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ECS A780GM-A Review

ajmatson    -   April 1, 2008
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Testing:

Now I am going to put the ECS A780GM-A "Black Edition" through a series of demanding benchmarks designed to stress and test every part of the system. The benchmarks that we use here at OverclockersClub.com are a series of system tests and gaming benchmarks designed to measure the performance of the motherboard. I am also going to compare the A780GM-A against the ASUS M3A32-MVP DeLuxe/WiFi-AP Motherboard, which is the next step up 790FX Chipset. All speeds and timings of the components will be left at stock speeds to eliminate any variables. The testing processes is going to be done once with the Integrated ATI 3200 Graphics, once with the ATI 3200 Graphics paired up with an ATI HD3450 card to test the Hybrid CrossfireX feature, once with an Asus 8800GT, and once with the Asus 8800GT, while the system is overclocked. This way we can get a broad view of the performance of the A780GM-A with varying options. Just a note, the integrated graphics will be run at the max memory available of 1024MB, while the Crossfire will be at 256MB for the integrated and 256MB on the HD3450.

 

 

Testing Setup:

 

Comparison Motherboards:

  • Comparison Motherboard 1: ASUS M3A32-MVP DeLuxe/WiFi-AP Motherboard

 

As I mentioned before, this board supports Hybrid CrossfireX when paired with a discrete card like an ATI HD3400 series card. Here is a shot of the ATI Control Panel and the Device Manager showing the two video devices enabled in Hybrid CrossfireX.

 

Overclocking:

Overclocked settings:

  • Processor: AMD Phenom 9600 "Black Box" @ 2.70GHz (200x13.5)
  • Sytem Memory: OCZ Reaper HPC PC2-8500 2x2GB @ 800MHz 5-4-4-12

Overclocking with the ECS A780GM-A was a challenge. I started off in the BIOS by lowering the Hyper Threading Frequency a bit and upping the the CPU speed to 210MHz, which would be an effective 2.415GHz (210x11.5) with a voltage increase to 1.4v. Even with just little bit, the computer would not boot without blue screening. I lowered the memory speed down and I was able to get into the OS, but only for a few seconds before the Blue Screen showed its ugly head again. Since the BIOS does not allow you to change the multiplier, I was at a loss. I then thought about AMD Overdrive. Even with AMD Overdrive, any addition to the CPU speed, no matter what I changed, the system would freeze and reboot. I finally was able to get the system stable by changing the multiplier in AMD Overdrive to 13.5x, dropping the Hyper Threading multiplier to 8x, and keeping the CPU speed at 200MHz for a 2.7GHz overclock @ 1.36v. The downfall is I had to decrease the memory clock speeds to 800MHz to keep the system stable, but I was able to tighten the timings to 5-4-4-12, which gave me a pretty good overclock in the Scientific Benchmarks.

 

 

Benchmarks:

  • Scientific & Data:
  1. Apophysis
  2. WinRAR
  3. SpecviewPerf 10
  4. PCMark Vantage Professional
  5. Sandra XII
  6. ScienceMark 2.02 Final
  7. Cinebench 10
  8. HD Tune 2.54
  • Video:
  1. Crysis
  2. Knights of the Sea
  3. Bioshock
  4. Call of Duty 4
  5. World in Conflict
  6. Call of Juarez
  7. 3DMark 06 Professional

 




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