructions are given in eight languages: English, French, German, Russian and four Asian languages. No Spanish and Dutch. The guide contains a lot of information to the board of this class, but we have not given up on a single sheet with a large wiring connectors front panel, and possibly others.

Layout MSI H81M-E35 V2 is quite logical. The only obvious drawback is the location of the first slot PCIe x1, which will be blocked by double-slot graphics card cooler. The disadvantage is a fairly common and not a serious problem. If you need more expansion slots may be better to choose matplatu format ATX. In addition, long graphics cards, which are often installed enthusiasts may overlap SATA 6 Gb / s. However, the ports are directed towards, and even in this case will be available. If you use a cable with clamps, each latch will be sent face-up, and to get to the bottom connector, will have to pull the top. Battery CR2032 nothing is blocking, and almost all the connectors on the card are easily accessible.

Between the RAM slots and the back of the video card a lot of space and you can easily slide the latch. On CLRCMOS1 no jumper connector. He himself is on the other side of the chipset, rather than next to the battery, although access to it is nothing overlaps. Uses a four-processor power cable is located near the right edge. The space between the edge of the board and the plug wires loose and nothing will stop it. MSI uses solid capacitors and coils with a ferrite core, which the company calls the “Dark Chokes”. Connectors for the front are in a familiar place in the lower-left part of the MSI H81M-E35 V2. There is also a speaker jack, and if it is connected, then the BIOS Error, you will hear the corresponding beep. Audio jack in the back left corner. The board is not LED, even the + 5VSB or diagnostic. Before you install or remove the card from the expansion slots, be sure to disconnect the power supply.

Review MSI H81M-E35 V2

Review MSI H81M-E35 V2 | Firmware

The main screen BIOS MSI H81M-E35 V2 provides basic information, including the firmware version (currently v.22.4). We have applied this update in an attempt to fix the problem, because of which the board did not save screenshots BIOS. We tried to install various drives in all available ports: USB 3.0 connectors on the rear panel are connected via an additional controller ports and USB 2.0, are “native”, but they were not working. Fortunately, MSI has provided us with a representative of the desired screenshots of the BIOS for review. In his system to use more expensive and faster processor, so the screenshots you can see the differences in configurations.

If you press on the parameter CPU Ratio Auto, nothing will happen. To set the desired value, you must use the [+] key. The experience of working with other motherboards we stopped at a ratio of 42. Our excellent Pentium processor clocked at 4.2 GHz. However, we are not so sure about the susceptibility of the board to disperse. In some tests, you’ll see that when overclocking the CPU performance is actually reduced. On other platforms, this behavior we did not notice.

Review MSI H81M-E35 V2

Review MSI H81M-E35 V2 | Acceleration

We were able to overclock our test processor G3258 to 4.2 GHz. This is the second instance of the CPU, ordered after the first showed low stability even at 4 GHz on all boards. The achieved level of acceleration we have with one manual adjustment: CPU Ratio parameter changes from Auto to 4200 MHz. We tried utility OC Genie, but to our dismay, it was broken.

Given that several tests with overclocking parameters were lower than at standard frequencies, as well as the fact that we could not save screenshots BIOS, we can not exclude the possibility of the presence in the firmware of some system error.

Review MSI H81M-E35 V2 | Conclusion

In our opinion, the motherboard MSI H81M-E35 V2 has a good chance of success in its target segment of typical low-end solutions, which is hardly someone will keen on overclocking. It bypasses many competitors with a minimum set of functions that often characterized the lack of high-quality connectors and components.

MSI board marks as the “Military Class 4”, which, along with a generous three-year warranty, promises high reliability. However, there are cheaper card with the same number of connectors, offering the same guarantee. Given the availability of more affordable counterparts. With similar functionality, we can not give this model the award.

Pros:

  • High-quality components;
  • Many ports for its class;
  • Connector for Dynamics;
  • USB 3.0 for front and rear panels;
  • 3-year warranty;
  • CPU support up to 84 watts.

Disadvantages:

  • Petite user manual;
  • No diagnostic LEDs;
  • We found a small error BIOS;
  • The more expensive competitors.

Conclusion: MSI H81M-E35 V2 is fine for normal home PC, because it has a sufficient number of SATA ports to connect the system SSD, the main data store, and even a third drive in addition to the optical drive. The platform uses high quality components, in connection with which the manufacturer gives a three-year warranty. The only problem with this model is the price, as some competitors stand at $ 15- $ 20 cheaper and offer the same feature set. If you do not want to buy the cheapest model (even with the same guarantee), then the fee is quite suitable as a fallback.

Review MSI H81M-E35 V2 updated: September 10, 2015 author: Jonathan Davis