NFORCE 780a SLI Motherboard Comparison

Benchmark Settings

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3D-GamesRow 0 - Cell 1
CrysisVersion: 1.1
Row 2 - Cell 0 Video Modes: 800x600 (low), 1920x1200 (high)
Row 3 - Cell 0 Video Quality: Low Details (low), Very High Details (high)
Row 4 - Cell 0 Anti-aliasing: Off (low), 8x (high)
Row 5 - Cell 0 Benchmark: Benchmark_CPU.bat
Supreme CommanderVersion: 3.220
Row 7 - Cell 0 Video Modes: 1024x768 (low), 1920x1200 (high)
Row 8 - Cell 0 Video Quality: Lowest Details (low), Highest Details (high)
Row 9 - Cell 0 Anti-aliasing: Off (low), 8x (high)
Row 10 - Cell 0 Graphics: Medium
Row 11 - Cell 0 Test Path: Options/Performance/Test Settings
Unreal Tournament 3Version: 1.2 (Dual-Core Patch)
Row 13 - Cell 0 Video Modes: 640x480 (low), 1920x1200 (high)
Row 14 - Cell 0 Video Quality: Lowest Details (low), Highest Details (high)
Row 15 - Cell 0 Post Processing: Default (low), Intense (high)
Row 16 - Cell 0 Benchmark: 16-bot botmatch (war-marketdistrict)
ApplicationsRow 17 - Cell 1
Grisoft AVG Anti-VirusVersion: 7.5.467
Row 19 - Cell 0 Virus Base: 269.6.1/776
Row 20 - Cell 0 Benchmark: Scanning 3.82GB Application Folder
Maxon Cinema 4DVersion: 10.008
Row 22 - Cell 0 Resolution: 1280 x 1024
Row 23 - Cell 0 Benchmark: Rose Drop, 8-bits (50 Frames)
Adobe Photoshop CS3Version: 10.0x20070321
Row 25 - Cell 0 Filtering from a 69 MB TIF-Photo
Row 26 - Cell 0 Benchmark: Tom’s Guide-Benchmark V1.0.0.4
Rarlab WinrarVersion 3.70 BETA 8
Row 28 - Cell 0 Compression = Best
Row 29 - Cell 0 Dictionary = 4096 kB
Row 30 - Cell 0 Uncompressed Folder Size: 642MB
VideoRow 31 - Cell 1
TMPEGEnc 4.0 XpressVersion:
Row 33 - Cell 0 Import File: Terminator 2 SE DVD (2 Minutes)
Row 34 - Cell 0 Resolution: 720x576 (PAL) 16:9
Row 35 - Cell 0 Audio: Dolby Digital, 48000 Hz, 6-Channel, English
Row 36 - Cell 0 Advanced Acoustic Engine MP3 Encoder (160kb/s)
DivX 6.6Version: 6.6.1
Row 38 - Cell 0 Profile: Home Theater Profile (720 x 576)
Row 39 - Cell 0 1-pass, 780 kb/s
Row 40 - Cell 0 Encoding mode: Insane Quality
Row 41 - Cell 0 Enhanced multithreading
XviD 1.1.2Version: 1.1.2
Row 43 - Cell 0 Target quantizer: 1.00 (maximum quality)
Clone DVD 2Version: 2.908
Row 45 - Cell 0 DVD "Terminator II SE" (English version)
Row 46 - Cell 0 Transcoding from DVD-9 to DVD-4.7
Row 47 - Cell 0 Audio: English Dolby AC-3/6 (surround) - DTS
Row 48 - Cell 0 Subtitles: None
SyntheticsRow 49 - Cell 1
SiSoftware Sandra XIIVersion 2008.4.14.20
Row 51 - Cell 0 Memory Test = Bandwidth Benchmark
Hard Drive PerformanceRow 52 - Cell 1
Low Level Performanceh2benchw 3.6 (by c’t Magazine)
I/O PerformanceIOMeter 2003.05.10
Row 55 - Cell 0 Fileserver Benchmark
Row 56 - Cell 0 Webserver Benchmark
Row 57 - Cell 0 Database Benchmark
Row 58 - Cell 0 Workstation Benchmark
AudioRow 59 - Cell 1
Rightmark Audio AnalyzerVersion: 6.0.6
Row 61 - Cell 0 Stream Quality: 16 bits, 44.1 khz
Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.
  • nukemaster
    K10N780SLIX3-WiFi, thats Asrock naming all the way.
  • a 6pack in
    so after reading all this.. i think im stickin with my 790FX. i was waiting for a quite a while for nvidia to pull something here with the 780a chipset. In my eyes its a fail.

