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MSI 785GM-E65 Motherboard and AMD 785G Chipset Review
MSI 785GM-E65 Motherboard and AMD 785G Chipset Review - PCSTATS
MSI's 785GM-E65 motherboard is built around the AMD 785G and SB710 chipsets, and features 128MB integrated DDR3 SidePort memory. MSI has adapted the AMD 785G chipset into a micro-ATX form factor, an ideal size for small home and office computers, and best of all Home Theatre PCs.
 80% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: MSI Aug 13 2009   J. Apong  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > MSI 785GM-E65

Conclusions: AMD 785G - the next IGP Evolution?

The MSI 785GM-E65 motherboard represents an evolutionary step forward for AMD's integrated chipsets and the Dragon platform as a whole. AMD has taken the 780G chipset, popular with home theatre enthusiasts for its High Definition video options, and brought forth small, but noticeable improvements to keep pace with increasing technological demands and Microsoft's Windows 7 operating system.

It's true that the Radeon HD 4200 is virtually identical to the Radeon HD 3200 IGP in every way that matters, but has been upgraded to DirectX 10.1, equipped with Unified Video Decoder 2.0, and better hardware acceleration for certain desktop applications. Motherboards like the MSI 785GM-E65 are fully compatible with Windows 7, and the AMD 785G integrated graphics support all its new graphics and eyecandy options.

Under testing, PCSTATS found that the Radeon HD 4200 IGP was a little faster than the Radeon HD 3200 IGP it's replacing, even though both of them share a 500MHz core clock speed. Both of these IGPs lose out to the more-expensive Radeon HD 3300 found on AMD 790GX motherboards, which is blessed with a 700MHz core clock speed, but again the point is largely moot.

None of these IGPs are capable of playing current games at acceptable resolutions or detail settings, so paying extra money for more IGP gaming performance is a dead-end. If you're a gamer and you're eyeing an AMD 785G motherboard, save up some extra money and get yourself a Radeon HD 4770 videocard to go along with it.

As you saw, PCSTATS tested the AMD 785 chipset with ATI Stream, to see just how good a GPU-accelerated desktop really is. When programs are able to fully harness the abilities of the Radeon HD 4200, the results can be pretty compelling, with noticeable performance gains in graphics-heavy and transcoding applications. The biggest drawback right now to ATI Stream is its limited software support. There simply aren't all that many programs that take advantage of discrete graphics or IGPs at this point in time.

MSI's 785GM-E65 microATX motherboard is a good platform which is really feature-ladden. An equivalent MicroATX board from Intel would be spartan by feature-comparison. There's support for AMD's latest socket AM3 processors, it can handle up to 16GB of DDR3 memory at speeds of DDR3 800/1066/1333, has five SATA 3Gb/s connections (RAID 0/1/0+1/JBOD) and of course HDMI/DVI/VGA outputs. The only real sacrifice is that it has only one PCI Express x16 slot, so CrossfireX isn't a possibility, but that's likely not something you'd want to be doing on a micro-ATX motherboard anyway.

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Performance-wise the MSI 785GM-E65 motherboard was a small but solid step ahead of previous AMD chipsets, and is an excellent match for AMD's new Athlon II X2 250 processor. With DDR3 memory rapidly dropping in price, it's easy to build a versatile micro-ATX system for under $500 CDN, and getting a decent videocard for games will only run another $100 CDN or so.

If you're already running one of AMD's previous 700-series chipsets as the basis for a current PC, the AMD 785G chipset isn't a dramatic enough change to warrant an upgrade. However the MSI 785GM-E65 and the AMD 785G chipset is easy to recommend to anyone who has purchased a new socket AM3 processor and wants to put it into an affordable but fully-featured motherboard. It's versatile, stable, performs well, and best of all at $95 CDN, ($90 USD, £55 GBP), it's the same price as the AMD 780G motherboards it replaces - that's value you can take to the bank!

PCSTATS Recommended Product Award

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Contents of Article: MSI 785GM-E65
 Pg 1.  MSI 785GM-E65 Motherboard and AMD 785G Chipset Review
 Pg 2.  ATI Stream and HD Acceleration
 Pg 3.  High-Definition Content Playback Tests
 Pg 4.  MSI 785GM-E65 Motherboard Highlights
 Pg 5.  Overclocking the Motherboard and IGP, BIOS screenshots
 Pg 6.  Motherboard Benchmarks: Test System Specs & SYSmark 2007
 Pg 7.  Motherboard Benchmarks: 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.  — Conclusions: AMD 785G - the next IGP Evolution?

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