expansion option on the diminutive Gigabyte GA-E350N-USB3 motherboard is
a PCI Express 2.0 x16 slot that operates at x4
mode. Where videocards are concerned, the AMD E-350 APU is a little underpowered so
locking in a fast graphics card isn't going to return the same benefits you'd expect
with a standard desktop PC.
Any entry level or mainstream PCI Express x16 videocard
will give good results if you find the integrated Radeon HD6130 IGP excessively
slow. It's worthwhile to remember that the AMD E-350 CPU is on par with what you
would find in a Netbook.
Given the small 17x17cm footprint
of this miniITX board, fit
around the PCI Express slot is quite tight. To
swap videocards you must remove memory modules first, the PCI Express slot lock is
hidden by the DIMM lock.
Four native 6Gb/s SATA III ports are supplied via the AMD
A50M chipset. Packed around the AMD A50M southbridge are a few headers for front
panel audio, (2) USB 2.0 headers and the font panel I/O connections. The
Gigabyte GA-E350N-USB3 has two fan headers.
This is the front panel audio header. The Gigabyte GA-E350N-USB3
motherboard supports 7.1-channel audio and S/PDIF outputs along with Dolby Home
Theatre. Audio is supplied by a Realtec ALC892 codec.
The two USB 3.0 jacks at the back panel are handled by a
Renesas D720200 controller. USB 3.0 expands the bandwidth to 4.8Gb/s (4800Mb/s)
which is more appropriate for today's large mass storage devices. There are four
USB 2.0 jacks at the rear I/O and four more available by headers (no USB
brackets are provided).