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MSI A78M-E35 Versus Gigabyte GA-F2A78M-D3H

Today we look at two AMD A78-based motherboards (MSI's A78M-E35 and Gigabyte's GA-F2A78M-D3H), to determine how they stack up against A88X.

How We Test

Test System Configuration

I was fortunate enough to have access to the same APU and heat sink/fan combo that Thomas used in his A88X article. This should show whether I can achieve similar overclocking results as well as similar CPU performance in the applicable benchmarks.

I am also using the same brand and part numbers for memory and solid-state storage to better compare system configurations between our Intel and AMD budget systems. This will help eliminate DRAM inconsistency when comparing memory controller performance.

Though this APU has enough graphics muscle to drive decent frame rates at lower detail levels, the motherboard review team decided to put in a low-power GPU to help put both AMD and Intel budget systems on a level playing field. For that, a Gigabyte GeForce GT 730 was installed for graphics workloads so that I can test system stability and repeatability across platforms. Both motherboards do support AMD Dual Graphics technology, allowing you to install a discrete GPU for CrossFire with your APU.

To power these test boards, I am using the same PSU used in Four LGA-1150 Motherboards Under $60, be Quiet!'s Straight Power 10 500W.  Since it is 80 PLUS Gold-rated, this unit will prove to be more efficient in low-load conditions.

Benchmark Settings

Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings
PCMark 8Version: 2.3.293 Work, Home, and Creative Benchmarks
SiSoftware SandraVersion: 2015.01.21.15 CPU Arithmetic, Multimedia, Cryptography File System Bandwidth Memory Bandwidth
Cinebench R15Version: R15.0 x64 CPU Single- and Multi-Core
3D Tests and Settings
3DMarkCloud Gate Version: 1.1, Skydiver Version: 1.0 Test Set 1: Cloud Gate, 1920x1080, Default Preset Test Set 2: Skydiver, 1920x1080, Default Preset
Unigine Heaven 4.0Version 4.0, Built-in Benchmark DirectX 11, Low Detail, 1920x1080, No AA, No Tessellation
Unigine Valley 1.0Version 1.0, Built-in Benchmark DirectX 11, Low Detail, 1920x1080, No AA

Comparison Products