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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.]
* Liberal BIOS options
* Undervolts well
* Excellent HD video playback
* Low idle power consumption
* High power consumption in general
* Runs hotter than competition
Our thanks to Gigabyte
for the MA785GPMT-UD2H sample.
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