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Gigabyte GA-MA69G-S3H AMD 690G Motherboard Review
Gigabyte GA-MA69G-S3H AMD 690G Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
The Gigabyte GA-MA69G-S3H motherboard PCSTATS is testing today is built around two of AMD's best mainstream chipsets, the AMD 690G Northbridge and SB600 Southbridge.
 78% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Gigabyte Aug 10 2007   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > Gigabyte GA-MA69G-S3H

AMD's Answer to HDMI Integration

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 desktop.

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.

The arrival 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.

The 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...

Bottom 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 compliant.

In the 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 quite nice.

With a retail price of $104 CDN, ($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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Contents of Article: Gigabyte GA-MA69G-S3H
 Pg 1.  Gigabyte GA-MA69G-S3H AMD 690G Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  High Definition Content over HDMI
 Pg 3.  Gigabyte GA-MA69G-S3H Motherboard Highlights
 Pg 4.  AMD 690G / ATI RS690 Chipset
 Pg 5.  Overclocking Options and BIOS Breakdown
 Pg 6.  Benchmarks: SYSmark 2007 Preview
 Pg 7.  Motherboard Benchmarks: PCMark05, 3DMark06
 Pg 8.  Motherboard Benchmarks: Doom 3, FEAR
 Pg 9.  HD Content Playback and Max Motherboard Overclocking Chart
 Pg 10.  — AMD's Answer to HDMI Integration

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