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780g motherboards vs. last gen AM2+ motherboards

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March 4, 2008 11:36:41 PM

Alright, so I'm looking to upgrade my system a bit within the near future. I was all set on the MSI K9A motherboard with a cheap X2 processor (4200 or 4800 depending on the price). Then ATi releases the 780g motherboards and they seem to be respectable and for the same price, so now I'm alittle confused on what I should get.

Usually, newer is better but as AMD has shown with their technology as of late, that isn't always the case. I'm guessing that the K9a board should go down in price soon but since the 780g's don't compete directly that isn't assured.

Oh and for some background I play games on my system but they consist of TF2 and Source based games right now. HOWEVER, I'm not all about having 40+ fps at 1600 resolution with everything turned on. I never turn on Anisotropic or Anti-Aliasing but I do play at 1280 but I'll bump the resolution down if necessary. I play most, if not all, of my games on medium visual settings since I run a 8600GT video card.

Speaking of which, this is my current setup:

939 motherboard
1GB of RAM
X3800 dual core processor
8600GT pcie card
Win XP

I waited until last summer to upgrade the processor and video card and found that Bioshock ran great and looked better than I imagined my system was capable of. Also because I'm on a budget and will be on a budget for awhile, I don't think I need to upgrade to a full Intel setup right now. Plus I like the fact that AMD's roadmap doesn't show a drastic pin change for the next few years which means that the next processor I get, I can keep for awhile and upgrade piece meal at my leisure (i got the PS3 to hold me over when it comes to games now).

So, any thoughts? Am I expecting too much from the 780g?
March 5, 2008 12:05:01 AM

Which K9A do you mean? There are couple of K9A on MSI. Is it K9A with AM2 (K9A platinum, chipset 580) or AM2+ (K9A2, chipset 790)?

The 780 is equipped with AMD 780 chipset. The interesting part with it is that it has graphic onboard (ATi 3200 w/ DX10 & SM4 support) and one PCIe 2.0 x16 lane. If you have 8600GT, than I don't think you'll need an onboard one.

If you're considering support for AM2+, the 790 chipset is better, or perhaps 770 chipset, with cheaper price (under 80$). The 770 has no onboard graphic and only has one PCIe 2.0 x16, which is OK if you're not considering for dual GPU (crossfire) later in the future. If you plan for crossfire in the future, the 790X will be a better choice starting at 120$ level IMO nowadays.

March 5, 2008 1:04:27 AM

yeah i was looking at the K9A2 CF-F (790x). What are the differences between the 770 and the 790, cause that sounds like it could be even cheaper?

I don't think I'd EVER do the crossfire thing. 2 GPU's is just too much for me
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March 5, 2008 1:42:55 AM

jp182 said:
Alright, so I'm looking to upgrade my system a bit within the near future. I was all set on the MSI K9A motherboard with a cheap X2 processor (4200 or 4800 depending on the price). Then ATi releases the 780g motherboards and they seem to be respectable and for the same price, so now I'm alittle confused on what I should get.

Usually, newer is better but as AMD has shown with their technology as of late, that isn't always the case. I'm guessing that the K9a board should go down in price soon but since the 780g's don't compete directly that isn't assured.


Edited, okay, you're talking about the 790 chipset. It's good, but I'd get an ATI card for it. In fact, I'd consider the 780G if you only want to have one GPU. The comments I wrote below apply to the 780G, but the other chipsets are great too.

For all practical purposes, consider the chipset to be ATI, not AMD. The only thing AMD's screwed up with in any way lately is the B2 Phenom (B3's will be out in April). They made the right choice in buying ATI for chipsets and GPU's.

The 780G chipset was held back a bit in the U.S. and Europe to get hybrid Crossfire readied. That's good for HTPC's and very light gaming, apps. It matches a 3450 or 3470 with the IGP for improved hybrid Crossfire performance. Adding a Phenom over an X2 improves things even more.

That said, I have the cheap MSI board you're talking about with a legacy X2 CPU and it does okay. Still, if you're buying now, go for the 780G. Look at the reviews, you can't go wrong with an Athlon X2 in a 780G board.

http://www.tomshardware.com/2008/03/04/amd_780g_chipset...

http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=10957

I plan on getting a couple of 780G boards for an HTPC, and for my wife's PC (she has an ASUS 690G). I'm getting a 790FX for myself (CrossfireX down the line) and all 3 will get B3 Phenom's.
March 5, 2008 1:58:31 AM

yipsl said:

...
For all practical purposes, consider the chipset to be ATI, not AMD.
...


What do you exactly mean by this statement? IMO ATI = AMD right now. Or do you mean to get ATI graphic card?

Anyway, in general I agree with you yipsl (nice link too btw).

However since jp182 already had a 8600GT, which also good for HTPC, despite I'm more preferring to ATi for HTPC, the options of 780 chipset is a waste IMO. Why do we need two graphic?

For the differences between 770 and 790X, I can see only on those crossfire-x support (with dual PCIe 2.0 x16 lane) on 790 and no crossfire on 770 (only one PCIe 2.0). I don't see anything else differs those two. And compare to 780, it's exactly like 780 without onboard graphic.

Here the link for Gigabyte: http://www.giga-byte.com/Products/Motherboard/Products_...

To be honest I'm getting confused with 770 and 790X. How can those price can be differ so much with only one PCIe addition? My gut tells that there must be something else :)  Nah, maybe I'm just paranoid.

