Roundup: Four 790FX Socket AM3 Motherboards

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Crashman

Polypheme
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[citation][nom]RazberyBandit[/nom]What an original idea... But don't expect it, here. Nor should you bother asking for it again. I've asked that quite a few times and all I ever get is a "it doesn't matter" type of answer from TH staff whenever I do. But, when you ask AMD/ATI users, many of them want to see it done, if even only to prove that "it doesn't matter."[/citation]

Some chipsets support SLI, others Crossfire, based on drivers more than anything else. As far as chipset-to-GPU brand matching, at least it doesn't matter with single cards:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/chipset-gpu-matching-matter,1577.html
 

cangelini

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[citation][nom]RazberyBandit[/nom]What an original idea... But don't expect it, here. Nor should you bother asking for it again. I've asked that quite a few times and all I ever get is a "it doesn't matter" type of answer from TH staff whenever I do. But, when you ask AMD/ATI users, many of them want to see it done, if even only to prove that "it doesn't matter."[/citation]

Never has it been said "it doesn't matter." The actual answer is that we have a reference platform that keeps benchmark results as comparable as possible. We're always looking for interesting stories!
 

stoner133

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How can you test these boards without using Crossfire. The whole point of having multipule PCIe slots on these boards is for Crossfire. But yet you at Tom's continue to test using a single nVidia card.
 

Shnur

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I agree with everybody asking for CrossFire tests. No matter what kind of boards you use, could that be 4850's, 70's or 90's or X2's, it would be nice to see since the main reason I'll probably end up with an MSI board is for the multiple graphics support, not the ~1.5% more performance...
 

monkeysweat

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when i was talking about using AMD products, I do mean using the Crossfire, if you're testing a crossfire compatible chipset,,do tests using the crossfire setup,,
If I worked for a car magazine & was given a porche to drive for the weekend, I'm sure they dont' want to hear how it handled the trip to the grocery store or my ride through the parking lot, they wanna know how it handles corners & speed,,,,and how well it does it,,,

if i have a amd chipset for crossfire,,,i wanna know how well it works,,,cuz it don't mean crap to test with one videocard --->every car can drive through a parking lot
 

sandmanwn

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Its a good article. I agree with the horde however, crossfire would also have been nice to determine which board has advantages for different intended setups. Who knows, maybe one of these boards has an Achilles heal. I don't know why anyone would buy an expensive FX board and not have some consideration or future aspirations about using crossfire.
 

Gazz

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you had to stick a Zotac GeForce GTX260² 896MB
576/999MHz GPU/Shader, GDDR3-2484
in a AMD cpu and mb configeration
I use 4X 1gb HIS HD4850 on an MSI K9A2 Platinum
So if I upgrade I would prefure the MSI
I would think that 4x8 would be faster then 2x16
at least this way I can buy the parts over time in the longrun I can aford it
GAZZ
 

RazberyBandit

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[citation][nom]cangelini[/nom]Never has it been said "it doesn't matter." The actual answer is that we have a reference platform that keeps benchmark results as comparable as possible. We're always looking for interesting stories![/citation]

Maybe you and Cleeve should have a talk, then... I dunno. I've been comin to this site off and on again and again for a solid 10 years. Just seems lately there's a tendency to shove anything up for review onto an Intel or Intel + nVidia platform, or toss an nVidia card into anything tested on the AMD platform. That's all I was saying. And it's frustrating as an AMD platform owner to not see hardware I own, or at least similar hardware, never tested together, especially graphics cards.

Cleeve's excuse the other day was it doesn't matter and that he had somewhat dated AMD hardware available at the time. I dunno... Seems you had some nice AMD stuff here, and you had a bunch of 790GX boards and Phenom II's the other day for the "Phenom II Unlocking" article... Are you guys on opposite ends of the Earth, or what? I'm just puzzled by the lack of AMD-based testbeds in general, and THG is no exception. If anything, this article showed at least minor differences in the performance of this video card on 4 boards with incredibly similar hardware. Doesn't that at least make it feasible that the platform itself affects performance, and that minor differences can and do make a difference? Or am I just way out there on my own with that?
 

cangelini

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Understood Raz--just so you know, that Zotac card is part of our standard reference system, which is used so that Tom's sites in the US, France, Germany, and Italy can compare numbers. Hopefully that helps explain the "why" of why you're seeing Nvidia cards used.

