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 Significant Motherboards.

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PostSubject: Significant Motherboards.   Wed Oct 19, 2011 1:50 pm

Computers are phenomenally flexible, configurable equipment. That's kinda why we love 'em a whole lot. But there are limits from what you can achieve. And most of people are defined by your available choice of motherboard, all of which implies clarity of purpose is certainly paramount. Identify what you want in your PC and ensure you have a motherboard correspond.
This month we've specific a trio of motherboard pairings geared to three popular usage versions: small-form factor systems together with HTPC capability, overclocking rigs in addition to high-end multi-GPU gaming creatures.
Before we come for the boards in question, what on the seminal AMD or Intel concern? Actually, at the moment it's not much of a quandary as a result of the feebleness of many of AMD's processor product spectrum. We've said it in advance of, but it's seriously bad news for the whole PC industry to have AMD struggling to help keep Intel honest.
If the essential 45nm die shrink with the AMD Phenom family for processors doesn't close any gap significantly, expect to find out Intel push up the costs. For now, if performance is usually a priority, AMD chips are usually frankly uncompetitive, even for the more affordable end with the spectrum. But throw issues like power consumption, form factor and HTPC considerations into your mix and it's quite a different story.
For the particular HTPC-centric category, we've therefore turned to a couple brand new AMD-compatible boards together with the latest and most state-of-the-art integrated chipsets, the GeForce 8200M coming from NVIDIA and AMD's 780G. If there's an Intel-powered alternative that comes all around these two for small-form issue media PC prowess, we've yet to discover it.
Palit's N78S along with the Gigabyte GA-MA780GM-S2H are equally micro-ATX boards with all of passive cooling and complicated new DirextX 10 equipped integrated CPUs. Indeed, they both represent our first taste of any new take on multi-GPU design rendering from NVIDIA along with AMD, dubbed 'Hybrid SLI' and also 'Hybrid CrossFire' respectively.
The normal idea behind both could be the pairing up of the actual motherboard's integrated GPU which includes a discrete graphics card. Even so the details diverge enough to produce them substantially different propositions.
Partnering Up
Both solutions allow users for boosting the performance of a good add-in graphics card by just running it in multi-GPU mode with all the integrated graphics chip. In line with claims from both NVIDIA and even AMD, the result can be a big boost in efficiency for low-end graphics credit cards. In practice, it's an overly complex and inefficient strategy for achieving barely acceptable three dimensional performance, but more about that later. Hybrid CrossFire's abilities essentially end there. The more appealing of the two hands down is Hybrid SLI, represented by Palit's N78S and NVIDIA GeForce 8200M chipset. That's because Hybrid SLI cap also represent a power-saving measure for high end PCs. In this case, users can switch between an excellent but noisy and glutinous graphics board as well as the onboard integrated GPU with within Windows.
There's no requirement to reboot or swap watch cables around. Connect your monitor towards motherboard's video-out port and permit the NVIDIA driver software to accomplish the rest. That includes completely turning down the add-in GPU and its particular cooling fan. Clever, right? Hybrid graphics with DirectX 10 support isn't the one common feature. These boards also discuss the honor of sporting the primary integrated chipsets to boast full hardware acceleration of most three of the necessary video codecs, VC-1, AVC in addition to MPEG2. In both situations, this comes courtesy with the latest 2D video cars from NVIDIA and AMD, often known as PureVideo HD and UVD. That's precisely what you require, of course, to ensure smooth playback of 100 % 1080p Blu-ray discs.
Property HD Motherboards
If the two of these home cinema-centric boards can be remarkably similar, there's also little between the P35 pairing we've selected for any overclocking showdown. The simple truth is, Intel's P35 remains the weapon of choice, if it's pure COMPUTER speed you're seeking. Astonishingly, that remains the case despite having the arrival of NVIDIA's swanky different 790i, a chipset we suspected could possibly topple the P35 chipset coming from its position of king with the overclockers.
