Gigabyte MA785GPMT-UD2H 785G Motherboard

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FINAL THOUGHTS

Most of the 785GPMT's appeal stems from the use of the 785G chipset with its impressive integrated graphics and onboard Sideport memory, and its affordability which allows manufacturers like Gigabyte to load up on features without breaking wallets. The board sports HDMI, DVI, S/PDIF, eSATA, FireWire, RAID and an all solid-state capacitor design. To Gigabyte's credit they delivered a very liberal BIOS with regard to frequency and voltage manipulation and the fan control is smooth though somewhat limited in its default state. Fortunately Windows users can utilize SpeedFan to unlock full customizable control of two fan headers.

It was not all roses and sunshine though. Pitted against the Asus and MSI 785G boards, the 785GPMT's power efficiency was excellent at idle but not as good a higher loads. Once we fixed the initial CPU voltage bug, we expected better, but the board averaged almost 10W more power than the competition when we played video or put the CPU/GPU on any type of load. We believe that cooling was a factor as the Gigabyte was the only board without a VRM heatsink. Both the northbridge and VRM temperatures soared with the system on load for an extended period, and power efficiency worsened more than usual. Given that the pricing of the three boards is so similar (within $10 of one another), it would have been prudent for Gigabyte to spend a couple of bucks on a VRM heatsink. If doing so improved the board's energy efficiency, it might have been a clear winner in our books.

The MSI 785GM-E65 has the best power efficiency overall, but poor fan control. The Asus M4A785TD-V EVO is a slightly different type of board, as it is ATX and supports CrossFire, but it too has problems including high idle power consumption and limited undervolting ability. Although the Gigabyte MA785GPMT-UD2H has poor cooling and power efficiency, it is otherwise quite competitive. [Editor's Note: Kpee in mind that in a carefully configured system with judicious airflow for the VRMs and NB chip, it's possible that the Gigabyte's efficiency could be substantially improved.]

Gigabyte MA785GPMT-UD2H
PROS

* Feature-rich
* Liberal BIOS options
* Undervolts well
* Excellent HD video playback
* Low idle power consumption
* Well-priced
CONS

* High power consumption in general
* Runs hotter than competition

Our thanks to Gigabyte for the MA785GPMT-UD2H sample.

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