If I were to ask most of our readers how often they upgrade, I would imagine that the typical answer for MOST of our readers would be once every 2 years. We have some readers that will do the six month cycle with a product, and even a few that change their system more than they do their underwear. With the number of revisions and new product launches that we see, it certainly is easy to make changes nearly weekly to your system. Some of the changes certainly are substantial, most are not. The question that has been bouncing around in my head over the last few months is, “Have we reached a technology plateau?” Now every tech company out there wants us to think the answer is no. And there certainly are advances being made with every release. I guess the bigger question would be, “Have we reached a plateau of the need for faster computing for where software and user needs are at?” Is it worth the money to upgrade to get 2fps faster for gaming, or to rip that DVD 3.78 seconds faster than we could have before? I personally hate answering those questions, because I am, and always will be, a tech guy. I love gadgets, I love new technology. I love the smell of new PCB in my house. Therefore, and I know I am not alone, I will likely always be trying out the new stuff as soon as it hits the shelves (and sometimes earlier, thanks to LR).
I say all this because we get the chance to look at the new chipsets from AMD today. We have the new AMD 790GX with the 750SB in house in the form of the ASUS M3A78-T motherboard, and we have been anxious to get you some numbers and other details about this board. So, sit back and relax! Let us do the testing for you, and then you can make your own decision on if a shopping trip (Whether to a virtual or b&m store) is necessary!
First off, let’s take a look at the chipset layout to see how things are connected.
The diagram shows the AMD 790GX platform architecture. The AMD 790GX Chipset (Northbridge) is connected to the AM2+ socket through the HyperTransport 3.0 link and the AMD SB750 Chipset (Southbridge) through the A-Link Express II interface. Some of the enhancements of this chipset are the ability to now run RAID in RAID 5, and the Advanced Clock Calibration. Hybrid Crossfire is also supported with a capable ad-on graphics card.
Next, take a look at the 790GX Chipset layout:
And the SB750 layout: