GIGABYTE GA-G33M-DS2R Intel G33 Bear Lake mATX Motherboard Review

A lot of times when you want a feature packed motherboard you need to get a full ATX size, but as technology progresses this limitation is no longer there. It’s becoming more popular to make fully featured Micro ATX form factor motherboards now that are easily comparable to their full sized counterparts. This works well for those that want a small sized PC or for an HTPC setup, but don’t want a full sized case taking up room in their home entertainment system of office.

Today I’ve got a very feature rich Micro ATX motherboard from Gigabyte, it’s based off of the Intel G33 Bear Lake chipset, it’s got tons of features with full support for the latest CPUs and even HD audio and video support as well for those who might want to use it for a higher end HTPC setup, or just a nice gaming rig. This motherboard is the GA-G33M-DSR2 model, and it’s from Gigabytes’ Ultra Durable 2 line of motherboards featuring all solid capacitors, ferrite core chokes and low RDS Mosfets to enable longer life and lower overall temperatures for the board and system. It truly is a very capable board, from my tests it easily holds it’s own up against the latest offerings from Nvidia…

GIGABYTE GA-G33M-DS2R Intel G33 Bear Lake mATX Motherboard Review 

Author: Kristofer Brozio


Tech Specs,Features or the Basic Info:

GIGABYTE GA-G33M-DS2R LGA775 Intel G33 Bear Lake Micro ATX Motherboard 


Intel G33 + ICH9R Chipset


  • -Supports Intel Core 2 multi-core and upcoming 45nm processors
  • -Dual Channel DDR2 800 for outstanding system performance
  • -Integrated Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 3100 (Intel GMA 3100)
  • -Integrated SATA 3Gb/s with RAID function
  • -Features high speed Gigabit Ethernet and IEEE1394
  • -Integrated ALC889A 8-Channel High Definition audio
  • -Ultra durable2 motherboard with top quality highly efficient components

Ultra Cooling – Low RDS(on) MOSFET Design

Low RDS(on) MOSFETs specially designed to produce lower switching resistance for faster electric current charging and discharging.

Low Power Loss – Ferrite Core Choke Design

Ferrite core chokes comprised of a compound of iron oxide and other metal elements whose properties hold energy much longer than common iron core at high frequency

Longer Life – All-Solid Capacitor Design

Solid capacitors contain a solid organic polymer, while electrolytic capacitors use a common liquid electrolyte, hence, the terms solid capacitor versus electrolytic capacitors.

Intel Core 2 multi-core and upcoming 45nm processors

GA-G33M-DS2R supports Intel latest high performance CPU delivers the most energy-efficient performance available today. Based on Intel’s Micro Architecture, the Intel multi-core processors with 4 cores and two shared L2 caches provide the best capability-per-watt solutions and are an ideal choice for multi-media enthusiasts and intensive multi-tasking environments. This cutting-edge processor offers significant performance boosts and provides an overall more energy efficient platform

Intel G33 Chipset

The Intel G33 Express Chipset supports the latest multi-core processors up to FSB 1333MHz and the upcoming 45nm platform. Equipped with Intel Clear Video Technology, the G33 provides the latest high-definition video capabilities, as well as support for HD-DVD & Blu-ray. Featuring extended overall platform performance through greater energy efficiency, the Intel G33 Express Chipset delivers an enhanced multimedia experience with vibrant, richly detailed image quality, theatre-quality sound and intensive gaming performance.

Windows Vista Premium Logo Certified

Windows Vista Premium promises to deliver a streamlined computing experience designed to fundamentally change how users view, find and organize their digital information. With P35/G33/P965/G965/946/945 solutions all enabling support for Vista Premium, GIGABYTE offers a fresh and unique desktop experience that will be more informative, intuitive and completely new.

Intel Clear Video Technology

Intel Clear Video Technology delivers enhanced video playback, sharper images, and precise color control for a premium visual experience

Dual Channel DDR2 800

Get a jump in memory performance with the advanced technology of DDR2 800 memory architecture, which delivers superior performance for the most demanding applications

SATA 3Gb/s storage interface

The SATA specification doubles bus bandwidth from 1.5Gb/s to 3Gb/s. Native Command Queuing is a new specification that enables out-of-order execution of commands for efficient retrieval of data. Hot Plug support allows users to insert and remove hard disk drives without shutting off power to the system.

Intel Matrix Storage Technology

Intel Matrix Storage Technology, can deliver up to 80% faster storage performance with PCs equipped with two hard drives using RAID 0 data striping. Using RAID 1 data mirroring can protect against a hard drive failure by mirroring all data among two hard drives. In addition RAID 5 offers the fault-tolerant capability to automatically back up your most important files, while also providing faster disk access and adding storage capacity.

