AMD 790GX - The Introduction

by Gary Key on 8/6/2008 12:00 PM EST


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  • Selbatrim - Wednesday, October 08, 2008 - link


    Why is it that no review sites are doing a proper review of the 790GX motherboards? Maybe in particular finding out about hybrid crossfire, the DFI LanParty JR 790GX-M2RS which has crossfire on an mATX board.

    I see people wanting reviews of this and the 4550 and 4350s. Why not include some crossfire on the 4550 and 4350? Think differently and let us have an interesting review that doesn't just include the same old stuff. Is 3 way crossfire with the onboard 3300 and 2 discrete cards even possible? Could be GREAT for a small low PSU box...

    But at LEAST follow up your preview with a full review! Some of us stupid AMD fanbois have had precious little good news in the CPU and chipset department and the 750 southbridge might just have something interesting to offer! I want testing!!! GIVE ME REVIEWS!!!

    *end rant*
  • MikeODanyurs - Wednesday, September 24, 2008 - link

    No kidding, it's almost 2 months now since the preliminary review and still waiting... Reply
  • computerfarmer - Tuesday, September 23, 2008 - link

    Gary Wrote, September 10, 2008
    An update, DFI decided to proceed forward with their uATX 790GX board. My retail kit arrived today and I will be testing it shortly. Also, based on your comments and others I will show a 4870x2 vs 4870 CF on this platform and compare it to 790FX. The roundup should be up late next week, G45 is up on Monday with 790GX/780G/GF8300/NF750a comparison results.


    This review is late.
  • computerfarmer - Tuesday, September 23, 2008 - link

    Perhaps we are waiting for Intel to see AMD.

    I(we) have been waiting since August 6th for this review.
  • MikeODanyurs - Thursday, September 18, 2008 - link

    I take it the finished article should be out tomorrow? Reply
  • computerfarmer - Wednesday, September 03, 2008 - link

    I have written to Gary about the upcoming article. Gary has said it is coming, perhaps by the 15th of September. From the email I received, it sounds like it is worth waiting for. This will include several motherboards with the same ChipSets, other comparisons may be there as well. This will include RAID5
    Updated BIOS and Drivers will be part of this article.
    Now we have time line.

    Thank you Gary
  • computerfarmer - Wednesday, September 03, 2008 - link

    It has been since August 6 since AnandTech first published an article on 790GX/SB750 from AMD. Certain remarks have been made about the products and the proof has been promised, but not delivered.

    This is the second time in a row this has been done to an AMD motherboard chipset.

    Trust is built on promises delivered. AnandTech is not delivering and is not saying why.

    It is now September 3rd
  • Yangorang - Saturday, August 30, 2008 - link

    Hey I have a friend that wants to build a super HTPC with the 790GX and RAID5 5 X 750GB hard drives. Troubles with 4+ drives in RAID5 were mentioned in the article. Were they serious issues at all? Please elaborate. Reply
  • MikeODanyurs - Saturday, August 23, 2008 - link

    Final review please???? Reply
  • mpjesse - Thursday, August 28, 2008 - link

    Going on 3 weeks now... nice. Reply
  • mpjesse - Friday, August 22, 2008 - link

    Did the writer get sick? Did he DIE? 2+ weeks to benchmark an integrated chipset? Practically the entire galaxy has already reviewed this chipset. I'm starting to get tired of both the physical speed (or lack thereof) of this website and the quickness (again, lack thereof) in which crap is published.

    -Fed Up
  • bravomail - Wednesday, August 20, 2008 - link

    Here is the article with the pictures (in russian unfortunately)">

    The guy ripped apart AMD BE CPU only to find out some bubbled thermopaste between chip and attached lid.

    Use Google translate to read this story.
  • computerfarmer - Tuesday, August 19, 2008 - link

    It is now the 19th of August, perhaps the review is coming soon?
    Beta BIOS was on the 13th of August.
  • OCedHrt - Thursday, August 14, 2008 - link

    With all this advancement in IGP, why does Hybrid Crossfire only work with low end cards? I would love to be able to use it with a 4850 or 4870 where the IGP switches completely over to the discrete as needed. Reply
  • MikeODanyurs - Sunday, August 17, 2008 - link

    The new DFI 790GX card states it has Hybrid CrossFire that will work with HD 3850 and I believe will even work with the IGP with 2 cards. Reply
  • someguy11 - Wednesday, August 13, 2008 - link

    "unless AMD can implement something akin to HybridPower from NVIDIA, which allows the discrete card to power down and switch to the IG unit at idle for less demanding tasks like Office Applications or Bejeweled. Otherwise, the IG unit and all of its potential benefits are wasted with a discrete card setup"

    Does anyone know if the implementation of something like HybridPower from AMD on the current day 790GX boards is possible?

