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Gigabyte GA-MA790FXT-UD5P AMD 790FX Socket AM3 Motherboard Review

Gigabyte GA-MA790FXT-UD5P AMD 790FX Socket AM3 Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: Gigabyte's GA-MA790FXT-UD5P motherboard is based on the AMD 790FX and SB750 chipsets and offers up much in the way of dual videocard gaming and generally fast socket AM3 AMD processor support.
 84% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Gigabyte May 22 2009   Julian Apong  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > Gigabyte GA-MA790FXT-UD5P

Overclocking the AMD 790FX and the BIOS

Overclocking Results:
Stock Max. OC
Motherboard Speed: 200 MHz

310 MHz

If you're new to Overclocking and not sure what to do, check out these two excellent Guides for some pointers:
Overclocking the CPU and Memory
Overclocking the Videocard

It's time to find out how far the Gigabyte GA-MA790FXT-UD5P motherboard can be pushed!

With an AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition processor in the AM3 socket, PCSTATS loaded up the BIOS to make changes so neither the memory or CPU would hold the Gigabyte board from reaching its maximum motherboard bus speed. To start the Phenom II X4' multiplier was lowered from 16x to 8x, and the two sticks of 2GB Corsair XMS31600C9 DDR3-1600 memory were set to run in DDR3-800 MHz mode, this way it won't be holding the CPU back either. AMDs standard AVC Z7U7414001 heatsink was used and PCSTATS also disabled features like Cool'n'quiet and AMD C1E support.

With these changes made, PCSTATS started overclocking the bus speed on the Gigabyte GA-MA790FXT-UD5P motherboard from 200 MHz. The Gigabyte GA-MA790FXT-UD5P motherboard easily managed a quick leap from 200MHz up to 250MHz, and then 275MHz, 285MHz, 295MHz and 310MHz. The system would post at 315MHz bus speed, was wasn't stable in Windows Vista so we had to settle for a maximum motherboard overclock of 310MHz. Not too bad at all!

A quick peek into the BIOS:

The BIOS controls how the motherboard communicates with all the peripherals connected to it, and is a crucial component for any good well rounded motherboard. PCSTATS is only going to highlight the tweaking features so you'll know what to expect.

There aren't many surprises here. The Gigabyte GA-MA790FXT-UD5P's bios opens up the most critical overclocking features up, including the northbridge/Hypertransport frequency, and the overall clock speed. For those who use Phenom II Black Edition processors, it will also be possible to adjust CPU multipliers.

The advanced memory screen lets you configure some of the more exotic memory settings, while memory timings and frequencies are set on the JumperFree configuration page. Most of these memory settings will only be used for troubleshooting purposes or to get very exotic memory working properly on the Gigabyte GA-MA790FXT-UD5P, so most users can safely leave it alone.

The advanced memory screen lets you configure some of the more exotic memory settings, while memory timings and frequencies are set on the main overclocking configuration page. Most of these memory settings will only be used for troubleshooting purposes or to get very exotic memory working properly on the Gigabyte GA-MA790FXT-UD5P motherboard, so most users can safely leave it alone.

Advanced Clock Calibration can potentially be used to turn a triple-core Phenom II x3 720 Black Edition processor into a quad-core 920 Black Edition processor, by unlocking one of the unused CPU cores. This feature is still largely experimental, and supposedly works by increasing the error tolerance on the locked CPU core. Whether this works for you and your chip will largely depend on blind luck, as only some chips will actually have usable locked cores.

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Contents of Article: Gigabyte GA-MA790FXT-UD5P
 Pg 1.  Gigabyte GA-MA790FXT-UD5P AMD 790FX Socket AM3 Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  Gigabyte GA-MA790FXT-UD5P Motherboard Highlights
 Pg 3.  — Overclocking the AMD 790FX and the BIOS
 Pg 4.  Test System Specs / Benchmarks: Sysmark 2007, Sandra 2009
 Pg 5.  Motherboard Benchmarks: PCMark Vantage
 Pg 6.  Motherboard Benchmarks: 3DMark06, Vantage, FEAR
 Pg 7.  Total System Power Draw and Conclusions

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