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MSI 790GX-G65 AM3 Motherboard Review



To put the MSI 790GX-G65 to the test I will be running a series of scientific and video benchmarks, which will push this motherboard to its limits. I will then compare the 790GX-G65 against another 790GX based board which supports the older DDR2 memory standard using the same processor on each to see if the faster memory speeds really do make a difference. To keep any variables from interfering with the scores and comparisons all of the boards will be run with the same hardware setup and everything will be set at their stock speeds, timings, and voltages unless noted as in the overclocking section.


Testing Setup AM2+ Motherboard:


Testing Setup AM3 Motherboard:

  • Processor(s): AMD Phenom II X3 720
  • Motherboard: MSI 790GX-G65
  • Memory: Mushkin HP3-12800 2 x 2 GB 9-9-9-24
  • Video Card : NVIDIA GTX 260 (216)
  • Power Supply: Mushkin 800w Modular Power Supply
  • Hard Drive: 1 x Seagate 7200.11 750GB SATA w/32MB Cache
  • Optical Drive: Lite-On 8x DVD+/-RW
  • OS: Windows Vista Ultimate Edition


Comparison Motherboard:

  • Gigabyte GA-MA790GP-DS4H



Overclocked settings:

  • Processor: AMD Phenom II X3 720 @ 3.690GHz (205x18) 1.50v
  • System Memory: Mushkin HP3-12800 @ 1366MHz (9-9-9-24)

Since the processor is a Black Edition with an unlocked multiplier, I started with the multiplier. I pushed the voltage to the maximum specified to 1.5v and slowly rose the multiplier until the system would not longer boot and run benchmarks stably. Once I reached the max at x18 I started with the FSB for the processor. I pushed up the bus speed 1MHz at a time until again I could no longer boot and complete benchmarks with stability. At only 5MHz over, I hit the wall and could not go any further. The final speed was 3.690GHz which is a 900MHz increase in speed or almost a 30% gain. Not bad I must say. So this is where the overclocked tests will be run at 3.69GHz (205x18) at 1.5v.







  • Scientific & Data:
  1. Apophysis
  2. WinRAR
  3. SpecviewPerf 10
  4. PCMark Vantage Professional
  5. Sandra XII
  6. ScienceMark 2.02
  7. Cinebench 10
  8. HD Tune 2.55
  • Video:
  1. Far Cry 2
  2. Crysis - Warhead
  3. Bioshock
  4. Call of Duty World At War
  5. Dead Space 
  6. Fall out 3 
  7. Left For Dead
  8. 3DMark 06 Professional
  9. 3DMark Vantage

  1. Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Closer Look: The Motherboard
  3. Closer Look: Drivers & Programs
  4. Closer Look: The BIOS
  5. Closer Look: The BIOS Continued
  6. Specifications & Features
  7. Testing: Setup & Overclocking
  8. Testing: Apophysis, WinRar
  9. Testing: Specview 10, PcMark Vantage
  10. Testing: Sandra 2009 Professional
  11. Testing: Sciencemark, CineBench 10, HD Tune
  12. Testing: Far Cry 2
  13. Testing: Crysis-Warhead
  14. Testing: BioShock
  15. Testing: Call of Duty World at War
  16. Testing: Dead Space
  17. Testing: Fallout 3
  18. Testing: Left 4 Dead
  19. Testing: 3DMark06
  20. Testing: 3DMark Vantage Professional
  21. Conclusion
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