    In other words, if I buy a 790GX will a power saving feature where the discrete card can be powered down be simply a BIOS flash or will new boards have to be made (assuming AMD develops something along this route)?

    I ask b/c this "power down" feature really interests me and if this can be implemented via a BIOS upgrade, then I am more apt to get a 790GX today rather than a 790FX board who knows when. I also like the idea of having a board with onboard IG so you can play the graphics card price wars when you want to.

    Thanks for the help!
  • ZootyGray - Tuesday, August 12, 2008 - link

    There are lots of unbiased websites offering useful reviews. I am sick of waiting for your uncompleted works and biased results.

    Your review of 4870x2 is the end of the line - that is the worst trash I have seen.

    Why would anyone want to wait for you to trash more AMD hardware.

    Save your energy for yourself. I do not need your self-importance.

    Maybe when you can followup on last May's 780G review, as promised, I might be interested - until then - I apologize for thinking you were some kinda good review place. Yer out. Bias is not quality. It's abuse. Not your victim anymore.
  • computerfarmer - Saturday, August 09, 2008 - link

    On page 2 it is noted as saying the new 790GX graphic is set(default) at 700mhz compared to the 780G at 500mhz. The manual for the Gigabyte GA-MA790GP-DS4H (rev. 1.0) page 42 has the default set at 650mhz. This leads me to believe that side by site tests from different manufacturers should show differences based on default settings. Also SidePort memory ratings need some attention. If SidePort is DDR3 at 1333mhz and system memory is at 800/1066mhz then how do they function together at different speeds? Or is the SidePort memory speed based on system memory up to 1333mhz?
    Thank you Anandtech for such an informative article.
  • maree - Friday, August 08, 2008 - link

    Quoting from the article
    "For the multimedia user, ... The SB750 does offer ACC and along with it the opportunity to run lower voltages ..."

    Does it mean motherboards running on this chipset can take a phenom 9550/9850BE an turn off 2 cores then expect the power performance of amd 4850e?
  • ZootyGray - Thursday, August 07, 2008 - link

    I really don't want to go dig up exact quotes from previous reviews.

    "The Three Amigos" review revealed "pop goes the mosfet" issues with products produced by various mobo manufacturers. I really liked that review - BUT - a followup was indicated as coming - and it never appeared.

    This review ends in a similar manner.

    And the Foxconn review seemed to really sidetrack and resulted in 3 articles; and for my little brain, I found it difficult to follow the coherence of the whole thing.

    Now we have a whole new chipset and a bunch of mobos you say you are benching soon. Ok, so that makes sense - assuming this will actually happen soon. No problem there.

    BUT - there's this really interesting comparison to 780G which you are presenting. I wonder what happened to the mosfet issue that you so beautifully revealed. I wonder - Is it in play here as well? I DOUBT that! This is a performance board - right?

    BUT - are you trying to lead some people to buy the original 780G boards regardless of resolution (if any) of the "pop goes the mosfet" issues. And asus has produced new mobos that clain 125watt handling power - ie no "pop"???

    I think all this uncertainty might be dangerous for some people with great expectations.
    I think some unfinished business should be clarified.
    I think some comment on 'mosfet' should be included in these upcoming benchies.

    I think this might be misleading a lot people - and your unfinished work is a little underhanded slight on AMD products. I REALLY HOPE you clear this mess up; since it was your baby to start with - and that was good. And that caused me to respect Anandtech.

    Please don't leave me just hanging on and waiting - I doubt I am the only one. I would prefer completion rather than assuming this is another antiAMD site, and have to go elsewhere. It's your credibility, for me, at least, at this point.

    Golf taught me that follow through is a big part of the golf swing. I know you are busy. Some loose ends can bite you. How close IS this to the 780G boards anyway? Has the "pop" been fixed?

