Graphics Boosted: 790GX's Side-Port Explored

Jetway HA07 Ultra-LF

We used a Jetway HA07 Ultra to check out the 790GX chipset’s capabilities. This board is a high-end product that employs all of the features offered by AMD’s 790GX chipset, including the side-port memory option. In the case of this motherboard, Jetway uses a single 1 Gb DDR3 chip (128 MB), which attaches to the chipset through a 64-bit bus. It would be possible to run additional memory in 128-bit mode, which we expect would increase performance a bit more.

We checked out the system and 3D graphics performance using various graphics options: running just the side-port memory, using 512 MB of shared memory only, running a combination of both, running a single Radeon HD 3450 card, and running the card with the integrated graphics in Hybrid CrossFire mode.

Jetway provides two x16 PCI Express 2.0 slots for CrossFireX graphics (each running 8 PCIe 2.0 links), two x1 PCIe ports, two 32-bit PCI slots, and the usual four DIMM sockets and six SATA/300 ports. The back panel provides audio connectors, the network port and an eSATA port, which is provided via an additional SATA controller. A second port is available between the back panel and the CPU socket. Four USB 2.0 ports are also located on the back panel, but we don’t know why Jetway left so much space unused. Digital audio ports or more USB 2.0 ports would have been nice additions. The HA07 Ultra will help you with troubleshooting thanks to its integrated debug system, which displays HEX error codes on a small on-board display.

We like that Jetway implemented all important graphics output options, which includes a 15-pin VGA connector for CRT monitors and low-cost flat panel displays, DVI for mainstream flat panels, and HDMI for consumer output devices, such as large TVs. The board has switches to clear the CMOS, reset it, or to switch it on and off, which is very convenient for enthusiasts. The northbridge and all six voltage regulators are cooled by heat sinks, which Jetway connects via a copper heat pipe to better dissipate the circuitry’s thermal output.

Check out more images of the Jetway HA07 Ultra-LF