I'm about to build one PC for a friend, and I'm about to get 770 or 790X, my friend seems to prefer 790X for about 130-140$. I'm still waiting for his budget approval :)  If he didn't change his mind, I will get it in about a week or two.
March 5, 2008 2:53:08 AM

hmm i see what you mean. it looks like with Gigabyte's boards they just added a "high quality onboard sound card" to differentiate price.

to me that doesn't matter since i still have an audigy2 sound card. i wasn't too sure about the Gigabyte boards though just because that heat sink looks real close to the cpu spot. But i may have to go with whatever i can get for cheap. 770, 780 or 790
March 5, 2008 2:56:48 AM

antas said:
What do you exactly mean by this statement? IMO ATI = AMD right now. Or do you mean to get ATI graphic card?

Anyway, in general I agree with you yipsl (nice link too btw).



Well, what I meant was ATI began the chipset design before merging with AMD. It's a winner, just like the 690G. If anyone's worried about the Phenom woe's (which I believe will be mostly fixed with B3 and completely fixed with Shanghai), they should not worry about this chipset.

The title of the thread threw me off: "780g motherboards vs. last gen AM2+ motherboards". It's not "770 vs. 790 vs. last gen motherboards". When I read that he's now considering the 770 or 790, then I edited my post but still felt the 780G info was pertinent.

antas said:

However since jp182 already had a 8600GT, which also good for HTPC, despite I'm more preferring to ATi for HTPC, the options of 780 chipset is a waste IMO. Why do we need two graphic?


The hybrid Crossfire tests involved a 3450, which is a low form factor and is good for an HTPC. It will also work in hybrid Crossfire with a 3470. That's a winning combination for an HTPC that might be used for light gaming. For an HTPC, the upcoming B3 Phenom 9100 65 watt 1.8 gigahertz CPU should be a winner. That's what I want in mine.


March 5, 2008 3:27:32 AM

OK, I got your point :) 

Indeed, what you are saying is true (or was IMO). But eversince ATi merged with AMD I think all latest AMD chipset has a ATi technology on it and vice versa. On which AMD = ATi more or less.

But still, I don't know for sure if 780 had a better part/technologies .. The only advantages of 780 IMO is those hybrid crossfire technology (with it's solid onboard 3200 ATi GPU). With 60-80$ price tag, IMO this is really good board to think over (for HTPC build), I have no point to argue for this one :) 
a b V Motherboard
March 5, 2008 3:33:47 AM

Okay what I see the difference between the 770 vs. 790 chipset is a few things. The 770 has 4 SATA's 790 6 SATA's. 1 x16 PCI-e 2.0 on 770 and up to 4xPCI-e 2.0 slots (mostly 2 x8 speed or there abouts, depending on mobo).
With this in mind and depending on budget and build criteria, I'd go with the 770 chipset for 1 GPU (even the 3870x2 would work in this setup) or the 790 chipset for more than 1 GPU. The 780 chipset I'd use for a HTPC or a basic PC setup, where your not really doing any "real" gaming on it. Perfect for most average users.
You know that you'll need to replace CPU, memory, & mobo to make this switch, right?
March 5, 2008 3:48:57 AM

That's well said luny :) 

But it seems that you're referring to 790FX (4x PCIe 2.0). The 790X has only two, well it could be depend on the mobo's manufacture as they might tweak it to have more than 2 PCIe 2.0 (but IMO it will be x8 or x4 on additional lane).

Just want to add some point:

for pricing range:
770 / 780: 60-80$ (or even below)
790X: 120-150$ (or more)
790FX: 180$ and above

I've set my eye for a while for those 7xx chipset since AMD announced it. Unfortunately I'm forced to build a new PC sooner (since the previous one was blown up to heaven) and I built upon an Intel system. I couldn't find any 7xx board when I built mine *sigh.
March 5, 2008 12:26:52 PM

antas said:
OK, I got your point :) 

Indeed, what you are saying is true (or was IMO). But eversince ATi merged with AMD I think all latest AMD chipset has a ATi technology on it and vice versa. On which AMD = ATi more or less.

But still, I don't know for sure if 780 had a better part/technologies .. The only advantages of 780 IMO is those hybrid crossfire technology (with it's solid onboard 3200 ATi GPU). With 60-80$ price tag, IMO this is really good board to think over (for HTPC build), I have no point to argue for this one :) 


Don't forget 780G also comes with UVD, which is crucial if you want to play HD content with acceptable quality. ;) 

Although AMD acquired ATI but ATI still functions on its own like it was before, except they stopped making Intel chipsets. So I agree with yipsl that ATI!=AMD when it comes to chipset and graphics; even without the merger these exact same products would still be released.
March 6, 2008 1:50:44 AM

thanks for the info guys! Yeah I know I'll need to get a new processor, memory and a power supply probably to go with this mobo which is why i'm concerned with price.

since i know that i won't ever go SLI, i guess i'll be on the look out for 770's or 780's since no one seems to have any 770's :-\
March 6, 2008 2:41:50 AM

Also make sure and pay attention to the southbridge too. Get SB700, the SB600 has issues with Vista. I know the 780 boards have SB700, dont know if any 770 or 790 boards have it yet.
March 6, 2008 3:46:40 AM

beware of the msi k9a2 cf-f motherboard. its a good board overall, but it can't support processors with too high of a tdp. i've read horror stories of this motherboard literally melting because of overclocking. do a google search on the motherboard and see what you come up with.

as for the new 780g motherboards, they seem very solid. you can pick up an ecs 780g motherboard for 70 dollars. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813135075. then, if you need a processor, look at the opteron 1212. dual core, 2 ghz, with the f3 stepping. the reviews on newegg show may people getting them to 3ghz and beyond easily. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819105016

the one question i do have on the new 780g motherboards is how they overclock. i've been looking for reviews on their oc potential everywhere and i'm coming up empty handed so far, most likely because its still a very new chipset, but still. if anyone has links to reviews where they overclock these boards, i'd love to take a look at them.
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