Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H Reviewajmatson - April 16, 2008
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With the explosion of new processors, video cards, and other equipment came the increased standards for speed and quality. Multi-Core CPUs are now standard and over 1GHz speeds for memory and video cards are low compared to the limits being reached everyday. But with all of these fast components you need a strong foundation to operate them efficiently, right? Just like our parents have kept us running at optimum speeds and smartness, every computer needs a "Mother" to do the same for it. That is what the motherboard does, it keeps our hardware operating at the correct speeds and optimizes the transfer of data between the components. Just as the component market has been flooded with new technology, the motherboards that support them have been growing too.
ATI has released a fairly new chipset which brings a new technology called Hybrid Crossfire to the table. This enables the Integrated Graphics from the motherboard to be paired with a discrete graphics card to increase the performance without an increase in expense. This chipset is the 780G, which is designed for AM2 and AM2+ processors, and one of these new motherboards is the Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H. The Gigabyte 780G board offers the new technology paired with older proven technology to bring you the ultimate platform for your new components to push the envelope of performance.
The Gigabyte board comes packaged nicely in a box with plenty of information right on the outside. Like I said above, the Gigabyte 780G board supports AM2 and AM2+ processors, including the Semprons, Athlon X2s, and the Quad Core Phenoms. There is also a claim that you can reach 1500 marks in 3DMark06 using only the onboard graphics, though I guess we will have to see about that. The back of the packaging does a very good job at bringing to light some of the features that the GA-MA78GM-S2H has to offer.
Gigabyte always does well with giving you the accessories you need and none of the ones you don't. That is no exception here. Included with the Gigabyte 780G motherboard is the manual, driver CD, I/O panel, one floppy cable, one IDE cable, and two SATA cables with 90 degree connectors on one end to help in installation.
Now that we have everything out of the box, let's take a better look at the board itself.