AMD 780G: Best Ever Integrated Mainstream Chipset?

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AMD 780G: Best Ever Integrated Mainstream Chipset?

Post by MikeC » Thu Mar 06, 2008 6:55 am

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croddie
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Post by croddie » Thu Mar 06, 2008 7:33 am

Edit: untrue, removed
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Post by MikeC » Thu Mar 06, 2008 7:51 am

croddie wrote:It can't be the best integrated chipset because you can't use it with the best processors which are currently from Intel.
Let's start the day with a little jingoism, shall we? :roll:
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Post by gilamonyet » Thu Mar 06, 2008 7:52 am

croddie wrote:It can't be the best integrated chipset because you can't use it with the best processors which are currently from Intel.
You seem to be missing the point...

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Post by croddie » Thu Mar 06, 2008 8:36 am

I don't work for Intel. I was just pointing out that the answer to the question is quite easy after all. Everyone knows AMD processors are not currently competitive in power or performance to 45nm intel processors. This chipset might however suit some specialized HTPCs when processor performance is not significant.

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Post by Spare Tire » Thu Mar 06, 2008 9:03 am

Well, if you're going with intel, might want to wait for the nvidia's MCP7A with hybrid sli later.

The 3Dmark results for hybrid crossfire is really wierd indeed. Tom's hardware benched with an older version of catalyst and got some good results.

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Post by jaganath » Thu Mar 06, 2008 9:06 am

Everyone knows AMD processors are not currently competitive in power or performance to 45nm intel processors.
actually at the budget end they are still competitive in terms of pricing and performance per watt, ie Celeron vs Sempron, Pentium Dual Core vs X2; of course anything above that they are toast.
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Post by nutball » Thu Mar 06, 2008 9:10 am

Huzzah! At last, this is the review I've been waiting for 8)
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Post by CA_Steve » Thu Mar 06, 2008 9:17 am

Thanks for the review. I was hoping that the hybrid graphics would be analogous to a hybrid car - the gas guzzling engine would only come on when it was needed. But, from the testing, it appears that this isn't the case. The add -on card is always on. What a shame.

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Post by MikeC » Thu Mar 06, 2008 9:30 am

FYI, the original review has just been updated with new data from additional testing and blue-ray playback.
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Post by mr. poopyhead » Thu Mar 06, 2008 10:00 am

while i agree that the easytune utility looks ugly as sin, i can't really see the resemblance to a uterus.... you should really lay off the red bulls or whatever it is that gets you through these tests, :P.

i smell an HTPC upgrade this summer! :D
well... if/when they hammer out all the little bugs. maybe you can revisit this product once it hits the shelves with proper driver support?
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Post by Avalanche » Thu Mar 06, 2008 10:00 am

Wow, the HD3450 doesn't help much with playing BR-DVDs! I guess it's slightly older silicon?

For Blu-Ray:

Code: Select all

Peak CPU HD3200 IGP - 21%
Peak CPU HD3450     - 47%
It sounds like a great board as long as you're not counting on Hybrid Crossfire. And be honest, who of you were?

On that note, can someone explain to me why I would want either of these Hybrid CF/SLI things? For any reason?

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Post by crabnebula » Thu Mar 06, 2008 11:23 am

Catalyst 8.3 has been released, FYI.

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Post by Lawrence Lee » Thu Mar 06, 2008 11:52 am

For those of you who read the review the first few hours after it was published - it has been updated with some major changes including:

-PowerDVD used to test playback instead of WMP11 (except for the comparison with the Asus M2A-VM HDMI)

-More accurate power consumption measurements during load

-Effect of lower CPU speed

-Effect of amount of video memory

-Effect of system memory

-Blu Ray playback performance

-Cool'n'Quiet issues elaborated (not actually C&Q but Vista's power management at fault)


And yes we know 8.3 was released... hours after we finished *extensively* retesting the system. *sigh*

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Post by crabnebula » Thu Mar 06, 2008 1:24 pm

I can imagine what a pain it must be to have a new driver released with such poor timing.