    I hear Vanilla Fudge "Keep Me Hanging On" playing in the background - wow, it has been a while since I heard that.

    Thank you.
  • Janooo - Thursday, August 07, 2008 - link

    you could be right when you say:
    "Curiously enough, AMD cited "competitive concerns" as a reason why it would not disclose exactly what's going on with this new overclocking feature. We still cannot help but wonder if it is because AMD is going a little too far in the sacrifices, it is willing to make in the quest for higher clock speeds."

    Though, another reason could be that AMD found something nice that would give Intel even higher edge if they knew what AMD did.
  • ZootyGray - Thursday, August 07, 2008 - link

    "reason could be that AMD found something nice"

    Agree. And this same statement was uttered when ACC appeared in the SB750 review.

    I would like to know - WHAT is the sacrifice? The apparently unqualified statement seems to cast doubt and nasty slur, and really should be explained, methinks.
  • ET - Thursday, August 07, 2008 - link

    First of all, I'd like to say well done on letting us know of the issues and not rushing out a review like other sites. (Though I must say that having access to both fast and in depth reviews is the best of both worlds, so I'm also glad these other sites exist.)

    One thing which wasn't clear to me was: "vertex and texture caches are fully associative instead of separate." "Fully associative" has a meaning when it comes to caches, yet I imagine that's not what it's about. Sounds from the sentence like the caches have been unified (as opposed to separate).

    Since according to the text this is the only departure from the 2400's architecture, it'd be nice to clarify this point.
  • steveyballmer - Thursday, August 07, 2008 - link

    Too bad AMD has no clue in other areas!">
  • Frumious1 - Thursday, August 07, 2008 - link

    Too bad you're a douche spammer with a completely lame blog, and an even worse name. Come on AT! Get on the stick and ban this prick. I'm all for arguing on the message areas, but spam stinks. Reply
  • steveyballme - Thursday, August 07, 2008 - link

    Sheesh! You really hate Microsoft don't you?
    As far as I know, spam is that cheap canned meat you poor people eat!
  • quanta - Wednesday, August 06, 2008 - link

    It seems the 'new' Advanced Clock Calibration is based on something that already existed in SB700 but was undocumented.[1] Based on the speculation, ACC could be the clock skew feature used by some other motherboards.

    That aside, RAID5 is a definite welcome addition, but unless it includes XOR offload, it really isn't much of an improvement. BTW, it is inexcusable for not having Ethernet support these days.

    The claim of adding 2 specific 1.1 ports for compatibility reasons is confusing. USB 2.0 ports are 1.1 already compatible, just using slower speeds.

    HyperFlash is a poorly implemented idea, especially when production Flash SSDs already exceed the maximum bandwidth of HyperFlash modules anyway. It is better off to just wait for Flash SSDs to mature.

  • Goty - Wednesday, August 06, 2008 - link

    It's possible, but I find it odd that a notoriously anti-AMD site (at least recently) like did absolutely no testing to confirm this hypothesis. Reply
  • chucky2 - Wednesday, August 06, 2008 - link please give us 690G results along with it, for the benchmarks and power consumption. This way, we can see if 780G and/or 790GX, or one of the other competing solutions, is a worthwhile upgrade for us. One of the Gigabyte 690G boards would be perfect...

  • ZootyGray - Thursday, August 07, 2008 - link

    And which manufacturer's 780G mobo would run with a Phenom 9950BE ? Is that possible?

    I am wondering how far the 780G comparison can go; since several mobos were destroyed back in April or May anand testing. (search The Three Amigos or "pop goes the mosfet"). Did the various manufacturers make any changes to replace the cheap mosfets they were using? 780G is a great N/B chip but some older(?) boards need lower-power cpu's. Other newer boards? - not sure yet. Still awaiting the update on all that. Did I miss something?
  • chucky2 - Thursday, August 07, 2008 - link

    So when the review comes out, use the maximum CPU that the 690G board supports, and carry that forward to the 780G and 790GX boards.

    Also it'd be nice to see the CPU comparison on like minimum CPU needed to play 1080p content.

    Also, best price/performance CPU out, cheapest dual core out, and older AM2 CPU's such as the 3600+ X2.