With that said though, don't feel left out as an AMD platform owner. There's an AMD processor launch in 30 minutes. I also have a graphics story that'll go up before the end of the month that I think you'll really like. And Paul Henningsen is working on a huge collection of numbers using AMD processors and graphics cards for an upcoming piece as well. Stay tuned--I promise you aren't being ignored ;-)
 

RazberyBandit

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Thanks for the comments, Chris. I'll be looking forward to those articles. I'm also looking forward to reviews of the new Phenom II 955, as MSI has recently given my AMD machine's AM2+ K9A2 CF v1.X mobo the green light for 125W CPUs. (v2.X had 125W chip support since release) I want to get my hands on an AM3 quad, but the 810 is currently... well... sub-par compared to the AM2+ 920 and 940, and released data on the 955 seems promising. If the 920 and 940 were AM3 CPUs, I'd already have one, or it would at least be on order. That's because I believe AMD's immediate future will be based on AM3, while AM2+ will slowly fade away, as developing for 2 different sockets simultaneously increases the cost of each due to the spread of development resources, which in turn lessens their developmental progress. Intel will likely do the same, as their Core i7 and LGA-1366 slowly replace LGA-775.

Anyways, looking forward to a good read in the future, and thanks again for taking the time to comment.
 

Proximon

Illustrious
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Link didn't work but I'm familiar with the article. I'll leave that question for another day :) My main concern, now that I think about it, was simply that each board was tested as functioning correctly in crossfire. To put it another way, I wanted to make sure each board fully supported the crossfire functions inherent in the chipset. Maybe that's beyond the scope of the article.
 

Marcus52

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Kind of tired about hearing how expensive the 1366 mainboards are - I counted 12 of them for sale at $220 or less, a few under $200, on newegg. While the top AM3 mainboard is $190 and so all of them are still less money - what difference does the more realistic $30-50 make to an enthusiast? To top it off, you have to go with a lesser quality Phenom II right now if you want to have DDR3 compatability. DDR3 prices have dropped like the proverbial stone since the release of the i7 - 1366 series and the price difference compared to DDR2 is negligible. The main difference between the price of a system build is mostly CPU at this point and is as much as $100, sticking with newegg prices, for a total system increase of $150. Thereabouts, your mileage will of course vary. :)

So, question is, are you really an enthusiast and is your budget so tight you can't afford $150 difference right now, for a system which IS superior? If you aren't an 'enthusiast' (Don't get me wrong, there's nothing bad about wanting a cheaper computer or particularly good about being an enthusiast, but I think it helps to be realistic about what you really want when you spend your money.), and frankly even if you are, I suggest waiting another couple of months because prices WILL drop and the better Phenom II's will be out.

Me? I've built my i7 system and it rocks, but so does the Phenom II and once AMD releases a true AM3 CPU for a true socket AM3 board I'll be building a Phenom II system. I am an AMD fan and as long as they build competitive CPUs I'll lean towards them - but if they go the way they have in the previous couple of years they might as well not exist as far as I'm concerned.

;)
 

DeadCheckR

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I have recently setup an MSI 790FX-GD70 and after reading this article and all relevant data on all the boards I have to say I'm glad I went with the MSI. More relevant and usable features for a tenths of % less than the "best performing" board. The SATA input placement is a weak argument for saying the the Gigabyte would most likely be chosen by in house staff IMO. Placement of the SATA inputs facing outward from the board is actually nice even with a mid-tower case. You pull of the panel on the right side of the case and if made your case is made right it's very easy to plug and unplug the SATA connectors. I like it because it allows me to keep the cables better hidden on the right side, opposite of my case window. Also, less bends in the cable. Just my two cents.

Also, the Green Power feature is sweet! The 5 buttons on the bottom of the board along with the LED readouts and error readouts made setting this board so much easier.
 
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