AMD 785G Chipset Motherboard Previewajmatson -
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The last motherboard in our preview is the MSI 785GM-E65. The 785GM-E65 also uses the 785G and SB710 chipset. This board is designed with a dark, sleek design, using a dark brown PC Board and a black and blue scheme for the slots and ports. The 785GM-E65 is also an AM3-only board using DDR3 memory. The layout of the board is nice and clean and there should be no issues with ports being covered by large video cards. The 785GM-E65 has integrated graphics using the HD 4200 IGP for robust video and brings DirectX 10.1 to the table for a great visual experience. The MSI 785GM-E65 is also a mATX form factor board measuring 23.4cm by 23.4cm, making it ideal for HTPC cases and workstations.
As with the previous two boards, the I/O panel offers a lot of connections for anyone. From the top, there is the combo PS2 port, an optical SPDIF port, a VGA port, a DVI port, a HDMI 1.3 port, six USB 2.0 ports, a Firewire port, one LAN port, and the six audio jacks. For the expansion slots, there is one PCI Express X16 slot, one PCI Express X1 slot, and two legacy PCI slots for older hardware support. The board also supports Hybrid CrossfireX using the onboard video and certain discrete graphics cards for a power boost to your video experience.
The CPU area is clear despite the amount of real estate being used. The 785GM-E65 supports AM3 processors, which include the Phenom II and Athlon II series. There is a 4+1 phase power design for clean voltage aiding in stable overclocks. This board supports DDR3 memory up to 1333Mhz natively, however, you can push it farther if the memory is overclocked.
Just as with the I/O panel, there is quite a bit of extra hardware supported through the use of headers. Starting on the left, the headers are an audio header, a Firewire header, three USB 2.0 headers, the front panel header, five SATA ports that support RAID 0,1,10 and JBOD, an IDE port, a floppy port, a COM header, and a LPT header. In addition, this board has an onboard buzzer, which comes in handy trying to figure out why a system will not boot. I feel, as an enthusiast, every board should have either a buzzer or a POST LCD, so it is nice to see MSI taking this into consideration and making life easier.
To cool the 785GM-E65, MSI chose a heatsink and heatpipe combo. Of the three boards previewed today, MSI's offering is the only one to cover the voltage regulation area, which should be a must so that enthusiasts can get more performance while overclocking. The heatsink from the VRM area connects to the fin style heatsinK over the Northbridge to aid in transfering heat. There is a smaller heatsink over the Southbridge to help keep it cool as well. MSI also uses all solid capacitators for stability and employs an Active Phase Switching design to save on power loss and works with any operating system.
A couple of unique features on the 785GM-E65 is an Easy OC switch for error free overclocking and Sideport memory. The Easy OC switch is a jumperless switch that automatically overclocks the system by set percentages so that anyone, even first time overclockers, can squeeze every bit of performance from their hardware. The Sideport memory is a 128MB DDR3 chip on the board that acts as a faster memory buffer for the integrated HD 4200 video, allowing for better frame rates and richer video.
As I mentioned earlier, the benchmarks will be coming soon, so stay tuned and keep your eyes open for the fun.