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AMD 790GX with Sideport

Last response: in Motherboards
October 20, 2009 11:09:17 AM

Hey Guys,

I read through the review of the 790GX and it said that its displays 1080i nicely. How does it handle 1080p when the Sideport + shared memory etc is all running?

I'm not talking gaming now, just video quality. Dont tell me to go buy a fancy Graphics card. Thats not why I'm asking. I know which cards are good etc. Just wanna know if this mobo can handle 1080p on its own?

Thanks guys.

More about : amd 790gx sideport

a b V Motherboard
October 20, 2009 12:10:53 PM

HD up-scaled beyond 1080p

The AMD 790GX chipset allows you to immerse yourself in a full HD cinematic experience2 at home while enabling a quiet entertainment PC. Enjoy more vibrant colours and lifelike picture quality up-scaled beyond 1080p with ATI Avivo™ HD3. Watch the latest Blu-Ray® movies on your PC4 and easily connect it to your big screen TV. The AMD 790GX Chipset offers you a superior HD experiences that runs efficiently and at a price that won’t break your budget.

Read more at:
October 20, 2009 12:33:34 PM

awesome. Thanks.
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a b V Motherboard
October 20, 2009 5:52:09 PM

Ah heck, very welcome! That's my 2nd "awesome" helping folks on this forum!
October 21, 2009 6:32:42 AM

Mongox, help me out here with your opinion...

I currently have:

GIGABYTE Poseidon 310 Chassis
Intel DP35DP Media Series Mainboard
Socket 775
4x DDR2 DIMM slots
Intel HD Audio (7.1 analog + Optical audio out)
Gigabit Ethernet
12x USB
6x SATA2
2x E1394 (Firewire)
Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 2.66GHz CPU
4MB L2 Cache
65nm technology
4GB Transcend JetRam DDR2 800MHz RAM
1x 1TB Seagate 7200rpm SATA HDD
1x 400GB Seagate 7200rpm SATA HDD
2x 320GB Seagate 7200rpm SATA HDD
ATI Radeon HD2600Pro 256MB DDR2 128bit Graphics Card
Resolution up to 2560x1600
Supports HD @ 480p, 720p, 1080i & 1080p

Basically I use my PC to watch DVD's. I have the res set to 1080p and the PC works fine. I will be buying a Blu-Ray reader soon. However, a buddy of mine has an external Blu-Ray reader which I borrow sometimes. When I watch movies @ 1080p from there, sometimes it's a little slow and jumpy.

Is this because of the limitations of the USB connecting the optical drive to the PC of do I need to upgrade my PC?

Im considering getting a whole new rig (I'm a bit of a techno junkie) just because my PC is getting on to 4 years old.

What I'm considering getting is:

Sigma Shark case
600W PSU
MSI 790GX-G65 mobo
AMD Phenom II X4 945 (3GHz)
4GB Paired RAM (aXeRam is pretty cheap here)
1x 1.5TB Seagate 7200rpm SATAII HDD

What do you think?
a b V Motherboard
October 21, 2009 7:49:05 AM

Can't see anything to complain about. Watch the voltage requirements of the RAM, you want 1.5V=1.6V for DDR3 and 1.8V-1.9V for DDR2.

I do think any of the top-end CPUs are a waste for watching movies, but it's up to you.
October 21, 2009 8:01:25 AM

aXeRam is DDR3. I'm still undecided on the RAM. I'm thinking of getting something a little better. aXeRam is just regular Ram beefed up a little with a heat spreader on it.

Would you suggest then maybe saving a buck or two and going for an X2 or X3 CPU?
a b V Motherboard
October 21, 2009 2:42:18 PM

I saved quite a bit getting a x2 550 Black Edition. 3.1GHz and a better than 50% chance of unlocking the extra cores making it a x4 950. Have to make sure your chosen board supports that - see info in the OC forum about doing it.