    AMD's 790FX chipset provides significantly more lanes than nvidia. 3-way SLI is a novel idea but at x8 lanes for 3 slots.. not so much. while amd is providing full x16 support.

    good info tho. if anything i would recommend the ASRock board also for nvidia's SLI path.
  • johnbilicki
    I wan to see boards with two 16x slots and one 4x slot. Honestly I'm not interested in 100+ FPS at 1024x768 or 1280x1024 which is what you'll get in most games with triple SLI. The MSI board looks like they could have fit a couple more USB ports next to the useless firewire port. It's 2008 and I have yet to even see a product require a firewire port on products I'm only browsing on sales sites like Newegg or even just review sites. I liked Gigabyte's new quad gigabit port motherboard, finally 8 USB ports on the back! Also if no one shows up with a router at your LAN party three of your buddies can merely connect to your system any way (and who doesn't have dual LAN ports these days besides your cheap who cheaps out by five bucks on a north bridge).

    What is with the waste of brackets? Give us four USB ports on a bracket. If you upgrade even only once every four or five years you probably still have about five or six brackets laying around somewhere with all the firewire ports you could ever want...and if not your buddies do.

    The dual-slot coolers on single slot cards, what a waste! If you're going to use a second slot don't waste the opportunity to move that hot air the heck out of the case!

    My last criticism is the i-ram...DDR-1?! I love Gigabyte when it actually bothers to make boards using chipsets I'd want (they skipped the true 16X SLI and jumped on the then useless AM2 bandwagon however). So why aren't we seeing DDR2 RAM-drives? 4x4GB/32GB would be far out of most people's budgets but a 4x2GB/16GB RAM drive at $40/$160 dimm/total would *own* a raptor raid 0 any day in price/performance.

    The manufacturers need to seriously start bringing some people in to the design rooms to question WTF they're thinking with their product designs because I see no reason to bother spending any money right now.

    ...and to clarify I enjoyed the article itself, it's just the products I hold disappointment in. The new chipset is great overall though.
  • nukemaster
    DDR is still faster then any hard drive interface anyway(DDR 266 @ 2128MB/s), so why not? its actually limited by its sata 150 interface not the ram(it would also max sata 300).

    I agree DDR2 is the way to go, but only because the price is much lower and better capacities. When gigabyte designed the I-ram ddr was cheaper and ddr2 was new and expensive.

    I think there is a DDR2 I-ram in the making
  • geralt
    I would like to see how 780a compares to boards with 780G chipset.
  • I own an evga 780i and I am plagued with the video corruption problem like many other nvidia 7 series owners. BEWARE before you invest on these boards. Nvidia hasn't released a fix in 3 months. Many people can't watch video or play games without encountering a hard lock-up.
    Video of problem: http: //www. youtube. com/watch?v=TYHuzJSpORw

    http: //www.evga. com/forums/tm.asp?m=253891&mpage=1&key=
    http: //nvidia.custhelp. com/cgi-bin/nvidia.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=2190
    http: //vip.asus. com/forum/view.aspx?id=20080407161030625&board_id=1&model=Striker+II+Formula&page=1&SLanguage=en-us
    http: //
    http: //digg. com/hardware/780i_nvidia_motherboard_graphics_corruption
  • jabliese
    No comparison of just the integrated graphics? One of the selling points for the 790 is it's DX10 support, would like to see some kind of comparison between just the integrated graphics, say, maybe on HDTV playback.
  • ComputerCustomizer
    When's an ASUS variant coming out?
  • Crashman
    An Asus variant is floating around the review sites, this site had a couple.
  • unifiedonboarddecoder
    They should also do the test using an ATi video card. I would like to see those benchmarks as well.