We never expect too much from an Intel 'G' chipset
To be fair to motherboards our policy is to use the most powerful processor we have in the office, in this case it was the Intel QX9770, a processor that would normally not grace the likes of a low end motherboard but never-the-less that was the setup. It failed to boot; it just simply did not post at all. We tried every combination of components until we changed the QX9770 for an old E6300. Only with this rather antiquated processor did the system boot. Shocking to say the least. We ran our benchmarks twice, one with the onboard GPU and the other with a HD 4870.
The first set of results was pitiful, a 3DMark06 score of 984 and a PCMark05 score of 4622. The second set of results looked a lot more satisfying with a 3DMark06 score of 8783 and a PCMark05 score of 6328. We can say without a doubt that a dedicated GPU is a must if you want to use the G45T-M2 for any form of gaming although we would question the sanity of any person that puts a high-end GPU into a motherboard with built in graphics.
If overclocking even crosses your mind with the G45T-M2 then forget it. With cooling on the Northbridge that barely keeps it cool at stock speeds, a Southbridge that does not even have cooling, and a BIOS whose idea of overclocking consists of increasing FSB and raising the RAM voltage by 0.3v, this motherboard could not even cope with the thought of overclocking.
The motherboard layout is also shocking; unlike the Gigabyte P45-UD3R trying to take RAM out of the G45T-M2 with a large GPU in will result in loads of foul language. The 12v CPU power socket is located below the CPU socket unlike most motherboards which have it at the top of the board. This makes getting power to it more than a little frustrating.
This motherboard however does have one redeeming quality. The price. It is dirt cheap which means it will be great for a HTPC or even a starter PC for someone who wants to play games and type some word documents. With even a low-end Core 2 Duo in it the G45T-M2 will provide HD playback easily thanks to the fact that the bundle comes with a DVI to HDMI converter which means HD playback for less than a multimedia player.