I have this baby in my HTPC for more than 1 week already and all I can say is I am impressed! For the price you get very good piece of hardware; it is stable, no freezing, no reboots, no overheating problems - everything just works
Here I quote myself from other thread:
My HTPC setup is this:MB
Gigabyte GA-E7AUM-DS2H Rev. 1.0 (BIOS F1 10/14/2008)CPU
Intel Core2 Duo E8200 2,66GHz 6MB 1333MHzCPU heatsink
Scythe SCMNJ-1000 Ninja Mini (passive)8 GB RAM
2x Patriot DIMM 4096MB DDR II 800MHz (PDC24G6400LLK)Hard drive
2x Western Digital Caviar GP 750GB SATA II, WD7500AACS (OOZJBO), 16MB, 5400 RPMOptical drive
LG GGC-H20L (1.03) Blu-ray/HD DVD-ROM/DVD-RW DriveKeyboard & Mouse
Logitech Cordless Desktop S510CZ (RAK73)Gamepad
Logitech WingMan Cordless Rumblepad IICase
Antec Fusion 430Case fan
Noctua NF-S12-1200Power fan
Noctua NF-R8-1800Operating system
Microsoft Vista Enterprise 64-bit SP1
-> via HDMI connected to audio setup:receiver
Denon AVR-2808 (I control everything with included smart remote)Front speakers
2x KEF iQ7 (Bi-amping)Center speaker
KEF iQ6cRear speakers
2x KEF iQ3 (sitting on stands NorStone NS3)
-> via HDMI connected to my screen:LCD
Samsung LE40F86BD, 40" Full HD 1920x1080, 25.000:1 dynamic contrast
As for the Vista scores this is what I get:
Total score 4,6
Memory (RAM) 5,9
Gaming graphics 5,1
Primary hard drive 5,7
I must say I am pretty impressed with the Gigabyte 9400 board so far. I was using Asus hardware only for many many years but recently I began to feel suspicious about this company (mainly because of lack of reasonable support) and my last experience I went through (being one of the first owners of the screwed Xonar HDAV 1.3) was the last drop therefore I want to avoid Asus as much as possible - at least in near future...
So this is my first Gigabyte HW ever and I really enjoy it. BIOS is much nicer to Asus (user friendly, self-explanatory items also well covered in the manual), dual-BIOS, 8 presets to save configurations etc.
No more resizing / changing desktop resolution. I used to have Asus P5E-VM HDMI with Intel G35 chipset and I got that all the time -> Asus blamed Intel -> Intel blamed Asus... That's why I eventually purchased ATI2600 graphics but I was not happy with this setup neither...
So after some time spent on tweaking (nothing critical) I achieved almost perfect HTPC solution with this Gigabyte board. Using one HDMI cable I get perfect smooth playback (50Hz / 24Hz on DVD / Blu-ray), it bitstreams DTS and Dolby Digital (e.g. on my receiver I can see "DTS" and "Dolby Digital") and proper LPCM (e.g. once switched to DTS-MA / Dolby True HD / PCM audio track I can see on my receiver "Multi Ch". (note: if you are using WinDVD (I use version 9 Plus Blu-ray) you need to set audio output to "Waveout" otherwise it did not work properly - at least for me)
I am using more or less default settings for everything (and no over/under clocking). For HDMI output I use YCbCr and enabled PureVideo HD with "Edge Enhancement" set to 85% which makes DVDs much crisper and even helps a bit to Blu-ray as well. This way I get deep blacks, nice colours, crisp picture = I can say I am (finally) happy with what I see on my LCD now
So all in all I can say that for the price (cca 125 Euro / 155 USD) this is a very good piece of hardware.
P.S. One small issue - for some reason after reboot I sometimes "lost" HDMI device from "Audio Devices" although in "Device Manager" there seemed to be no problem at all. I found out that if I Disable / Enable it in Device Manager then it was OK e.g. not loosing after reboots.
Apart form this I have no issue at all e.g. Standby works, embedded network works, everything works
Regarding GPU / chipset temperature in idle state I get around 70 Celsius (SpeedFan 4.36). I ran 3DMark06 for about 1 hour and the highest temp I got was 97 Celsius.
I have only one outflow fan (Noctua) in my case Antec Fusion 430 and it is hardly turning at all (I want to have my HTPC as quiet as possible - and it is indeed absolutely silent) therefore I assume better airflow would decrease the temperature. However I have not encountered single freeze or reboot so far, system is stable, everything works...
Just go for it