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Roundup: Four 790FX Socket AM3 Motherboards

Test Settings

Test System Configuration
CPUAMD Phenom II X3 720 Black Edition (2.80 GHz, 6 MB Cache)
RAMKingston KHX16000D3ULT1K3/6GX 2.0 GB modules, used in pairs Underclocked to DDR3-1333 CAS 8-8-8-24
GraphicsZotac GeForce GTX260² 896MB 576/999MHz GPU/Shader, GDDR3-2484
Hard DriveWD VelociRaptor WD30000HLFS 0.3 TB, 10,000 RPM, 16 MB Cache
SoundIntegrated HD Audio
NetworkIntegrated Gigabit Networking
PowerCoolermaster RS850-EMBA 850 W, ATX12V v2.2, EPS12V
Software
Operating SystemMicrosoft Windows Vista Ultimate x64 SP1
GraphicsNvidia Forceware 182.08 WHQL
ChipsetCatalyst Chipset 03.00.0699

Our best DDR3 memory was shipped in triple-channel kits, so we divided these into dual-channel kits for Socket AM3 compatibility. AMD supplied the processor.

Western Digital’s 10,000 RPM 300 GB VelociRaptor kept load times low and write performance high.

Today’s benchmark suite has several 64-bit updates, but readers should look for additional improvements once all of our editors have reached a consensus towards standardization.

Benchmark Configuration
3D Games
Call of Duty: World at WarPatch 1.1, FRAPS/saved game High Textures, No AA / No AF, vsync off Ultra Textures, 4x AA / Max AF, vsync off
CrysisPatch 1.2.1, DirectX 10, 64-bit executable, benchmark tool Test Set 1: High Quality, No AA Test Set 2: Very High Quality, 8x AA
Far Cry 2DirectX 10, Steam Version, in-game benchmark Test Set 1: High Quality, No AA Test Set 2: Ultra High Quality, 8x AA
World in ConflictPatch 1009, DirectX 10, timedemo Test 1: High Details, No AA / No AF Test 2: Very High Details 4x AA / 16x AF
Audio/Video Encoding
iTunes 8Version: 8.1.0.52 (x64) Audio CD ("Terminator II SE"), 53 min Default format AAC
Lame MP3Version: 3.98 64-bits (07-04-2008) Audio CD "Terminator II SE," 53 min. wave-to-MP3
TMPGEnc 4.6Version: 4.6.3.268 Import File: Terminator 2 SE DVD (5 Minutes) Resolution: 720x576 (PAL) 16:9
DivX 6.8.5Encoding mode: Insane Quality Enhanced multithreading enabled using SSE4 Quarter-pixel search
Xvid 1.2.1Display encoding status = off
Mainconcept Reference 1.6.1MPEG2 to MPEG2 (H.264), MainConcept H.264/AVC Codec, 28 sec HDTV 1920x1080 (MPEG2), Audio: MPEG2 (44.1 kHz, 2 Channel, 16-Bit, 224 Kbp/s), Mode: PAL (25 FPS)
Productivity
Autodesk 3ds Max 2009Version: 11.0, Rendering Dragon Image at 1920x1080 (HDTV)
Grisoft AVG Anti-Virus 8Version: 8.0.134, Virus base: 270.4.5/1,533, Benchmark: Scan 334 MB Folder of ZIP/RAR compressed files
WinRAR 3.80Version 3.80, WinZip Commandline Version 3.0, Compression = Best, Dictionary = 4,096 KB, Benchmark: THG-Workload (334 MB)
WinZip 12Version 12.0, Compression = Best, Benchmark: THG-Workload (139 MB)
Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings
3DMark VantageVersion: 1.02, GPU and CPU scores
PCMark VantageVersion: 1.00, System, Memory, Hard Disk Drive benchmarks, Windows Media Player 10.00.00.3646
SiSoft SandraVersion 2008.5.14.24, CPU Test = CPU Arithmetic / Multimedia, Memory Test = Bandwidth Benchmark
Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.