AMD's 785G Chipset Boards: 780G Evolved

CPUs|Motherboards
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Asus M4A785TD-V EVO vs. MSI 785GM-E65

August 10, 2009 by Lawrence Lee

Product
Asus M4A785TD-V EVO
AMD AM3 ATX Motherboard
MSI 785GM-E65
AMD AM3 mATX Motherboard
Manufacturer
ASUSTeK Micro-Star International
Street Price
US$100~$110 US$90

AMD's 785G chipset is the successor to 780G, possibly the most important integrated graphics chipset in their history. The accompanying HD 3200 graphics chip was the first onboard solution to support hardware acceleration for modern high-definition video codecs and its 3D performance was far superior to anything that preceded it. With the release of 780G, motherboards with integrated graphics were no longer just cheap entry level products. The 780G chipset aged gracefully and now is the defacto choice for value — 780G boards are heavy on features and light on price compared to the competition — especially Intel.


Package contents.

785G is an evolution of 780G, bringing minor improvements and support for the AM3 socket with DDR3 memory. The onboard graphics chip, dubbed HD 4200, has a few advantages over HD 3200 including support for DirectX 10.1 and HDMI 1.3 (but not multi-channel LPCM) and allows for the use of Sideport memory, which provides a nice performance boost on the more expensive 790GX-based boards. 3D performance should be similar though, as the number of stream processors and the core frequency has not changed. The UVD (Unified Video Decoder) has also been updated to version 2.0, allowing for decoding of multiple streams (i.e. for picture-in-picture functionality while playing Blu-ray) and some extra post-processing effects.

The Asus and MSI boards we are looking at today use the 785G chipset paired with the new SB710 Southbridge chip. 785G bridges the gap between 780G and 790GX, and SB710 is similar, a hybrid that takes the limited RAID support of SB700 (0, 1, 10, JBOD) and combines it with SB750's ACC (Advanced Clock Calibration) feature, which aids in overclocking. The vast majority of 780G boards are paired with SB700 to the dismay of some enthusiasts.


The box of the Asus M4A785TD-V EVO, an ATX 785G motherboard.



The box of the MSI 785GM-E65, a mATX 785G motherboard.

On paper, the two boards share almost the exact same feature set, with the main differences being the number of expansion slots provided, a result of each board's respective form factor.

Specifications: Asus M4A785TD-V EVO vs. MSI 785GM-E65
(from their respective product web pages)
Board
Asus M4A785TD-V EVO
MSI 785GM-E65
Chipset
AMD 785G/SB710
AMD 785G/SB710
Sideport Memory
Yes
Yes
CrossFire
Hybrid CrossFireX
Hybrid CrossFire
Memory
DDR3 800/1066/1333
DDR3 1600/1800 (O.C.)
DDR3 800/1066/1333
DIMM Slots
4 (16GB Max)
4 (16GB Max)
PCIe 2.0 x16
2 (16x/4x)
1
PCIe 1x
1
1
PCI
3
2
IDE
1
1
SATA
5
5
eSATA
1
1
RAID
0, 1, 10, JBOD
0, 1, 10, JBOD
VGA
VGA, DVI, HDMI
VGA, DVI, HDMI
Audio
8-channel High Definition, S/PDIF (optical)
8-channel High Definition, S/PDIF (optical)
LAN
Gigabit
Gigabit
FireWire
1 rear port, 1 internal
1 rear port, 1 internal
USB
6 rear ports, 6 internal
6 rear ports, 6 internal
Fan Headers
3
2
Form Factor
ATX
mATX


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