ALC889A enables a Superior Audio Experience

Excellent Audio Performance

High-performance DAC (Digital-Analog Converter) with 106 dB Signal-to-Noise ratio playback quality, designed especially for Windows Vista Premium PCs.

Blu-ray/HD DVD Full Rate Audio Support

The ALC889A enables high quality Full Rate Lossless Audio for content protected media and support for both Blu-ray and HD DVD formats for an exhilarating home theater entertainment experience.

7.1+2 Channel High Definition Output

The ALC889A provides support for 7.1 sound playback, plus 2 channels of independent stereo output (multiple streaming) through the front panel stereo outputs.

Gigabit LAN connectivity

The Gigabit network interface delivers a high speed LAN connection with data transfer rate up to 1000Mb/s, providing new generation connectivity for the broadband era. Gigabit LAN is ideally for seamless internet connection such as streaming audio and video contents


The Smart featured motherboards of GIGABYTE S-series provide GIGABYTE proprietary innovative software such as Download Center, @BIOS, Q-Flash, Xpress Install, Boot menu, and Smart Fan. BIOS and driver management now becomes much easier and user friendly through GIGABYTE Smart features!


Safe is the key feature of GIGABYTE S-series motherboards with the following elements: Excellent hardware design reinforced BIOS protection through GIGABYTE Virtual Dual BIOS Technology and GIGABYTE BIOS Setting Recovery Technology. Unique system software such as Xpress Recovery 2, PC Health Monitor, HDD S.M.A.R.T., and C.O.M. further strengthen the stability and reliability of your PC!…

RoHS compliant

As a member of the global community to look after the environment, Gigabyte complies with the European Union’s Restriction of use of certain Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directive which limits the use of lead, mercury, cadmium and other hazardous substances in electronic products.. From components and material selection to production processes, make up of accessories, packaging/color boxes etc; GIGABYTE has carefully examined and designed this product to be 100% RoHS compliant. GIGABYTE will continue to develop RoHS compliant PC components and commit valuable resources to promoting and advancing RoHS directive goals and objectives.

Detailed Specifications:


Supports Intel Core2 Extreme/ Core2 Quad / Core2 Duo / Intel Pentium Extreme/ Intel Pentium D processor

Supports 1333/1066/800 MHz FSB


  • Northbridge: Intel G33 Express Chipset
  • Southbridge: Intel ICH9R
  • Realtek RTL8111B LAN Controller
  • Realtek ALC889A 8 Channel Audio Codec


Supports DDR2 1066(OC)/800/667 memory

Dual Channel architecture support up to 8GB by 4 DIMM slots

* Due to standard PC architecture, a certain amount of memory is reserved for system usage and therefore the actual memory size is less than the stated amount.

Expansion Slots:

  • 1 x PCI Express X16 slot
  • 1 x PCI Express X4 slot
  • 2 x PCI slots


Form Factor: 

MicroATX form factor, 244 x 244mm

Internal I/O Connectors:

  • 1 x 24-pin ATX power connector
  • 1 x 4-pin ATX 12V power connector
  • 1 x floppy connector
  • 1 x IDE connector
  • 6 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors
  • 1 x CPU fan header
  • 1 x system fan header
  • 1 x front panel header
  • 1 x front audio header
  • 1 x CD In connector
  • 4 x USB 2.0/1.1 headers
  • 1 x SPDIF In/out header
  • 1 x HDMI Adapter Audio Cable header
  • 2 x IEEE 1394a headers
  • 1 x COMB header
  • 1 x chassis intrusion header
  • 1 x power LED header


Back Panel Connectors:

  • 1 x PS/2 keyboard port
  • 1 x PS/2 mouse port
  • 1 x parallel port
  • 4 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports
  • 1 x VGA port
  • 1 x IEEE1394a port
  • 1 x RJ-45 port
  • 6 x audio jacks (Center/Subwoofer Speaker Out/Rear Speaker Out/Side Speaker Out/Line In/Line Out/Microphone)


H/W Monitoring:

  • System voltage detection
  • CPU / System temperature detection
  • CPU / System fan speed detection
  • CPU overheating warning
  • CPU / System fan fail warning
  • CPU fan speed control



  • 1 8 Mbit flash ROM
  • Use of licensed AWARD BIOS
  • PnP 1.0a, DMI 2.0, SM BIOS 2.3, ACPI 1.0b


Other Features:

  • Supports @BIOS
  • Supports Download Center
  • Supports Q-Flash
  • Supports EasyTune5
  • Supports Xpress Install
  • Supports Xpress Recovery2
  • Supports Virtual Dual BIOS


Due to different Linux support condition provided by chipset vendors, please download Linux driver from chipset vendors’ website or 3rd party website.

Due to most hardware/software vendors no longer offer support for Win9X/ME. If some vendors still has Win9X/ME drivers available, we will publish on website.

Duo to chipset limitation, Intel ICH9R RAID driver does not support Windows 2000 operating system