It's not uncommon to find P35 hit bus speeds much more than 500MHz without the dependence on hit and miss tweaking involving northbridge voltages. Even Intel's latest X48 chipset typically does run out of use your electronic cigarette around 475MHz. In in which context, attention to element and execution will independent MSI P35 Platinum with Asus's trusty P5K3 Elite.
But what of high-end motherboard design to make the basis of multi-GPU results PCs? Until recently, the pickings were a tad thin. Intel's X38 in addition to X48 chipsets are great things indeed, in phrases of performance. But on account of NVIDIA's decision to lock SLI technology as a result of its own chipsets (unnecessarily in the view), the X38 and also X48 only support AMD's contesting CrossFire platform. That meant SLI fans were forced to search with the somewhat substandard NVIDIA 680i or 780i possibility. But not anymore. NVIDIA is back on form while using the 790i. It will be a really tight contest for major honors. If that's the theory behind all these decks, how do they perform inside the silicon?
Perhaps the most intriguing motherboards listed below are the AMD-compatible micro-ATX try. In concert with the lowest voltage dual-core Athlon sixty four processor they deliver genuinely spectacular power efficiency. Both on the boards are within spitting mileage of 100 watts functioning at full CPU load and idle across the 50 watt mark.
That's for just a full system with 2GB with RAM, hard disk plus optical drive. That represents as small as a quarter of the consumption of a high-end quad-core rig. Furthermore, it translates into extremely unobtrusive operation what a perfect match for a residence cinema installation Less impressive is a performance of its much-touted DX10 designed GPUs, in 3D mode at the very least. Neither are capable regarding anything remotely resembling a great gaming experience. And frankly neither pack enough grunt for making the Hybrid dual-GPU option in any way attractive.
Where things get more interesting is the tournament for home cinema expertise. And that must demand Gigabyte thanks to a HDMI port and wholly driver-supported 2D acceleration heart. Add in a low-voltage AMD Athlon 64 X2 dual-core processor and you then have a motherboard and CPU mix with full HD capabilities for under $l80.
As for a P35 overclocker's boards, it truly is mostly one-way traffic. A direct result of 520MHz is an impressive bus speed to kick or punch for any Intel-compatible motherboard. The point that the Asus P5K3 Deluxe is capable of it without any voltage tweaks tends to make an extremely user-friendly overclocking base. You can be confident you'll have access to the most out of any CPU on this motherboard.
Our only doubt involves the point that it's a DDR3 motherboard. Theoretically the higher clockspeeds of DDR3 memory needs to be a boon for overclocking. In practice, a pair of top quality DD2 memory DIMMs perform the job just tine. Factor in this utterly ludicrous price regarding DDR3 memory sticks as well as the benefits just don't mount up.
Performance per Pound
That just leaves just that big ticket X48 and also 790i pairing from MSI as well as Asus respectively. There's no doubting the new Striker II Extreme from Asus can be a sickeningly desirable thing. Many techniques from its feature-packed BIOS, towards hardware power and reset buttons as well as the northbridge heatsink pre-plumbed regarding water cooling, reek connected with quality, class and above all expense.
The 790i chipset furthermore brings NVIDIA's SLI platform bang informed with DDR3 and ideal PCI Express support, together with decent overclocking headroom. Competitive with it is, however, it just cannot be worth nearly $450. Particularly if it offers less overclocking pizazz than Asus's own sub-$l50 Intel P35 enter. The performance advantage with the 790i chipset is much too slender to make any real-world difference, too.
The spoils must therefore head over to MSI's X48 platinum. It is just a lean, mean enthusiast board for a sensible price. Yes, it does lock you actually into AMD's CrossFire platform with regard to multi-GPU support. But until NVIDIA leaves the interests of buyers prior to its own selfish wants to maximize revenues from SLI chipsets, a wonderful multi-GPU platform simply seriously isn't possible.
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