The key things in RAM are making sure the voltage is low and low latency. That means for 1333 DDR3 you want a CL=7. I've never heard of Axeram
October 21, 2009 3:45:49 PM

I have decided to save a heap of money and get the X2 550. If im lucky I can unlock one or 2 cores. the 790GX supports X4's so that shouldn't be a problem.

aXeRam is made by Transcend

But it looks like I'm going to go for OCZ Gold Edition 2x 2GB 1600MHz DDR3 RAM (8-8-8-24 @ 1.65V) The Platinum Edition is 7-7-7-20 @1.65V but its more expensive and starting to get out of my price range
a b V Motherboard
October 22, 2009 12:04:30 AM

OK, check the Manual for it - in fact, you always want to read the manual cover-to-cover before buying a board. You need the feature ACC - Advanced Clock Calibration on Gigabyte:
Advanced Clock Calibration
Allows you to determine whether to enable Advanced Clock Calibration when using an AMD Black Edition CPU.
Disabled Disables this function. (Default)
Auto Lets the BIOS to configure the settings to defaults.
All Cores Configures Advanced Clock Calibration for all CPU cores.
Per Core Individually configures Advanced Clock Calibration for each CPU core.

Just don't be upset if you can't get it. You still get a blazing fast CPU!

Good luck with the system. Save this thread as a fav so you can tell us how it went later!
October 22, 2009 11:11:24 AM

I'm all sorted so far....

One more question if I may?

I noticed on one AMD forum a guy said his Phenom II X3 shipped with no OEM heatsink or fan. Now as long as I have been purchasing PC parts, the CPU has ALWAYS come with a basick heatsink and fan.

Am I correct that the Phenom II's do in fact ship with these?

Ok, 2 questions actually....

I'm also looking at a 3rd party cooling solution for my rig, but I don't need to run liquid cooling. Either the sites are just a little outdated or most of the current mainstream cooling products, lets use Gigabytes G-Power 2 pro for example, suport AMD Athlons and Semprons but do not state that they fit the Phenoms.

Where can I look for cooling solutions for the Phenoms that arent hideous?
a b V Motherboard
October 22, 2009 1:38:46 PM

Certainly any retail pack of the Phenom comes with a heatsink and fan - mine did. I suppose there are commercial orders available without them, but I haven't seen it.

I looked a lot at air cooling and chose the one listed in my sig, the Scythe Katana 3. Many others are suitable. The key factors are the size - the fan diameter is a good indicator. In addition, you want one that faces the correct direction when mounted - something that takes a bit of research somtimes.

You can search for a cooler by socket type. AM_ or 939 I believe should all fit. You'll find the reviews vary widely and make little sense. If you get a 92mm fan with a tilt like mine, it'll fit most cases. But if you have a big case, you can go for huge coolers. The standard favorites seem to be the Arctic Freezer Pro ?? 64 I think and the big Sunbeam, can't recall the model. You'll find a detailed review of the Katana3 by me at NewEgg's site.

Also watch the overhang of RAM slots. I have quite tall RAM, big heatsinks, and can fit under the Katana so I'm very happy with it.
a b V Motherboard
October 22, 2009 5:34:46 PM

Hey, I liked that one a lot. Some trade reviews knocked it for not being a "new" design but it also perfomed quite well in tests. But man, it's BIG!!!! Won't fit in my case and not fitting's about the only complaint I see about it. My case is no more than 185mm wide and they make it clear you need at least 200mm for it. Should be a good choice.

It has the basic tilted design that my Katana has, but with a 120mm fan and a much nicer-looking finish to it, plastic bezel, etc.. As mentioned in a Newegg comment, it almost touched the PSU in his install, which means it sticks out flush with top edge of board.
October 23, 2009 6:33:35 AM

My chassis is only 190mm :( 
a b V Motherboard
October 23, 2009 8:33:12 AM

Well, you won't be using that fan then, sorry! See, it's hard to imagine how big some of these coolers really are. Your case looks big now, so imagine a cooler so tall it won't fit inside it.

Here's my review of the Katana - the info I mention about how it measures in my case can be useful in helping you to choose a fan.
Pros: The Katana reduced my AMD Phenom II x2 550 BE a solid 10C degrees at all states vs stock AMD cooler. It fits easily into my mid-tower case and wouldn't interfere with any normal RAM modules in my Gigabyte MA785GM-US2H or most boards. Installation was easy and the unit locks in very tight with the AMD clips. These clips include levers which tighten down once you have the clips in place over the notches - making it easy to both put into place and then tighten down firmly - as desired to draw off the most heat. The clips are all metal and solid.

Cons: One of the AMD clip springs popped out while I was fiddling with it and testing the placement of the unit. I just examined the other clip and put it back together.

