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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
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   J. Apong  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > Gigabyte GA-MA790FXT-UD5P

Total System Power Draw and Conclusions

Total System Power Draw


Here's how the Gigabyte GA-MA790FXT-UD5P motherboard stacks up in real life against a couple different motherboards. We have no way of directly measuring motherboard power draw, so PCSTATS measures total system power draw and compares that in CPU-loaded (max value recorded in Prime95) and idle states (at Windows Vista desktop). An Extech 380803 AC Power Analyzer and A-PFC compliant PC Power and Cooling 750W power supply were used for these tests.

PCSTATS Benchmark ReportSystem Power Draw Tests:
Desktop Idle (W) Watts Ranking
Gigabyte GA-MA790FXT-UD5P (AMD 790FX 200/1066 AM3 Phenom II X4 955 GF GTS250) 149
ASUS M4A78T-E (AMD 790GX 200/1066 AM3 Phenom II X3 720 GF 8800GTS) 143
ASUS M3A78-T (AMD 790GX 200/1066 AM3 Phenom II X3 720 GF 8800GTS) 155
Foxconn A7DA-S (790GX 200/800 GF 8800GTS) 131
Biostar Tpower N750 (NF 750a 200/800 AM2 X2 5000+ GF 8800GTS 320MB) 110
Prime95 Stressed (W) Watts Ranking
Gigabyte GA-MA790FXT-UD5P (AMD 790FX 200/1066 AM3 Phenom II X4 955 GF GTS250) 221
ASUS M4A78T-E (AMD 790GX 200/1066 AM3 Phenom II X3 720 GF 8800GTS) 188
ASUS M3A78-T (AMD 790GX 200/1066 AM3 Phenom II X3 720 GF 8800GTS) 214
Foxconn A7DA-S (790GX 200/800 GF 8800GTS) 192
Biostar Tpower N750 (NF 750a 200/800 AM2 X2 5000+ GF 8800GTS 320MB) 187

Gigabyte's GA-MA790FXT-UD5P has the highest power draw under load, and the second-highest while idle, but again, the performance numbers are skewed since there are different parts in the various test systems. It will take further reviews with this setup to really determine the true speed of this motherboard.

PCSTATS' final thoughts on the GA-MA790FXT-UD5P are next!

The ideal AMD Phenom II motherboard?

The Gigabyte GA-MA790FXT-UD5P is very close to being the ideal companion for an AMD Phenom II processor. The motherboard straddles the line between expensive overclocking motherboards from the likes of ASUS Republic of Gamers series, and more generic motherboards that simply mirror AMD's reference motherboard designs.

In terms of features and support, the socket AM3 Gigabyte GA-MA790FXT-UD5P motherboard uses DDR3 memory at speeds of 1066/1333MHz, or 1666MHz when overclocking, and can hold up to 16GB of RAM when running in a 64-bit operating environment. Only socket AM3 AMD processors can be used with this motherboard, which right now limits it to Phenom II processors only.

Gigabyte's GA-MA790FXT-UD5P motherboard is designed with Crossfire X multi-videocard support in mind. While it doesn't support some of the more exotic 4-way Crossfire configurations, putting in dual videocards, or even dual-GPU dual videocards like the Radeon 4870X2 in Crossfire mode. All of this videocard handling prowess is done by the dual x16 PCI Express 2.0 lanes, which have more than enough bandwidth for any current videocards.

To round out the rest of the expansion slots, the Gigabyte GA-MA790FXT-UD5P also has three PCI Express x1 slots, and a pair of legacy PCI slots. These are intelligently arranged so that even when using wider videocards there will still be a few empty slots for peripherals. The I/O panel is similarly well stocked, with eight USB 2.0 ports, dual gigabit ethernet connections, dual firewire connections, as well as optical audio and stereo outputs. The extra USB ports are especially helpful given the ever-growing amount of peripherals which are now sharing this bus.

Gigabyte ensures that owners of the GA-MA790FXT-UD5P aren't wanting for storage space, with ten SATA II ports available to handle harddrives and optical drives. Six of these are controlled by the AMD SB750 southbridge, and can be run in RAID 0, 1, 5, 10 and JBOD modes. The remaining four can be placed in RAID 0, 1 and JBOD mode, using dual integrated JMicron controllers. There's also an IDE and floppy controller for plugging in older storage devices.

Finally Gigabyte has included a lot of extras with the GA-MA790FXT-UD5P that have gone into the overall design of the board. Gigabyte's Ultra-Durable 3 uses solid-state capacitors, more efficient MOSFETs for power, and a thicker copper layer on the PCB, all of which translate into a more reliable motherboard, and will hopefully extend the motherboard's lifespan.

This attention to detail has also translated into setting up and installing the motherboard. Gigabyte does a good job of labeling on-board motherboard headers, the included Click-Connect SATA cables are easy to install and secure, and the motherboard even has on-board power, reset and clear CMOS buttons, what are especially handy for overclockers.

Altogether a motherboard this fully-featured is a steal at just $235 CDN ($190 USD, £130 GBP). While other motherboard manufacturers might have slapped the word "Gamer" on it and raised the price by $100, Gigabyte has sensibly kept the price low, in line with AMD's CPU pricing scheme. When paired with one of the new socket AM3 Phenom II processors, the Gigabyte GA-MA790FXT-UD5P can become a real powerhouse.

PCSTATS Editor's Choice Award

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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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