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Benchmarks: Gaming

AMD 790GX: RV610 For Enthusiasts?
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As expected, the 790GX dominates 3D Mark Vantage using integrated graphics. The side-port memory-equipped 780G claims a second-place finish, but just barely.

The real upset occurs when you slide a GeForce 8500 GT into the Nvidia board, boosting performance from 1905 3DMarks to 4879. Of course, the race remains close, with AMD’s 790GX scoring 4721 3DMarks aided by Sapphire’s Radeon HD 3470 add-in card.

No surprise here. AMD dominates Half Life 2, delivering playable frame rates at 1024x768 using only integrated graphics. Under the influence of Hybrid CrossFireX, you’re set to either step things up to 1280x1024 or start turning on more of the game’s visual details at 1024x768. The 780G picks up a second-place finish. And although GeForce Boost serves the GeForce 8300 platform well, it’s not enough to catch Nvidia up in this one.

World in Conflict initially favors the 790GX’s 700 MHz GPU, followed by the 500 MHz 780G and then the GeForce 8300. But installing a GeForce 8500 GT catapults the 8300-based Asus board into the lead. Gigabyte’s 790GX follows, with the 780G motherboard just behind — both platforms armed with Sapphire Radeon HD 3470 cards.

Here’s an easy one. Even at 1024x768, all three of our integrated platforms offered enough graphics performance to keep Flight Simulator X pegged at its vsync cap.

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  • 6 Hide
    kitsilencer , August 6, 2008 4:47 AM
    Great review, and it's good to see that AMD is at last able to target more enthusiast markets competitively.
  • 0 Hide
    cangelini , August 6, 2008 5:38 AM
    kitsilencerGreat review, and it's good to see that AMD is at last able to target more enthusiast markets competitively.


    Thanks for the feedback Kit.
  • 1 Hide
    eklipz330 , August 6, 2008 6:19 AM
    ^^^iseriously thought that was sarcasm, until i saw the authors name
  • 0 Hide
    waffle911 , August 6, 2008 7:01 AM
    So... why does a page 15 and 16 of this article exist if there is no page 15 or 16 to the article?
    Take a closer look. What happened?
  • 2 Hide
    YYD , August 6, 2008 7:15 AM
    PCMark seems Intel biased, please read this:
    http://arstechnica.com/reviews/hardware/atom-nano-review.ars/6

    Please change this benchmark suite or check if PcMark Vantage is unbiased.
  • 0 Hide
    cangelini , August 6, 2008 7:23 AM
    waffle911So... why does a page 15 and 16 of this article exist if there is no page 15 or 16 to the article?Take a closer look. What happened?


    That was strange. Should be fixed now.
  • 0 Hide
    cangelini , August 6, 2008 7:24 AM
    YYDPCMark seems Intel biased, please read this:http://arstechnica.com/reviews/har [...] view.ars/6Please change this benchmark suite or check if PcMark Vantage is unbiased.


    Fortunately, with no Intel platforms tested, this should be a non-issue for the current situation ;-) In the future, you'll be seeing SYSmark, though.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , August 6, 2008 7:30 AM
    Seems past page 8 or something the links are corrupt.. can't fully read this article and getting error 404 - page not found.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , August 6, 2008 7:32 AM
    .. and now the article seems to be removed even from the main page!?!?!
  • 0 Hide
    cangelini , August 6, 2008 7:51 AM
    lacrits.. and now the article seems to be removed even from the main page!?!?!


    Alright, mystery solved. It's back up, sans the blank page. Thanks for pointing that out lacrits!
  • 2 Hide
    nickchalk , August 6, 2008 9:31 AM
    Hi, i wanted to ask something aout the article.
    why you use 3470 and 8500 for the tests?
    hybrid crossfire and nvidia boost don't work with faster cards?
    is the performance gain not big with 3870 or 9600gt?
    thanks
  • 2 Hide
    cangelini , August 6, 2008 9:36 AM
    Hybrid CrossFireX uses alternate frame rendering, as does GeForce Boost, I believe. As a result, both technologies are best complemented by discrete boards evenly matched to the integrated core. In the case of the GeForce 8300, that'd be an 8500 GT. For the 790GX, AMD recommends the 3470. To spend any more money on discrete graphics for either platform would be a waste of money even if you could use faster cards.
  • 1 Hide
    nickchalk , August 6, 2008 9:42 AM
    thanks for responding so fast.
    so what if i use a 3650 with this board? or why will i buy a quad core and dont spend some more for a 3850?
  • 0 Hide
    cangelini , August 6, 2008 9:54 AM
    Unfortunately, performance won't scale with the 3650. With that said, you'll still see reasonable gaming performance in Hybrid CrossFireX. The beauty of this board is that you CAN drop in a 3850, 3870, 4850, etc. and then add a second one later for CrossFireX.
  • 0 Hide
    zenmaster , August 6, 2008 11:20 AM
    cangeliniUnfortunately, performance won't scale with the 3650. With that said, you'll still see reasonable gaming performance in Hybrid CrossFireX. The beauty of this board is that you CAN drop in a 3850, 3870, 4850, etc. and then add a second one later for CrossFireX.


    Nice Review, However I would like to see how well SLI scales on this board using a 4850 and 4870 vs another AMD Board with full Duel 16x PCIE 2.0 Slots.

    I've seen some other reviews where Dual 8x PCIE 2.0 Slots start having scaling issues on the 4850 at are not seen on the 3800 Series.
  • 1 Hide
    computerfarmer , August 6, 2008 11:20 AM
    Thank you for this excellent article.
    Does the 128mb side-port limit the on board video to that amount of memory? Does this affect Vista Areo?
  • 1 Hide
    jimmysmitty , August 6, 2008 1:13 PM
    Good article. Phenom can finally OC. I wounder if the mobo makers are going to make them with higher quality voltage regulators so it can support the 9850BE and higher across the selection.
  • 1 Hide
    cshorte , August 6, 2008 1:47 PM
    good review,

    i have a question why do you recommend ddr1066 over 800? i thought there wasn't a huge difference.

    also im a bit confused about this 16x, vs. 8x 8x...
    if i use a single card (for now) which motherboard (790g, 790gx) will produce more graphixs capabilities?
  • 1 Hide
    ltcommander_data , August 6, 2008 2:03 PM
    It would have been interesting to see a comparison between the GMA X4500 and the 790GX.

    http://www.hkepc.com/?id=1510&page=5&fs=idn#view

    The GMA X4500 seems to be much faster than the GMA X3500 and within 10-30% of the 780G in actual games. I guess the 790GX was a timely addition and with it being 20% faster than the 780G, that should open up the lead over the GMA X4500 to 30-50%.
  • 1 Hide
    kenyee , August 6, 2008 2:08 PM
    and which of these upcoming 790GX motherboards are microATX?
    The only one I know of is the DFI one...
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