Asus M3A78-T: AMD's IGP Gets Another Boost

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TEST RESULTS

Our test system is fairly basic, featuring an OEM 80 Plus power supply, notebook hard drive and Blu-ray drive. The CPU is a X2 4850e, a mid-level dual core 45W processor. It is cooled by a stock AMD heatpipe cooler with PWM fan connected to a variable DC fan controller (so the fan's power draw does not come into play).

Test Results: Asus M3A78-T
Test State
X2 4850e @ 2.5Ghz, C&Q
X2 4850e @ 1.5Ghz/1.0V
Mean CPU Use
Peak CPU Use
System Power
Mean CPU Use
Peak CPU Use
System Power
Off
N/A
2W
N/A
2W
Sleep (S3)
N/A
3W
N/A
3W
Idle
N/A
44W
N/A
48W
Rush Hour
5%
10%
~70W
8%
14%
~53W
Coral Reef
38%
48%
~70W
50%
61%
~52W
Flight Sim.
64%
79%
~72W
73%
88%
~53W
Drag Race
67%
79%
~73W
76%
86%
~53W
CPUBurn
N/A
87W
N/A
55W
CPUBurn + ATITool
N/A
103W
N/A
70W

At stock settings, the test system drawed 44W from the wall at idle, 70-73W during video playback, and 87W with full CPU load. When the IGP was stressed with ATITool, total power consumption jumped by 16W — the highest increase we have encountered with an onboard graphics subsystem. Whether it performs well or not, it is more power hungry compared to other recent IGPs. The video playback results were good — about on par with previous AMD IGPs.

When we underclocked the CPU to 1.5Ghz, the system failed to render our VC-1 clips properly. The Flight Simulator clip was plagued by audio clipping, and the Drag Race clip exhibited audio distortions as well as framerate fluctuations.

Test Results: Comparisons @ 2.5Ghz, C&Q
Test State
Gigabyte
GA-MA74GM-S2
Asus
M3A78 Pro
Asus
M3A78-T
Mean CPU Use
System Power
Mean CPU Use
System Power
Mean CPU Use
System Power
Off
N/A
2W
N/A
2W
N/A
2W
Sleep (S3)
N/A
2W
N/A
3W
N/A
3W
Idle
N/A
31W
N/A
39W
N/A
44W
Rush Hour
42%
~58W
6%
~64W
5%
~70W
Coral Reef
37%
~58W
42%
~65W
38%
~70W
Flight Sim.
64%
~63W
71%
~69W
64%
~72W
Drag Race
69%
~66W
73%
~69W
67%
~73W
CPUBurn
N/A
92W
N/A
82W
N/A
87W
CPUBurn + ATITool
N/A
97W
N/A
94W
N/A
103W

The M3A78-T consistently runs about 5W higher than the 780G based M3A78 Pro, except with both the IGP and the CPU at max load, when it jumps to 9W. This may indicate that the HD3300 graphics subsystem has higher idle power consumption, though it may also be the power requirements of the M3A78-T board"s extensive feature-set.

The Gigabyte GA-MA74GM-S2, the most energy efficient mainstream AMD motherboard we've encountered, draws 6-13W less power.



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