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Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H Review

ajmatson    -   April 16, 2008
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Testing:

Now we get to what we have all been waiting for. To test the Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H, I will run a series of scientific and gaming benchmarks to see how it stacks up and performs. I will also be making a side by side comparison with another AMD 780G based motherboard reviewed earlier by OverclockersClub, the ECS A780GM-A. Doing this will give us a direct chipset comparison to see if the Gigabyte board is a better performer with no variances for using a different chipset. The Science tests will be run using the onboard graphics only, and the gaming benchmarks will be split up with the integrated graphics tests on one graph together and the discrete cards on another, that way you have a better idea of the performance. All other hardware will be run at stock speeds and voltages so that any variances will be eliminated from affecting the scores.

  

Testing Setup:

 

Comparison Motherboards:


As I mentioned before, this board supports Hybrid CrossfireX when paired with a compatible discrete card like an ATI HD3400 series card. Here is a shot of the ATI Control Panel, Device Manager and GPU-Z 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 5-5-5-18
  • IGP ATI 3200 Onboard Video @ 725MHz

Overclocking the board was a dry wall just like in the ECS A780GM-A review. The combination of the board and the Phenom CPU does not like to go above 200 on the HyperTransport clock. The computer just blue screens or will not boot at all. Also, like in the ECS review, the highest I could push the multiplier on the 780G chipset was 13.5x before it became unstable. I upped the multiplier in the BIOS to 13.5, booted into Windows and verified it in CPU-Z, as well as the AMD Overdrive utility. This proved to be the best stable combination, so the final result of 200x12.5 (2.700GHz) is what the overclocked tests will be run at. Also as I mentioned before, the integrated graphics also have the ability to be overclocked either in the BIOS, AMD Overdrive or with 3rd party programs such as RivaTuner to increase operating performance. I used all three and successfully pushed the IGP clockspeed to 725MHz stable; however, the Northbridge heatsink is not enough to cool the chip at these speeds, so I did have to actively cool it during the review. I would keep this in mind when overclocking your board.

 

 

 

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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