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Gigabyte GA-MA785GMT-UD2H AMD 785G Chipset Motherboard Review

Gigabyte GA-MA785GMT-UD2H AMD 785G Chipset Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: AMD's excellent upgrade paths mean the Gigabyte GA-MA785GMT-UD2H motherboard will support AMD Athlon II, Phenom II processors in the socket AM3 flavours. The GA-MA785GMT-UD2H is equipped with four DDR3 memory slots that can accommodate up to 16GB of DDR3.
 94% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Gigabyte Nov 27 2009   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > Gigabyte GA-MA785GMT-UD2H

Testing ATI Stream - HD Content Playback CPU Utilization

With HD video decoding becoming increasingly common and Blu-Ray becoming a standard technology in computer systems, it's important for graphics chipsets to not only support high-definition output formats, but also have hardware support for intensive High Definition CPU-decoding as well.

AMD's 785G chipset makes use of 'Unified Video Decoder', which directs HD playback decoding to the integrated Radeon HD 4200 GPU, rather than to the AMD processor, allowing the system to playback VC-1, MPEG-2 and H.264 content up to 1080p resolution with less CPU usage.

The rear I/O of the Gigabyte GA-MA785GMT-UD2H has DVI (maximum resolution of 2560 x 1600), HDMI (1920 x 1080), and VGA (2048 x 1536). The DVI output can be used in conjunction with either the HDMI or VGA output for multiple monitor output.

ATI Stream Technology / Hardware Accelerated Transcoding

To test out the new ATI Stream hardware acceleration, PCSTATS chose Cyberlink's MediaShow Espresso. It's a transcoding program that can take advantage of both CPUs and GPUs in order to convert video files from one format to another. MediaShow Espresso has a very simple interface for adding new files and several transcoding presets. PCSTATS tested MediaShow Espresso with the trailer for Pixar's movie "Up!" The original file format was a 1920x1080 Quicktime.MOV file, encoded in H.264-avc1. The test file was transcoded into a 1080p mpeg-2.

Cyberlink MediaShow Espresso Transcode Test

Time to Transcode

Gigabyte GA-MA785GMT-UD2H with discrete graphics (no hardware acceleration)

2:09

Gigabyte GA-MA785GMT-UD2H with Radeon HD 4200 IGP (hardware acceleration enabled)

1:31

As you can see, both the CPU and GPU work together in these instances to accelerate encoding performance. While the Radeon HD 4200 IGP isn't dramatically decreasing encoding times, it is shaving off a few seconds off every encode. The faster the processor, the more pronounced the effect of having hardware accelerated decoding becomes.

Blu-Ray Disc HD Playback

Blu-Ray High Definition content demands a lot of PC processing resources during playback, if CPU load becomes too high that can lead to jittery video quality or other artifacts. Many integrated graphics processors now feature Blu-Ray and High Definition H.264, VC1 and M-PEG2 content acceleration decoders to offload this processing from the CPU, freeing up system resources for other tasks.

The PCSTATS Blu-Ray HD content playback test scenario monitors average CPU utilization. It's simple and to the point. The motherboard's integrated graphics processor is taxed in the same way it would be in your home theatre environment, and average percent CPU utilization monitored with Windows task manager. Lower CPU utilization values are best, provided video playback remains smooth and stutter free.

How PCSTATS Tests: Each integrated graphics motherboard is connected to an ASUS MK241 wide screen 1920x1200 (1080P) resolution LCD display with an HDMI cable. The Blu-Ray movie "10,000 BC" (VC1 encrypted) is then played back from Chapter 22 on an ASUS BC-1205PT Blu-ray combo drive, using WinDVD Platinum software and the average fluctuation of CPU load recorded. Lower results are better.
PCSTATS Benchmark ReportBlu-Ray Content Playback Tests (BR-DVD)
Integrated Graphics Solution: % CPU Utilization Ranking
Intel GMA X4500HD 32 - 38%
AMD HD 4200 7 - 10%
AMD HD 3300 6 - 14%
Nforce 750a 18 - 20%

Under testing the Blu-Ray playback wasn't a huge tax on the AMD 785G chipset. While Intel's G45 chipset paired with a Core 2 Duo E6750 stayed at around 30 to 40% CPU load, the AMD 785G chipset stayed consistently under 30% load while playing back high-def content.

Hard Drive HD 720p/1080i Playback

Playing high definition content on current generation PCs can bog down even the fastest processors because there is more data to handle. To test the integrated graphics processor's capabilities at HD content accelerating capabilities, we played the High Definition video clip, "The Discoverers" at 720P and 1080i from the hard drive while monitoring the percentage of CPU utilization through Task Manager. Lower results are better.

PCSTATS Benchmark ReportHDD 720p/1080i Video Playback (Discoverers Video Clip)
720P (Avg): %CPU Utilization Ranking
ASUS P5Q-EM (IGP G45) 9
Gigabyte MA-785GMT-UD2H (IGP HD 4200) 10
ASUS M4A78T-E (IGP HD 3300) 17
ECS A780GM-A (IGP HD 3200) 30
Foxconn A690GM2MA-RS2H (IGP 3000) 35
Biostar Tpower N750 (IGP nF 750a) 24
Biostar TF8200 A2+ (IGP GF 8200) 60
1080i (Avg): %CPU Utilization Ranking
ASUS P5Q-EM (Onboard G45 ) 12
Gigabyte MA-785GMT-UD2H (IGP HD 4200)

15

ASUS M4A78T-E (onboard HD 3300 video) 20
ECS A780GM-A (Onboard HD 3200 Video 53
Foxconn A690GM2MA-RS2H (Onboard Video) 49
Biostar Tpower N750 (onboard nF 750a video) 18
Biostar TF8200 A2+ (onboard GF 8200 video) 64

CPU utilization is just a shade above the Intel P5Q-EM here, but the system overhead is so minimal that you won't notice in everyday use.

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Contents of Article: Gigabyte GA-MA785GMT-UD2H
 Pg 1.  Gigabyte GA-MA785GMT-UD2H AMD 785G Chipset Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  Gigabyte GA-MA785GMT-UD2H Motherboard Highlights
 Pg 3.  Integrated HD Decoding - AMD 785G chipset
 Pg 4.  — Testing ATI Stream - HD Content Playback CPU Utilization
 Pg 5.  Overclocking the Bus and IGP, BIOS Screenshots
 Pg 6.  Power Draw Tests, Test System Specs
 Pg 7.  Motherboard Benchmarks: Sysmark 2007, Sandra 2009
 Pg 8.  Motherboard Benchmarks: PCMark Vantage
 Pg 9.  Motherboard IGP Benchmarks: 3DMark06
 Pg 10.  Motherboard IGP Benchmarks: 3DMark Vantage, FEAR
 Pg 11.  DX10 Motherboard IGP Benchmarks: Call of Juarez, Crysis
 Pg 12.  AMD 785G - Great HD Decoding on the Cheap

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