Intel's platform for the Core 2 series of CPUs keeps growing and growing. While things started out in the mid-range with the P35 chipset, we have now seen the ultra high-end X38 arrive as well as the G33 chipset which is basically the P35 with onboard graphics and 1333MHz FSB support along with certification for Intel ViiV technology.
So far we have already looked at the G33 chipset which contains the GMA3100 integrated graphics chip and makes itself quite a name in the business sector. Today we are taking a look at the basic end of the Intel Core 2 platform, the G31.
G31 is a cut down version of the G33, it still has the same GMA3100 graphics core however its official supported FSB is just 1066/800MHz. It also doesn't have the extra DDR3 memory controller and hasn't got support for any of the HDMI functions that the G33 does. Given these features have been removed, it's really suited to business use only, certainly not much of a HTPC or Digital Home PC chipset.
Our first G31 candidate is the ECS G31T-M motherboard. ECS has always produced the best low-end boards you will ever see, as they tend to add in features whilst keeping their prices down. Their boards usually have some overclocking potential as well, so let's see just how well the G31T-M behaves today.