MSI KA760GM: 780G Minus the HD

CPUs|Motherboards
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Cooling

Lower cost boards ship with simple heatsinks on the northbridge and southbridge while those targeted at enthusiasts typically have large heatpipe coolers and heatsinks on the voltage regulation modules near the CPU socket. A well-cooled motherboard can deliver better power efficiency and stability.

Heatsink Temperatures
Measuring Point
X2 4850e
Phenom II
X4 940
SB Heatsink
55°C
56°C
NB Heatsink
68°C
67°C
VRMs
60-70°C
90-130°C
Measured with a spot thermometer after 15 minutes of full CPU + GPU load. CPU fan reduced to 6V.

Despite the rather diminutive heatsinks deployed on the KA760GM, the northbridge and southbridge heatsinks did not overheat during stress testing, staying below 70°C when a X2 4850e processor was used. With a Phenom II chip, the temperatures of the VRMs skyrocketed, with several measuring well over 100°C. The system did remain stable, but it is certainly within the realm of possibility that such stress over a long period of time could be detrimental to the health and stability of the board. A VRM heatsink would have been a welcome addition.

3D Performance

To get a rough estimate of how well each board's integrated graphics plays games, we ran 3DMark05/06. As synthetic benchmarks they have limited value, but they give a rough idea of how well an IGP performs.

3D Performance: Futuremark Comparison
Motherboard
Graphics
3DMark05
3DMark06
Gigabyte MA74GM-S2
X2100
1124
305
Zotac GeForce 8200-ITX
GF8200
1623
869
Asus M3N78 Pro
GF8300
1669
902
MSI KA760GM
HD 3000
2289
1049
Gigabyte MA78GM-2SH
HD 3200
2293
1116
Gigabyte MA790GP-DS4H (Sideport)
HD 3300 (Sideport)
3377
1668
Gigabyte MA78GM-2SH
HD 3450
(Discrete)
3405
1716
All results with 2GB of system RAM and 256MB of VRAM assigned for IGP's (128MB Sideport + 128MB UMA for boards with Sideport memory).

The HD 3000 IGP scored very closely to HD 3200 in 3DMark, suggesting that HD 3000 is simply HD 3200 minus the video decoding capabilities.



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