Good choice for a budget-priced AMD motherboard!
Apr 23, 2010
a Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
Pros:Low price, full-featured BIOS, decent instructions
Cons:Very basic board, only 2 DIMM slots, no firewire
The Bottom Line: Cheap way to run AMD's latest CPUs and upgrade or fix an older PC. Basic, but all many people need.
I recently had a mini-tower PC (Athlon 64 3200+) start failing on me (kept powering itself off randomly without warning) - and after doing much part-swapping, determined it was a defective motherboard. I didn't want to spend much on a repair, but found a sale at the local Micro Center store on AMD Phenom II processors combined with new motherboard purchases. They had this Zotac GF6100-B-E motherboard on sale for $39 instead of their usual $49 price, and with the combo sale, I basically got it FREE!
Recommend this product?
My initial impression upon unboxing it was positive. It includes not only an owner's manual, but a second "quick start" guide as well. The included EIDE cable is bright orange (an interesting touch). Of course, a driver CD is also included.
This is a very minimalist motherboard. You get 2 PCI slots, plus a PCIe video slot, and only 2 SATA connectors, plus 1 EIDE connector. It has built-in ethernet, but it's 10/100, not gigabit. It has built-in sound support, but you'll probably run into some issues, even with Windows 7, if you don't visit the Zotac web site and download the latest driver for it instead of using what's auto-detected for it. It doesn't even have a built-on 9-pin serial port, though it does have a motherboard header for one, if you purchase a separate port to attach to it. No firewire either, and though it has built on VGA (GeForce 6100 series) accelerated 3D graphics, it doesn't include a DVI or HDMI video connector. It does have your typical 4 USB ports built onto the back of it, plus 2 motherboard headers to attach up to 4 more of them, if your case has them on it. Also, it's probably worth noting that it does NOT have a built-on PC speaker ... only a 4-pin connector for one. I mention this because my mini-tower case has no PC speaker on it. So I had to spend $2.50 for a little piezo-speaker soldered to short wires and a 4-pin plug to attach to the board, so I could hear the start-up beep, or any error beeps it might have been sounding at boot-up. (My last motherboard had a little piezo type speaker built onto the motherboard itself.)
I purchased 4GB of DDR2-800 memory (A-Data brand) to use with it. It only has 2 DIMM slots and supports a 4GB maximum capacity. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get the board to fire up with both memory sticks in the sockets. It worked fine with just one of them, however - so I'm running it like that, with 2GB of RAM, for now.
I was pleased with the BIOS on this motherboard. It has *loads* of options, and although I haven't tried it yet - should actually be fairly overclocking-friendly.
Windows 7 installed on it without a hitch, and the system seems to be running quickly and reliably. Obviously, this isn't the motherboard you want if you're trying to build a "power user" machine -- but it seems like a solid choice to do a cheap repair on a basic desktop or tower, and supports all the latest AMD processors.
Read more product reviews on ZOTAC GeForce 6100 Value, AM2/AM2+, AMD (GF6100-B-E) Motherboard
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Amount Paid (US$): 39.99
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