Motherboard Guide

Triple Mainstream AMD 785G Roundup

Triple Mainstream AMD 785G Roundup



Introduction

A Minor Update

AMD's 780G chipset was perhaps one of the first signs that the company was finally getting its act together after taking over graphics chipmaker ATI. The integrated graphics solution onboard, the Radeon HD 3200 immediately set the standard for the segment, with NVIDIA's MCP78 chipset (GeForce 8200 mGPU) the only credible competitor. It was the perfect answer to critics over the ATI purchase since it was the exact kind of synergy (pardon the corporate speak) touted for the acquisition. Hence it was with quiet anticipation that we approached our first AMD 785G motherboard (the successor to the 780G) when it arrived early this month.

As our graphics performance update showed, the 785G is less of a performance upgrade and more of an update to support the latest standards like DirectX 10.1, courtesy of its Radeon HD 4200 graphics core. Actual clock speeds are identical to the 780G and early excitement over whether the chipset had multi-channel LPCM support via HDMI turned out to be unfounded. The 785G is exactly the same as the 780G in that respect. The chipset however gets full hardware acceleration for HD video playback from its upgraded Universal Video Decoder 2.0.

You can read the article for more details on the changes but to cut a long story short, the 785G will perform similarly to its predecessor for just about everything. Despite that, we anticipate quite the flood of 785G boards in the marketplace, with vendors hungry to replicate the success of the 780G. Three such 785G motherboards have already landed in our lab - two AM3 variants that use DDR3 memory and a single AM2+ version that only accepts DDR2.

These three boards, from ASUS, ECS and Gigabyte are listed below with their specifications. All use the same Southbridge (SB710) that adds Advanced Clock Calibration (ACC) as a feature, though it's probably unnecessary on the mainstream 785G. Two of them come with 128MB of DDR3 SidePort memory for better graphics performance. And finally, all of them are in the microATX (mATX) form factor, which shows what kind of usage vendors are expecting from this chipset. We also had a DDR2-based MSI's version in our lab but due unresolved testing issues, we've kept it aside for the moment. Meanwhile, look out for our standalone review on the DDR3 version soon.

Comparing the AMD 785G Motherboards
  ASUS M4A785TD-M EVO ECS A785GM-M Gigabyte GA-MA785GPM-UD2H
CPU Support AM3 processors only AM2+/AM3 processors
Chipset AMD 785G + SB710
Graphics ATI Radeon HD 4200 with 128MB DDR3-1333 SidePort memory ATI Radeon HD 4200 (No SidePort memory) ATI Radeon HD 4200 with 128MB DDR3-1333 SidePort memory
Memory
  • 4 x DDR3-1066 / 1333 / 1600(O.C) / 1800(O.C)
  • 16GB Maximum
  • 4 x DDR3-1066/1333
  • 32GB Maximum (16GB maximum tested)
  • 4 x DDR2-800/1066/1200 (O.C)
  • 16GB Maximum
Storage
  • 5 x SATA 3.0Gbps
  • Support AHCI controller with SATA RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 10 and JBOD configurations
  • 1 x eSATA 3.0Gbps port (rear)
  • 1 x UltraDMA 133/100/66/33 for up to 2 PATA devices
  • 6 x SATA 3.0Gbps
  • Support AHCI controller with SATA RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 10 configurations
  • JMicron JMB362 controller
    • 2 x eSATA ports (rear)
  • 1 x UltraDMA 133/100/66/33 for up to 2 PATA devices
  • 5 x SATA 3.0Gbps
  • Support AHCI controller with SATA RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 10 and JBOD configurations
  • 1 x eSATA 3.0Gbps port (rear)
  • 1 x UltraDMA 133/100/66/33 for up to 2 PATA devices
  • 1 x floppy drive support
Audio
  • VIA VT1708S HD Audio CODEC
  • 1 x S/PDIF output header
  • Optical S/PDIF output at rear
  • Realtek ALC888S HD Audio CODEC
  • 1 x S/PDIF output header
  • Optical S/PDIF output at rear
  • Realtek ALC889A HD Audio CODEC
  • 1 x S/PDIF output header
  • Optical S/PDIF output at rear
Networking Realtek 8112L PCIe Gigabit LAN Realtek 8111C Gigabit LAN Realtek 8111C Gigabit LAN
IEEE 1394
  • JMicron JMB381 controller
  • 2 x 1394a ports (1 header, 1 rear)
  • VIA VT6315N controller
  • 2 x 1394a (1 header, 1 rear)
  • Texas Instrument TSB43AB23 controller
  • 2 x 1394a (1 header, 1 rear)
Rear I/O
  • 1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse combo port
  • 1 x D-Sub port
  • 1 x DVI-D port
  • 1 x HDMI port
  • 1 x optical S/PDIF output
  • 1 x eSATA port
  • 1 x IEEE 1394a port
  • 1 x RJ45 (LAN) port
  • 6 x USB 2.0 ports
  • Analog Audio jacks
  • 1 x D-Sub port
  • 1 x DVI-D port
  • 1 x HDMI port
  • 1 x optical S/PDIF output
  • 2 x eSATA ports
  • 1 x IEEE 1394a port
  • 1 x RJ45 (LAN) port
  • 6 x USB 2.0 ports
  • Analog Audio jacks
  • 1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse combo port
  • 1 x D-Sub port
  • 1 x DVI-D port
  • 1 x HDMI port
  • 1 x optical S/PDIF output
  • 1 x eSATA port
  • 1 x IEEE 1394a port
  • 1 x RJ45 (LAN) ports
  • 6 x USB 2.0 ports
  • Analog Audio jacks
Internal Connectors
  • 3 x USB headers (6 ports)
  • 1 x IDE connector
  • 1 x COM connector
  • 1 x parallel port
  • 5 x SATA connectors
  • 1 x 1394a connector
  • 1 x S/PDIF connector
  • 3 x USB headers (6 ports)
  • 1 x IDE connector
  • 6 x SATA connectors
  • 1 x S/PDIF connector
  • Power and reset buttons
  • Clear CMOS button
  • 3 x USB headers (6 ports)
  • 1 x floppy disk drive connector
  • 1 x IDE connector
  • 1 x serial port connector
  • 1 x parallel port connector
  • 5 x SATA connectors
  • 1 x 1394a connector
  • 1 x S/PDIF connector
Expansion Slots
  • 1 x PCIe 2.0 x16
  • 1 x PCIe x1
  • 2 x PCI
  • 1 x PCIe 2.0 x16
  • 2 x PCIe x1
  • 1 x PCI
  • 1 x PCIe 2.0 x16
  • 1 x PCIe x1
  • 2 x PCI
Special Features
  • ASUS Q-Fan
  • ASUS EZ Flash2
  • ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3
  • ASUS Express Gate
  • ASUS EPU-4 Engine
  • ASUS Turbo Key
  • ASUS GPU NOS
  • eJiffy
  • @BIOS
  • Q-Flash
  • Xpress Recovery2
  • EasyTune
  • Easy Energy Saver
  • Time Repair
  • Q-Share
Form Factor mATX (24.4 x 24.4cm)