Summary: This board is TRULY WONDERFUL if you're prepared to do some research to get it upgraded to the F3 BIOS. Its not hard, just look on the newegg reviews and follow instructions using a USB stick booting MSDOS with an autoexec.bat file that reflashes the BIOS using a download from Gigabyte. Select "Legacy" mode in CSM in the existing F2 BIOS to do that. That done (simples!!) It loads Ubuntu V12 flawlessly (I installed from a USB stick, so you don't even need a CD drive!
Summary: What a pain in the @$$... I've been building systems for over 20 years now, and I think I had more trouble getting an OS installed on this board than any other I've worked with. To be fair, it's a system with no optical drive built in (so I was installing from a bootable DVD in a USB attached optical drive), but it still gave me a lot more trouble than anticipated. Based on other recommendations, I first tried to upgrade the BIOS.
Summary: This board is PAINFUL! If you want to load windows 7, forget it! Then... after trying Windows 7 for 3 days, you turn to Windows 8 to load but only to find out you can't even get back into the BIOS to set the boot order. I am seriously through at this point. I have tried everything including an attempt to get to the F3 BIOS upgrade from the Gigabyte website, only to realize it's not on there anymore. At this point I am lost.
Summary: Let's be real: the reason this board is good is because of the Intel J1800 SoC. It's a fantastic chip. So, all of the credit goes to Intel. Gigabyte, on the other hand, couldn't even figure out how to make this board boot a normal operating system out of the box. Which seems like, maybe, kind of an important thing for a motherboard to be able to do? Don't get me wrong, if you're installing Windows 8 then I'm sure you'll love this board.
Summary: Like other people have said, the F2 BIOS seems buggy. It regularly froze in the BIOS upon powerup or restarting. Updating to the F3 BIOS was not easy. The print documentation supplied by gigabyte on how to do this was inaccurate and some of the update methods they suggested do not work. Now that it is running the F3 BIOS, the machine does reliably boot, except when a monitor is not plugged in.
Summary: I am tearing my hair out for 2 days before checking out this page. Been trying to install Win7 (try both 32&64bit) with CD and USB flashdisk UEFI, legacy and all, to no avail. Read here that it only accept Win 8 X64 if you are in BIOS F2, which I have. It is a strange choice given it is a low spec CPU and a budget motherboard which have minimal I/O.
Summary: Used this to build an new file server box using Server 2012 x64 Standard. Thought I would be ok for drivers since Windows 8 and Server 2012 are close in builds. Driver base not so great, but 80% of drivers could be loaded from those provided. No additional support from the website. I didn't have to do firmware updates prior to installation and I loaded the OS directly from USB 3.0 flash drive.
A great board for a fanless Linux desktop - shame about the BIOS
Peter Lister, dabs.com
30 March 2014
Summary: I wanted the BayTrail chipset for access to graphics chips which should be fully supported by Linux. It's a dual processor, it's very low power and is fine with no fan in a vertically mounted ITX case. Well done to Intel for the chips. Gigabyte have created a nice mobo with an HDMI and we may get another for a HTPC. But the F2 BIOS supplied will only boot Windows 8. On a system Intel has explicitly designed to be Linux friendly.