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Triple Mainstream AMD 785G Roundup

Triple Mainstream AMD 785G Roundup



After more rigorous testing of the AMD 785G chipset in this roundup, it became apparent that the performance gains from the 780G are very minor. It's quite likely that the SidePort memory that's found on these models is the main reason for the performance boost that we have seen. Once we updated our drivers for the AMD 780G and GeForce 8300 chipsets, they are competitive with the newcomer.

From our benchmark results, differences in memory frequencies do not seem to have a significant impact, so one can opt for the lower cost AM2+ version that uses cheaper DDR2 memory instead if there's a tight budget. Fortunately, these mainstream boards remain mostly affordable, with even the most expensive models under US$100. Pair that with a decent but inexpensive Athlon II dual-core processor and you're assured of relatively low power consumption and respectable multimedia performance. Gaming too is possible though one has to pick and choose the right games and settings.

Perhaps due to the fact that the AMD 785G is so similar to the 780G, most vendors have boards ready at its launch, with some of the designs remarkably similar to their 780G counterparts. That's both good and bad. Some design and layout flaws have carried over, like what we saw with the Gigabyte GA-MA785GPM-UD2H. Other, more positive aspects include the polish that we have seen from these boards, from the comprehensive features to a familiar, user friendly BIOS.

The table below shows how the three 785G boards rated during our assessment. The ASUS M4A785TD-M EVO was an easy choice as the best of the bunch reviewed today. It generally topped the benchmarks among them. It had the lowest temperature measured and its power consumption numbers were in line with the others. The only improvements we spotted are some minor ones concerning its layout but there's no doubting its overall quality and build. Of course, you'll have to pay for it at around US$95 (or S$188 locally), it's close to breaking the US$100 mark.

Next up, the ECS A785GM-M had some very nice touches that while not exactly innovative, showed that the company was competitive in terms of features. We also liked its layout the best of all. What held it back was simply the choice by ECS of not equipping it with the SidePort memory found on the others. This hindered its performance and its BIOS settings was the weakest of the three as it missed some crucial settings.

Its list of proprietary applications and tools was also the most meager, though this takes some effort and time to develop and eJIFFY is a step forward at least. Comparing the prices, it is also one of the cheaper models available at US$85 (no local price available).

Finally, while the Gigabyte GA-MA785GPM-UD2H came in second in most of our benchmarks, it was not our top choice due to its layout, which has inherited the flaws of the previous generation. The board also seemed to be slightly warmer than the others. Nevertheless, it remains a very decent and polished solution and with the weight of Gigabyte applications and technologies behind it, users will get a very good experience using this board. It's priced close to the ASUS board locally with prices ranging from S$180 - 190.

Scoring Breakdown
Model Features Performance Value Estimated Street Price
ASUS M4A785TD-M EVO 4.5 4.5 4.0 US$95 / S$188
ECS A785GM-M 4.0 3.5 4.5 US$85
Gigabyte GA-MA785GPM-UD2H 4.5 4.0 4.0 ~S$180 - 190

Our Final Ratings