You know what the feeling is like. You get the latest and greatest technology that has just been introduced and touted to be the thing that will change the world. After you get it and set it up, you get to be one of the first ones to posts scores in your favorite forums (Legit Reviews of course!) and show everyone the monstrous scores that you are getting! It is a lot of fun, make no mistake about it. The enuthiast lives for that kind of stuff. That is not where most people live when it comes to personal computing. Most will wait a good 3 years or so before they feel the need to upgrade. And when they get to that point, they have already answered this one question over and over again, “Will it be worth it?” Even the enthusiast tends to get a little buyers remorse after the initial rush of 3 more fps! It is a valid question.
I say all that to introduce the little battle that I went through in testing an AMD 690 board against an AMD 790fx board. Certainly there are lots of things that are to be considered when it comes to upgrading. Questions like, “Will it support the next generation of processors? Will it have the necessary features added to it to run the next gen of peripherals?” Those and other questions are valid. If you need Firewire for your new video camera and your current motherboard does not have Firewire, that is an option you need to look for. But when it comes down to it, increased performance is what most people are looking for after they have made the upgrade. “Will I see a difference?” That is the question! So our question when looking at both chipsets was, “Will it make a difference in what we would do day to day?” That is our quest as we take our two candidates through our test suite.
One of the boards we used in our testing is the Gigabyte GA-MA69GM-S2H motherboard that sports the 690G chipset. The other board was also reviewed here at Legit not to long ago, and is the Asus M3A32-MVP Deluxe. Both board will be running a Phenom 9900 CPU and an ATI 3850 video card. When running those items with the Asus board, it becomes part of the Spider platform that Nate also reviewed here at Legit last fall.
As we saw in our introduction last fall, the Spider platform is made up of the Phenom CPU, and ATI HD capable video card, and a 790 chipset equipped motherboard. We have all three in our test system ready to go! We are using a Phenom 9900 CPU, the Asus M3A32-MVP motherboard and an ATI 3850 video card.
So, get yourself caught up on the board and the Spider platform reviews linked above, and then we will take a quick look at the performance between the two chipsets, and see if it is worth your hard earned dollars to upgrade!