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790GX reviewed

AMD 790GX reviewed: Top chip with OC capabilities, HD video and fast onboard graphics

The new AMD chipset 790GX for current AM2(+) CPUs offers Crossfire X with PCI Express 2.0 support. The new Southbridge makes even higher CPU OC results possible - the rumors are confirmed. Furthermore the chip delivers a onboard graphics solution ready for gaming and HD video support for HTPCs.
The 790GX Northbridge with Sideport memory chip (picture: PCGH)
 
The 790GX Northbridge with Sideport memory chip (picture: PCGH) [Source: view picture gallery]
Boards with the 790GX match the demands of almost any customer - those looking for extra performance take a Full ATX board with one or two Radeon HD 4870 and overclock their Phenom CPU. If you are looking for cheap gaming platform, just use the integrated graphics unit Radeon HD 3300, which is faster than a Radeon HD 3450 most of the time and even offers overclocking capabilities on some boards. Due to Hybrid Crossfire there is enough performance for higher details. Multimedia fans, who want to have a HTPC with HD capability and low power consumption, might be interested in the Micro ATX boards with the 790GX.

Our 790GX test sample: the Gigabyte MA790GP-DS4H (picture: PCGH)
 
Our 790GX test sample: the Gigabyte MA790GP-DS4H (picture: PCGH) [Source: view picture gallery]


Within our review we check the gaming performance and the tuning potential of the inboard graphics unit and the additional overclocking capabilities and the power consumption of our test sample. We got a Gigabyte MA790GP-DS4H with the board revision 0.2. The Full ATX board has two slots for graphics cards and therefore is a possible choice for gamers. Overclockers could be happy about the good cooling solution of the chipset. Because of a HDMI port and optical digital out using it for a HTPC is possible, too. Further connectors and ports: DVI, D-Sub, Firewire and six SATA ports - because of the unfavorable position between the graphics slots angular SATA ports would have been a better solution.

Gigabyte MA790GP-DS4H: HDMI, DVI, D-Sub, Firewire, gigabit LAN and optical sound output (picture: PCGH)
 
Gigabyte MA790GP-DS4H: HDMI, DVI, D-Sub, Firewire, gigabit LAN and optical sound output (picture: PCGH) [Source: view picture gallery]


Due to support via the onboard graphics solution even the low-priced Athlon 64 X2 4450e with a TDP of only 45 watt, is able to deliver enough performance for smooth Blue-Ray and HD-DVD playback.



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Author: Daniel Möllendorf (Aug 06, 2008)






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