AMD 790GX - Foxconn A7DA-S review
Posted by Hilbert Hagedoorn on: 09/02/2008 01:00 PM [ 0 comment(s) ]
Nice, we see pretty good performance with this mainboard in combo with the processor we used. Do not expect a heap of performance increasement over the last-gen products, but here and there we did spot some better results. One of the key features of the mainboard has to be the excellent GPU built into the mainboard. It allows for excellent 2D, High-definition playback and you even get to manage and play a game or two with it. This mainboard integrated GPU is second to none compared against the competition, but for 3D rendering obviously remains really low-end.
But sure, the 7980GX proves to be a very interesting IGP. Though we did not test it, it introduces features like PowerPlay, which has the option of shutting down a secondary graphics card and preserve power consumption. The driver was not yet finished, but we can't wait to test that out.
Despite that, what I found really interesting was the overall power consumption. AMD has been working hard on it and it shows. Without a secondary VGA card installed we remain under 100 Watts in idle, which is quite something to achieve these days with a modern PC. So I like that very much.
So what is the 790GX compared to the 780G, you ask? Well Northbridge wise it's really the same ASIC, yet clocked from 500MHz to 700MHz. And the graphics core name changed from Radeon HD 3200 to HD 3300. Really, that's it. The more interesting feature is obviously the new integration of the Southbridge DB 750 chip. You now have improved dual-channel USB, added RAID 5 operation and obviously most important, the new ACC interface.
The Foxconn product itself then. Excellent build quality, good layout. I liked it. Though I feel that it's a bit of a flaw that it lacks digital audio output. Surely this could have been done easily and HDMI will carry that digital signal, and most HTPC users prefer a SPDIF/TOSLINK connector ... by far. As stated the layout is good, we spot nice passive cooling, HDMI/DVI/VGA connectors, plenty of connectivity, the small micro switches to quickly power-on and off your mainboard. Really, I like what I see here. Obviously with this mainboard you also will be able to utilize CrossFireX as you'll get two X16 PCIE slots.
The 790GX mainboard will cost you roughly 125 USD. For the money you get a very decent set of options and features, the performance is quite interesting as well. It's very recommended if you do not plan to do anything crazy tweaking wise. Baseline performance is just really good. The performance is and feels snazzy fast and speedy and everything ran absolutely stable.
AMD's 790GX chipset offers a notable mix of high-performance and features, paired with a very flexible mainstream graphics processor onboard. In my eyes the AMD 780G had one major failing; it did not have a decent architecture to handle the top-end Phenom processors and the tweaking of those, but the 790GX definitely solves this matter. It can support up to a 140W TDP AM2+ processors.
I can see myself updating my HTPC with this mainboard for that matter as it is a relatively cheap to purchase product, offers a stack load of features .. can take 6 SATA drives and is compatible with the latest Phenom X4 processors. The biggest trick has to be the new enthusiast features to be found in the SB750. It definitely increased overclocking headroom towards Phenom processors with the help of ACC, and I wouldn't not be surprised that if you spend a little time on tweaking for you to reach 3.2-3.4 GHz on the latest models Phenom X4 processors (Black Editions). Next to that an additional RAID mode, a faster integrated GPU with some dedicated framebuffer.
Overall there's just really no reason why I couldn't recommend it to you. This is good value, speedy and very stable. The Foxconn mainboard really seems to be one of the most versatile boards out there ... and it does not break the bank either. Good value, but do make sure you don't pay more than 125-130 USD for it.
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A review of the AMD 790GX chipset based on the Foxconn A7DA-S mainboard. With the more high-end consumer in mind AMD released the new 790GX series mainboards. The mainboard is a lot about status, as AMD want to re-establish their status and performance levels for their products again. Hey in the end, all you have is your reputation right ? And for a chipset manufacturer that means top dog electronics.