Some complain that they have to remove the motherboard or the power supply to install a cooler. This may be true - I took out the power supply just to make sure the cooler was properly positioned and to see everything well. This isn't a drawback to any cooler. Do what you need to get it installed properly in your case.

Other Thoughts: I haven't overclocked my 550 BE yet but I have unlocked the 4 cores. This actually decreases the at-rest temp on stock cooler from ~48C to ~45C but has no effect on stress temps. My stock cooler would reach 73C when running Prime95 - too hot to consider overclocking. With the Katana installed the at-rest temps lowered to as low as 35C but usually ~38C. When running Prime95 it has reached a peak of 62C but generally ~59C.

The specs indicate a cooler height of 143mm - this is actually the total height with fan installed. Measuring from the motherboard, it stands off only 148mm. My older mid-tower case is 185mm or 7 1/4" across the frame, without side panels in place. This gives me a clearance from the top of the cooler of about 1/2" - doesn't sound like a lot but works fine. The Katana's combination of angled design and 92mm fan make it a good choice for cases like mine. Try measuring your own case, especially from board surface to side to see how this or others might fit.

But see how cute and small the Katana3 looks in this picture! It's deceptive since you can't see it installed.

Note that my case which is 185mm wide - the frame measured without side panels - but the actually distance from the surface of the motherboard to the opposite wall is about 160mm's. So roughly an inch, 25mm's, is lost due to the board stand-off. Here's some pics of my case and fan - hard to tell but the fan comes out just a little further than the edge of the PSU to the side of the case. Regardless, even this much smaller fan than the Gigabyte looks BIG in my case. The 3-led fan you see in the case is 80mm btw, the one on the cooler is 92mm. One reason I chose this cooler is my tall RAM - about as tall as any out there and it'll clear it. Other fans like the Arctic

And look at the dust already! Hadn't noticed it until I took the pictures just now!

One reason I chose this cooler is my tall RAM - about as tall as any out there and it'll clear it. The angle of the fan not only reduces its height but get it out of the way of RAM - like the Gigabyte. But the Giga had the 120mm fan which is just too much for many cases. Other fans like the Arctic and Sunbeam I were pretty sure wouldn't clear my RAM, but would clear shorter stuff.
October 23, 2009 8:59:20 AM


I'm sorry, but I have OCD when it comes to the inside of my case, it has to be super neat with all the wires neatly arranged and hidden away from view. I almost died when I saw those pics!

Here is a pic of what you see looking at my current (soon to be EX) chassis:

And this is the inside while I was moving stuff around, and to me this is MESSY!!!

This rig is now 4 years old and I've saved for a new rig. I'll be spending about R11 000 (about £1 000 or $1 200 in case you don't know what the South African currency is worth) so its gonna be quite a bit better... can't wait.
a b V Motherboard
October 25, 2009 3:25:04 AM

LOL, I knew it would be scary - here's one that'll really wipe you out!

I move drives in and out of the system case all the time. I haven't put the side panels on since I bought that case maybe 8-9 yrs ago. Note my sig - 12 IDE drives and Old Ugly Case!

OK, don't click below if you really frighten easily!

Note however, everything is neatly labeled - and there are really 7 Hard Drives on the lower system. Don't you think the led fans added something to it? LOL
November 3, 2009 4:20:43 AM

Okay, So I've bought all the stuff and assembled it. Ran it for a few days to check that all was working ok. Which it is.

Now for the fun and games...

For now, all I want to do is try and unlock the other 2 cores on my Phenom X2. I browsed through all the forums and sites with guides on how to do this and it seems pretty simple. And since almost every page gave the same instructions it must be correct right?


Below is a picture of the default BIOS settings:

And this is the result:

With this configuration the PC boots into Win XP and Win 7 successfully.

So I followed the guides and set the BIOS up like this:

And this is the result:

However, it runs through the POST and and the point where Windows normally shows the splash screen while loading, I get a black screen instead. And it stays like that.

I went back on the net to look for possible fixes and they said increase the Vcore. Awesome.... but I don't have Vcore in the BIOS. I assume in my BIOS its CPU V but I dont want to take chances.

This is what my BIOS looks like at the page where you can modify voltage values.

What am I doing wrong thats causing it not to boot?

One other question... why does my RAM say its running at 1333 when I have Corsair Dominator 1600 matched pair? I set it to 1600 in the BIOS but then the PC wont boot? WTF?