    Show us what we can expect when it's not a Phenom running in there, i.e. give us information users - both existing and new - would find helpful in the review.

  • yyrkoon - Wednesday, August 06, 2008 - link

    Lets just say that Stability is the main reason why I purchase what I purchase name brand wise. Motherboards, memory, and power supplies are my main concerns and probably will be for a long time to come.

    Anyways, performance numbers etc are always good to know also, but I think it would be good if you guys at anandtech could put some 'stability figures' in your motherboard results as well. "This board performed well ..." would not work for those of us who want to know actual figures either. So maybe you guys can include a page, half a page or something dedicated strictly to stability ?

    One of the main reasons why I am asking for this is as an example, I have an AM2 opteron system, as well as Core 2 Duo system, and while I love my AM2 system, and it *is* 'very stable', it still can not touch the rock solid stability of the Intel system. I do not pretend to know why, but I would love to figure out why . . . Both system have a board made by the same manufacturer, have used the same memory, video card(same company made both the GPU, and motherboard chipsets - nVidia)power supply, and hard drives. Hell, the Intel system has even been overclocked for 6-7 months now : /

    Going from the above I am left at guessing that it is either 1) a hardware implementation, or 2) drivers. User error *is* a possibility, but I would like to think that since I have been fixing / integrating systems since the early 90's . . . well that I at least know half of what I am doing. That said, this 'issue' is still over my head.
  • Calin - Thursday, August 07, 2008 - link

    It could be hardware implementation, it could be something that could be solved by a microcode/BIOS update, or maybe not. Also, there might be a difference between individual components (as similar as they are in theory), difference in general quality between the two mainboards, difference in component quality on boards (either by design or by chance/bad capacitors). It might be in the drivers, or just in things written in the processor errata which are not taken into account by the software. Reply
  • flipmode - Wednesday, August 06, 2008 - link

    What does underrated mean - that the Phenom hasn't been given the credit it is due? That's pretty much what it sounds like, and if that's the case then, isn't that ball in you guys' hands? Reply
  • flipmode - Wednesday, August 06, 2008 - link

    gah! the quote button didn't work. my above post was supposed to start with this quote:

    "That brings us to what we see as the jewel of this product release, the SB750. It brings sorely needed overclocking headroom for the underrated Phenom processor"
  • Calin - Thursday, August 07, 2008 - link

    In this case, I think underrated means "rated at an inferior clock speed" Reply
  • ZootyGray - Tuesday, August 12, 2008 - link

    it means it should be rated higher - but due to bias, market manipulation, and the gullibility of the general public - not to mention deliberate choice of test conditions designed to make look bad, unbeknownst to the gullible public, or deliberate intent to just emphasize all problems with little or no basis in fact - etc etc etc
    - and then delays and other self-important indulgences.

    Opposite to overrated. Result of market hype - a belief that the usual is superior when it has already gone flat.

    You know there are test reports all over the internet.
  • MikeODanyurs - Wednesday, August 06, 2008 - link

    What's the word on the AMD OverDrive 2.1.2 release? Reply
  • Ephebus - Saturday, August 09, 2008 - link

    They can't even get a simple utility like AMD Power Monitor right, so I wouldn't expect much if I were you. AMD Power Monitor won't report the cores' clocks correctly anymore if the processor is overclocked - it shows the values as if it wasn't overclocked. The last version that worked OK with overclocked processors was version 1.0.2. There have been 3 releases since that version, and I've complained to AMD every time a new release would come out that the utility had stopped working correctly. Then finally some AMD guy said he tested it under Vista and it worked OK, but not under XP. Maybe they are not aware of all the people who won't touch Vista with a ten-foot pole? I was really disappointed by this kind of "support" and pretty much gave up on AMD. I've been buying inferior processors from them just to support the company (yes, I'm that idealist), but in my next upgrade I'll go Intel all the way. Reply
  • ZootyGray - Tuesday, August 12, 2008 - link

    I don't believe anything you say. Your problem is not AMD's fault - is it?

    And do you suppose we should assume that an antitrust busted monopolist will babysit and care for us all?

    If so, you would probably put me in charge too - right? Careful.
  • Ephebus - Thursday, August 14, 2008 - link

    The utility is made by AMD for AMD processors, so yes, it is AMD's fault, fanboy. Reply

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