Seven AMD 785G-Based Motherboards Rounded Up

ECS A785GM-M: BIOS And Overclocking

A list of voltage and frequency ranges can be found on page 21 of this review.

The ECS A785GM-M's BIOS team seems to be on a totally different page than the hardware designers. While the board is designed for the enthusiast, the BIOS is unfortunately watered down.

What's the problem? There are no BIOS profiles for starters, which is a painful omission for a board with a clear CMOS button. There is also a lack of memory command rate controls and AMD's ACC feature is completely absent. Worse still is that the BIOS seems to ignore a manual CAS latency setting. When we set the latency to nine, it would revert to seven as shown in CPU-Z. The other settings would take, but not the latency.

When I reported this to ECS, the company sent a special BIOS for testing, which had support for memory command rate and the manual latency settings worked. Now, if ECS can make this BIOS available for download, all of our concerns are moot. But from what we can see, the only BIOS available on its Web site is still the original buggy one. ECS has not yet indicated when a public update will be posted.

In any case, the hardware provided us with very positive results with the unreleased BIOS. A case in point is that the board passed the 1,600 MT/s memory test with flying colors at 7-8-7-20 timings and 1.65V. The only other competing board able to run the memory stable at this speed was the Asus board.

The board did suffer the same issue we saw with the Foxconn Cinema Premium. Mainly, Left 4 Dead and World in Conflict would crash if the game resolution was changed. As with the Foxconn board, the glitch was resolved when the amount of shared IGP memory was set manually in the BIOS, so we set it to the 512MB maximum value.

Overclocking the GPU yielded what seems to be the standard (but still impressive) 900 MHz clock speed. For stability, we had to add +.180mV to the northbridge.

  • JohnnyLucky
    Very informative article. Nice to see there are motherboards with different features for different users/tasks.
    Just what i needed to see thanks toms!
  • bpdski
    Great article, I think this shows pretty conclusively that there is no benefit to upgrading to an AM3 based system. If you already have an AM2+ system, you can easily just drop in a new CPU and you system will be every bit as good as a brand new system with DDR3. You just need to make sure your motherboard supports the power requirements of whatever you want to drop in.
  • jonpaul37
    Hooray AMD for having cheap solutions in these hard-economic times!

    Boo @ Intel! i like the product, but my wallet & Girl do not like the cost!
  • jonpaul37Hooray AMD for having cheap solutions in these hard-economic times!Boo @ Intel! i like the product, but my wallet & Girl do not like the cost!+1
    Girl has more money for clothes!
  • ominous prime
    Well bpdski there is no point upgrading if you're AM2, but if you're building a new PC AM3 is the way to go in terms of your computers longevity. Very informative article.
  • sonofliberty08
    thanks alot for the info , my first choice was allways asus , but now i now what i need when im going to unlock core , and now i saw the benefits of sideport memory .
  • duzcizgi
    We were successful in achieving a 900 MHz stable overclock with the integrated graphics chipset by setting the BIOS to increase northbridge voltage by +.210mV.
    Well, .210 mV = 210 microvolt. I don't think it would make much of a change. Maybe it is 210 mV or, .210 V. :)
  • doron
    "Now we're seeing another benefit for the AM2+/DDR2 boards: both the Foxconn Cinema Premium and Biostar TA785GE 128M are drawing less power than their AM3/DDR3 counterparts."
    How comes? Didn't we all agree a long time ago that ddr3 supposed to be more energy efficient out of the two? (Lower voltage and stuff?)
  • DarkMantle
    Great article, this will help a lot of people to make their AMD budget motherboard choice easier, thank you Don.