AMD 785G motherboard chipset hands-on test
The first socket AM3 motherboards with the new onboard graphics chipset AMD 785G are already available. We tested the Asus M4A785TD-V Evo with 785G and the integrated graphics unit Radeon HD 4200 in a HTPC.
According to AMD the 785G chipset and the new dual-core processors of the Athlon II series will form the optimal system for working PCs with Windows 7. Since the onboard graphics unit will help calculating HD videos, 785G systems are predestined for Blu ray capable HTPCs.
The first onboard graphics chipset and predecessor 780G was suitable for simple 3D games or half-decent titles with low settings. Furthermore it supports the CPU while playing HD videos. The new chipset 790GX does that as well. On many motherboards the integrated graphics is combined with a separate memory chip via Sideport technology - which enhances the performance to the standard of entry-level graphics cards.
The graphics unit HD 4200 of the current 785G chip even supports Direct X 10.1 instead of DX10 as well as two Unified Video Decoders instead of one. Furthermore the chip enhances some video details such as dynamic contrast or more realistic skin tones. Up to now we have not been able to compare the presentation quality with other onboard graphics solutions. New is HDMI 1.3 support - the 780G only offers HDMI 1.2.
The first board with 785G chipset in our test lab was the Asus M4A785TD-V Evo. It comes with the Southbridge SB710. The SB750 including RAID 5 support is compatible to the 785G Northbridge as well. The motherboard also includes the Asus technology called Express Gate - a mini operating system which allows viewing pictures, surfing and skyping. Our first test results can be found on the next page.
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