Most other reviews I've seen have only compared the IGP with a Hybrid setup in terms of performance. It is very interesting that you tested with only the discrete graphics card and the IGP disabled. The results show that in fact, hybrid graphics provide very slim benefits compared to the discrete card by itself. It would of course be interesting to know whether this still holds with newer drivers.

Thanks for the review.

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Post by lobuni » Thu Mar 06, 2008 1:24 pm

didn't gigabyte boards have higher than average power consumption? I thought i read something about this somewhere here in SPCR, cant find it now though.

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Post by autoboy » Thu Mar 06, 2008 1:39 pm

This review seems to contradict many of the points that Tomshardware made. I hate to say this, but Toms' review reads more accurate than this review. Who is actually correct, is beyond me.

I kinda wish you guys would update your graphics reviews with more real use video benchmarks. The guys over at MissingRemote.com did a good job with their mini review of the 3470. They used high bitrate videos, mpeg2 (which is known to cause problems with low end ATI graphics cards because UVD does not accelerate mpeg2. It is done in the 3D hardware), and they did the HQV benchmarks which are important to HTPC users.

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Post by SpaceNerd » Thu Mar 06, 2008 1:39 pm

Ever since I finished my installation I'm asking myself what this "unknown device" shown in the XP hardware manager could be. Is that what you referred to as the missing "Northbridge Filter Driver" problem? Did you get the driver? Where? And what does it do?
After years of using Asus I gave Gigabyte a try and am very pleased so far. The setup is very stable already without having to wait for at least six months to finally get a good BIOS. The only thing I'm missing (apart from this mysterious driver :wink:) is a graphics driver for Linux. Does anyone know if Catalyst 8.3 works?
Btw, my new 780G setup uses less Watts (~50W idle) than the previous 690G setup (~54W idle).
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Post by Immortals » Thu Mar 06, 2008 1:42 pm

Is this an updated review from last year or is that just a typo?

It says it was posted March 6, 2007.

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780G article revision announcement

Post by dsjonz » Thu Mar 06, 2008 2:04 pm

We apologize for any confusion this may have caused, and assure our readers that this updated review is a more accurate representation of our impression of the board, and its overall performance.
Are you kidding? I not only forgive you--I *applaud* you! Regardless of the tech snafus, the 780G piece was one of the best I've read. Your quick reaction and mea culpa only serves to raise my already high opinion of SPCR. --- Dsjonz

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Post by tutu » Thu Mar 06, 2008 3:31 pm

Spare Tire wrote:Well, if you're going with intel, might want to wait for the nvidia's MCP7A with hybrid sli later.
When is the question.

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Post by smilingcrow » Thu Mar 06, 2008 3:52 pm

I was hoping that the discrete VGA card would be disabled when in 2D mode but your power data suggests this wasn’t the case. Maybe a driver issue!

The HD 3450 consumed an extra 12W at idle compared to the IGP which seems unusually high as the 2400 Pro can consume as little as 7.5W extra. Did you check to see if it reduced the RAM/GPU clocks at idle?

Your power data comparing the two chipsets is the opposite of all the other reviews that I’ve seen which suggests that you have an atypical board.

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Post by MikeC » Thu Mar 06, 2008 4:09 pm

smilingcrow wrote:Your power data comparing the two chipsets is the opposite of all the other reviews that I’ve seen which suggests that you have an atypical board.
Have you seen any comparisons between the 690G and the 780G elsewhere? I haven't. They've generally compared the G35 Intel (the Asus) against the Gigabyte 780G board, and they report that the 780G idles lower though it maxes out higher.

At idle, our 780G was within 1W of the 690G; it's at load that the 780G drew more power -- but that's precisely what you'd expect. The 780G chip has 205 million transistors compared to 72 million in the 690G. They pulled all kinds of tricks to make it pull just 0.95W at idle compared to 1.4W for the 690G.
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Post by nitram_tpr » Fri Mar 07, 2008 1:58 am

