It is hard to argue against
the simple fact that nVIDIA inevitably dominates in whatever field it plays in.
What you might not realize is that chipsets are the keys to computers, they
unlock the potential of a processor and add long lists of features to a computer
For AMD to
succeed in the future, it needs to build a pedigree of inexpensive and fully
featured chipsets that draw in users on a budget. After all, we all want to
spend the absolute least for the most return, right? With that kind of mind set,
a motherboard based on the AMD 690G that offers you good solid performance in
WindowsXP or Vista, comes with a built in videocard, and even allows you to
output HD movies to a big screen HDTV via one thin HDMI cable... all for under
$100 bucks. That kind of feature set is hard to resist, and one of the reasons
why the AMD 690G is so popular.
of the AMD 690G is certainly a good thing for consumers, although AMD has seen
its Athlon64 processor sidelined by the more lucrative Intel Core 2 Duo series.
Yet on a platform level - comparing Intel's G33 integrated video chipset to
AMD's 690G integrated video chipset - AMD wins hands down in our books. Both AMD
and nVidia learned long ago that features win, and the more things you can cram
onto a motherboard end up directly saving the consumer money.
Gigabyte GA-MA69G-S3H motherboard PCSTATS tested today really only needs a CPU,
some memory, a power supply and a hard drive to become a complete computer
system with a long list of capabilities. A killer gaming PC it may not be, but
neither is any other integrated video motherboard out there. As you saw in
PCSTATS's benchmarks, the performance difference between the AMD 690G and the
nVIDIA GeForce 7050PV is almost negligible when it comes to 2D applications.
Slap in a full PCI Express videocard and 3D gaming becomes a reality.
I also like
the option of being able to run Crossfire with the Gigabyte GA-MA69G-S3H
motherboard (one card running x16, the other x4), but I'm not sure I would ever
actually implement dual videocards on this class of platform. Dual Radeon's
operating in Crossfire is an expensive proposition, and I tend to think
consumers would be better served operating it on an enthusiast grade chipset
like the Intel P35...
line, the Gigabyte GA-MA69G-S3H motherboard is a good simple
mainstream platform for building an AMD Socket AM2 motherboard. For 2D tasks,
like regular office work, surfing the web and the like, this motherboard is a
perfectly suitable and quite inexpensive. The onboard Radeon Xpress 1250
videocard handles 2D applications just fine, and is Windows Vista Aeroglass
compliant. Better still, the onboard HDMI connector allows the Gigabyte
GA-MA69G-S3H to output video at 1920x1080 (1080p), audio and is HDCP
benchmarks we saw that the Gigabyte GA-MA69G-S3H motherboard perform at the same
levels as the nVIDIA GeForce 7050PV. When it came to the 3D stuff, the onboard
Radeon Xpress 1250 videocard was quickly overpowered by the 3D games. Of course,
the same is true for the GeForce 7050 onboard graphics card too. If you're a
gamer, buy a good PCI Express x16 videocard and install it... just think twice
before going down the Crossfire route with a mainstream motherboard such as
this. If you're an
enthusiast, our overclocking result of 284MHz with the Gigabyte
GA-MA69G-S3H won't get you very excited. Too bad, the board is otherwise
With a retail price of
($94USD, £49 GBP), the
Gigabyte GA-MA69G-S3H motherboard is an inexpensive choice no matter how you
look at it. With HDMI right there, and HDCP support, Gigabyte's GA-MA69G-S3H can
be the perfect foundation for your next low cost PC or even a HTPC media center.
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