790GX Showdown: Gigabyte vs. MSI

CPUs|Motherboards
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GIGABYTE GA-MA790GP-DS4


The included accessories are limited, befitting a budget board, rather than one that is fully-loaded. Only four SATA data cables and a 2-port USB bracket.


The Good: The 24-pin ATX and IDE port at the edges, front panel connectors raised slightly for easier access, and four fan headers (two 3-pin and two 4-pin PWM).
The Bad: 8-pin EPS12V connector is at the top/back corner — a tough spot to reach if a large heatsink is employed. The floppy connector is in a horrible spot below the last PCI slot. The central northbridge/VRM heatsink sits precariously close to the top PCI-E slot.


The board's capacitors are all solid-state and all chokes are shielded. The VRM area next to the socket is orderly.


The northbridge and VRM heatsink are impressive looking; substantial in size and with many fins. They are connected by two heatpipes.


The back panel is more old school than we've seen recently. It is rare to see a board these days with only 4 USB and both PS/2 ports. The rest of connectors are more modern: DVI-D, HDMI, S/PDIF, FireWire.


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