HD3400 In The Northbridge With Additional Memory
Today, AMD is unveiling two new chipsets featuring integrated graphics cores: the 780G comes with a Radeon HD3200 chip, while the 780V sports an HD3100 GPU. We tested the 780G version.
The integrated HD3100 and HD3200 GPUs offer the same functionality as the current generation of add-in graphics cards, namely DirectX 10 support, dual-GPU operation in the form of CrossFire, HDMI with HDCP, full HDTV support, and a PCI Express 2.0 interface.
The 780G chipset on the Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-SH2 motherboard
The motherboard's BIOS lets you borrow 128, 256 or 512 MB of RAM from the system's RAM, to allocate it as video memory to the integrated GPU. For the first time ever, AMD is also equipping its integrated graphics chip with a separate memory interface. This allows motherboard makers and OEMs to provide dedicated graphics memory for the integrated chip directly on the board, if they find the GPU's performance unsatisfactory, or don't wish to use a shared-memory solution. In effect, this transforms the integrated on-chip graphics solution into a dedicated graphics card that just happens to reside in the northbridge. AMD has not announced yet whether any of its board partners are considering this sort of move, though.
Selecting the size of the video memory - 128, 256 or 512 MB
The SB700 southbridge on the Gigabyte board
Rendering Vista's Aero Glass user interface poses no problem for the integrated graphics chip.
|Overview: AMD and Intel Chipsets|
|Graphics Unit:||X1250||HD3200||HD3100||GMA 3100||GMA X3500|
|Graphics Clock Speed:||500 MHz||500 MHz||500 MHz||400 MHz||667 MHz|
This table compares the integrated graphics units of AMD's 690G, 780G and 780V chipsets, as well as Intel's G33 and G35.
Gigabyte's GA-MA78GM-SH2 uses the 780G chipset
Its predecessor, the GA-MA69GM-S2H, with a 690G chipset
During our tests, we were only able to get Hybrid CrossFire to work using ATI's Catalyst 8.1 driver. The more recent Catalyst 8.2 does not recognize the system's CrossFire capability.
What revision is your board? I just received this board and it's the new revision 1.1 which has a bigger heatsink (you can see the pictures from the gigabyte site for both revisions 1.0 and 1.1). I am getting my CPU soon and want to also check the northbridge temperatures. What can I use to measure the temps?
Unfortunately, I'm using the rev 1.0 board. I fitted it with an HR05 heatsink from thermalright and its now just warm to the touch not hot. I'm using everest to monitor my temps. Aux now registers at 37 C, though I'm not really sure if its the NB temp. You can also use riva tuner among others.
I would question the QA process of a mobo manufacturer who offers not only a poor heatsink design, but a 4 phase mosfet unable to cope with the TDP of some of the higher power phenoms (see Tomshardware and Anandtech). The 780 board by XFX has a heatpipe solution on the mosfets and northbridge which looks like a better design, and similar price (cheaper if you count having to replace the deficient heatsink by Gigabyte). The Asus M3A78 possibly has a better heatsink on the northbridge.