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AMD 790GX: RV610 For Enthusiasts?

Test Setup

ProcessorAMD Phenom X4 9850 BE @ 2.5 GHz
MotherboardsGigabyte MA790GP-DS4H (790GX)
Gigabyte MA78GPM-D2SH (780G)
ASUS M3N78 PRO (GeForce 8300)
Memory4GB Corsair Dominator CM2X2048-8500C5D
Hard DriveWestern Digital WD500YS 500 GB
GraphicsIntegrated for 790GX, 780G, and GeForce 8300
ASUS GeForce 8500GT TOP 256MB (GeForce Boost)
Sapphire Radeon HD 3470 256 MB (Hybrid CrossFireX on 790GX and 780G)
Graphics Drivers
AMD 790GX8.521.1 Beta
AMD 780GCatalyst 8.7
Nvidia GeForce 8300GeForce Release 175
Operating SystemWindows Vista x32
Synthetic
PC Mark VantageBuild 1.0.0
3DMark VantageBuild 1.0.1
SiSoft Sandra XIIXII.2008.SP2c (14.24)
HDTachVersion 3.0.4.0
Real-World
Apple iTunesAudio CD Terminator II SE, HQ (160kbps), Convert to AAC
Mainconcept H.264MPEG2 to MPEG2 (H.264), 24 sec HDTV 1920x1080
PowerDVD 8 Ultra60s 007 :Casino Royale playback
Half Life 2 : Episode 21024x768, low settings, timedemo playback
World in Conflict1024x768, low quality settings, built-in benchmark mode
Flight Simulator X1024x768, default graphics settings, FRAPS recording
CinebenchR10 Version : 10.008

Notes

It’s worth noting that Hybrid CrossFireX and GeForce Boost are Windows Vista-only features, so you can’t add a card to the AMD or Nvidia platforms and expect to see better gaming performance in XP — a real quandary for the legions of gamers who still prefer XP to Vista.

Gigabyte's 780G w/128MB Side-Port

The MA78GPM-D2SH employs AMD’s 780G chipset with 128 MB of side-port memory massaging performance up a bit. And the MA79GP-DS4H is of course the 790GX board, also with 128 MB of side-port. This should give us a good indication of how much benefit is attributable to the onboard RAM. We also planned to include Gigabyte’s MA78GM and Intel’s new DG45ID in the lineup. However, a spate of issues with the boards we had in the lab forced us to narrow the competition a bit.

Asus GeForce 8300

Another point that we wanted to mention : when 780G launched, AMD was adamant that the best way to configure a Hybrid CrossFireX platform was with the display attached to the motherboard. During periods of idle, the discrete card would power down completely, yielding the power consumption of a purely integrated system. In testing the 790GX, however, we weren’t able to get Hybrid CrossFireX functioning properly unless the display was attached to the add-in Radeon HD 3470 board.

Finally, bear in mind that the integrated graphics core is heavily dependent on memory bandwidth performance. You’ll want to use DDR2-1066 whenever possible, tuned to the most aggressive timings to maximize gaming.

  • kitsilencer
    Great review, and it's good to see that AMD is at last able to target more enthusiast markets competitively.
    Reply
  • cangelini
    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.
    Reply
  • eklipz330
    ^^^iseriously thought that was sarcasm, until i saw the authors name
    Reply
  • waffle911
    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?
    Reply
  • YYD
    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.
    Reply
  • cangelini
    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.
    Reply
  • cangelini
    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.
    Reply
  • Seems past page 8 or something the links are corrupt.. can't fully read this article and getting error 404 - page not found.
    Reply
  • .. and now the article seems to be removed even from the main page!?!?!
    Reply
  • cangelini
    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!
    Reply