The AMD 790GX Chipset Arrives – Asus M3A78-T Motherboard

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Overclocking Results and Power Usage

Our overclocking adventures were just that, adventurous!  We spent quite a bit of time with the board just trying to get a small overclock and were just left scratching our heads as we could not figure out what was holding us back.  It turns out we overlooked a setting in the BIOS under CPU configuration called Advanced Clock Calibration (yes, we talked about this in the review…what it is, but I totally overlooked it as being a BIOS option).  Once we set that to Auto in the BIOS, our overclocking really began.  So let’s take a look at what we have achieved so far…

asus m3a78-t motherboard review

One reason we said so far, is that we are still waiting for a reply from Asus about problem we have encountered in the BIOS.  Once you set the board over 215fsb in the BIOS, the board will begin to boot using whatever you set, but by the time in gets into Windows, it has regressed back to the default setting of 200fsb.  Once we get some information from Asus on this (it should be a BIOS fix) we will revisit our default multiplier overclocking and see how it fairs.  For now, 215 was as high as we could get.  What happened when we used a multiplier and overclocked?  Well, take a look…

asus m3a78-t motherboard review

It faired pretty well.  Our 2.5GHz CPU was able to be stretched to 2.87GHz without much trouble at all.  A little more tweaking from the BIOS engineers and we could possibly get just a little more.  We were pretty satisfied with the outcome though.

Another area that is a big deal today is that of power consumption.  We were able to get some readings at idle and load of each AMD based board that we used in our testing…

asus m3a78-t motherboard review

We were very pleased to see that the Asus M3A78-T used a lot less power at both idle and load.  It is good to see the direction that these companies are going in this area.  Why is the power consumption so much less?  AMD has been working hard on this, and gave us a explanation in their presentation.  Take a look…

asus m3a78-t motherboard review

So, as you can see, there are four new power saving features that can give up to roughly 12W of power savings!  This is good stuff!

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