Why is it that the 2 reviews for this board I have read (SPCR and Toms) both use the 3450 add in card, why not add in a 3850? Can this be done?
Could you add in a 3870X2 for example?
I suppose what I am asking is can ant 3xxx card be added in a crossfire configuration?
I am in the process of putting together a parts list for a HTPC for my brother, he mainly wants it for movie playback and web surfing with the occasional game playback. I was going to recommend the Asus M2A-VM but I am now going to go with this board, it has everything that he needs, also the onboard GPU is highly overclockabe (according to Toms) and adding a nice quiet 3850 or 3870 should make this a quite awesome little machine and hopefully nice and quiet :D

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Post by Mariner » Fri Mar 07, 2008 4:41 am

Hmm, I wonder. Does the UVD section of the chip run separately to the 3D? If so, it might be possible to underclock the GPU for power savings whilst still keeping the impressive HTPC playback options.

If you're not playing games, I'm sure a 250MHz GPU speed would be more than enough for all your 2D or Vista Aero uses and this ought to save a chunk of power.

I note that the 780V runs at a lower clock speed but this doesn't, unfortunately, come with the UVD enabled.

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Post by nitram_tpr » Fri Mar 07, 2008 4:53 am

Interestingly I have just re-read teh Tom's hardware review and saw this (dunno how I missed it in my first read as it is quite prominent!)
Out of interest, we also installed a Radeon HD3850. However, the on-board GPU automatically deactivated itself, so that it was no longer available to create a CrossFire combination.

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Post by SpaceNerd » Fri Mar 07, 2008 6:36 am

SpaceNerd wrote:The only thing I'm missing (apart from this mysterious driver :wink:) is a graphics driver for Linux. Does anyone know if Catalyst 8.3 works?
Yes, I do :wink: I just installed the Linux Catalyst 8.3 on Ubuntu 7.10. And I'm very pleased to see that both 3D and XVideo work! But the UVD engine is not working (no HD playback support).
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amd vs intel

Post by charonme » Fri Mar 07, 2008 7:03 am

jaganath wrote:
Everyone knows AMD processors are not currently competitive in power or performance to 45nm intel processors.
actually at the budget end they are still competitive in terms of pricing and performance per watt, ie Celeron vs Sempron, Pentium Dual Core vs X2; of course anything above that they are toast.
I haven't been paying attention to the new models of cpus and their prices for more than a year, so assertions like this quite surprised me at first. But do I understand it correctly that AMD still provides higher performance with less power consumption at the ~$150 range powerable with a pico-PSU and coolable passively with something smaller than a ninja? Or does intel offer something interesting in this segment too?

In order for this post to not be completely OT: I'm very interested in how the board/cpu combo would handle video-formats which are not likely to be HW-supported (autoboy already mentioned some good examples)

One more thing: does the dvi output support 2 channels (for higher resolutions) ?

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Post by KansaKilla » Fri Mar 07, 2008 7:45 am

Great article, Mike. I've been really impressed with the quality of reviews of late. The quick corrections just speak to the class of the site. Keep up the good work.

Regarding EasyTune,
MikeC wrote:While we believe the intention was to make it look like the controls of a commercial airliner we can't help but notice its resemblance to an uterus.
Sorry, poops. It does resemble a uterus, complete with fundus and adnexae. About 14 weeks size, and a little bit of hydrosalpinx on the left. :lol:

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Post by MikeC » Fri Mar 07, 2008 9:40 am

Thanks KansaKilla... Lawrence did the real work on this one.

We got an email from AMD this morn, btw, about this comment in the review "While we used a dual core rather than a quad core CPU, it shouldn't have made that much difference. 3DMark weights very heavily on the GPU."

Adam Kozak of AMD emailed:

"The real answer is that HT3 in a quad core CPU is 1.8Ghz (vs 1.0ghz on an Athlon) and provides much more bandwidth for IGP type systems. The result is an increase of over 300 pts for integrated in 3DMark06 and this directly translates into better scaling for hybrid mode (~2720)."

The clarification is welcome; thank you Mr. Kozak.

My comment on this is simple: Does the smart casual gamer choose a >$200 quad-core 95W TDP Phenom and $50 for an ATI HD3450 for this <$100 IGP motherboard, or a <$100 45W A64 X2 with a $150 PCIe 16x graphics card?

ps -- All the above is in an editor's note on the last page of the article.
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