Nvidia 780a Chipset Preview

Test Setup, Settings & Overclocking

Test Setup 

Rather than use our normal test setup I wanted to see just how 'adequate' the on-board VGA really is. I don't expect it to be a full on gaming solution as that is not what it was intended for but it will certainly be interesting to see how it performs, especially as it will be 'borrowing' memory from the physical 2GB of Corsair. In the full review of the Asus Crosshair II we have something special planned but for now we will just be putting the on-board VGA through it's paces.
 
Motherboard: Asus Crosshair II
CPU: AMD Phenom 9600
Memory Modules: 2x1 GB Corsair 2GB DDR2 XMS2 DHX PC2-6400C4DHX (4-4-4-12)
Graphics card: N/A - On-board VGA
Hard Disk: 200GB Seagate barracuda 7200.7 IDE 8mb
Operating System: Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate 32bit inc service pack 1
CPU Cooling: Xigmatek HDT-S1283 (Air cooler)
Power Supply: Silverstone Strider 1000W

A fresh copy of Windows Vista Ultimate 32bit with SP1 installed along with the most recent drivers then applied. No applications/programs apart from the ones used in benchmarking were installed to ensure a totally clean fair environment to which you can base your comparison.
 
 
Benchmarks

Synthetic CPU & Memory Subsystem
• SiSoft Sandra
• Everest

Overclocking
• Prime95 ver25.6
• PC Probe II

File Compression & Encoding
• 7-Zip

Hard Disk I/O performance
• HDTach
• Sisoft Sandra XII 2008cc

3D Rendering
• 3Dmark 06
• Cinebench 10

3D Games
• Call of Duty 4
• Company of Heroes
 
 
Overclocking
 
It is common knowledge that the AMD CPU’s of late have not been great overclockers regardless of what motherboard has been used especially when compared to Intel AMD already seem to have binned their chips at the max level. Add to the fact that the CPU we have is a B2 revision (rather than the better clocking B3) which is reportedly very stubborn in the overclocking department should make this overclocking experience a very testing one. We will however, endeavour to get the best results possible on air cooling which hopefully will provide the end user with some insight as to the possibilities available with this motherboard. We are particularly interested in the power regulation with the 8+2 phase design and while only having a mid-top end air cooler available which no doubt limits the amount of vcore available to use safely, we will see how far we are able to push the vcore and what vdrop/droop is encountered when the CPU is under 100% load. 

 stock overclock

To say I was disappointed is an understatement. I expected a much bigger overclock but I guess the CPU I have really is nothing special and despite my best efforts which includes 2 days of fiddling with the many BIOS options, the most I could squeeze out of it was little over 2.5ghz. I had similar luck with the max FSB of the board despite raising the voltages past what I would normally recommend. Any more than 220FSB, regardless of CPU multi and voltages, simply refused to POST. Despite the many voltage, CPU and memory tweaks the Crosshair has, it made little effect on the max FSB, emphasizing the fact that this board and therefore my overclocking were crippled by the Phenom in this review.
 
I still managed to beat the previous 200mhz overclock we had previously on the Asus M3A32-MVP Deluxe albeit only by 20mhz. One good point to come out of this is that I didn’t notice ANY droop when putting the CPU under load – the vcore just didn’t budge – testament to the 8+2 phase power delivery the Crosshair II has.

It was a very frustrating couple of days testing and in the end I had to accept what I fealt was defeat. It’s a real shame especially as this board is crying out for a decent CPU, which hopefully AMD can deliver with later revisions of the Phenom.

Let’s see how the benchmarks fair.
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Most Recent Comments

09-05-2008, 16:05:11

w3bbo
Find out what makes Nvidia's latest AMD chipset tick with a preview of the 780a...

Review HERE

09-05-2008, 16:11:12

FarFarAway
Great little (big) preview mate

Some of the chipsets with onboard GPU's out now are really worth looking at when you consider HTPC's

Full HD output ftw tbh

09-05-2008, 16:27:35

w3bbo
Cheers m8. Was a bit of a challenge but Jim steered me in the right direction.

I was socked about the onboard VGA actually being able to run games let alone be playable.

09-05-2008, 16:27:36

Luigi
Ooh webbo didnt know you did reviews now.. nice one

Looks like a nice board.

09-05-2008, 16:31:43

w3bbo
Yeah and I'm enjoying it more than I thought I would tbh. Especially when you get some solid backup from the more experienced reviewers here at OC3D.

Tis a very nice board, I just wish we could have exploited it more....but that comes later.

09-05-2008, 16:32:43

Luigi
Well congrats mate, you did very well i shall give it a full read when i return home

09-05-2008, 16:33:34

ionicle
nice

good to see asus havent abandoned AMD, and neither has Nvidia, back in the day they made some good boards, like mine, the A8N sli-premium

Asus board

Nforce 4 chipset

AMD processor

tis the shizz

good to see we're building back upto that

amd processors were never really good overclockers anyway, you were lucky if you got 500MHz out of your athlon 64 series....

09-05-2008, 16:46:09

w3bbo
Opty 146 and DFI Ultra-D...../hums Hovis tune

I do hope AMD can get back inline with Intel as the support is evidently still there for enthusiasts with chipsets/motherboards like this.

09-05-2008, 17:02:29

Luigi
yeah, tis looking good

You going to be doing more reviews webbo?

09-05-2008, 17:03:32

FarFarAway
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='teknokid'
yeah, tis looking good

You going to be doing more reviews webbo?
Mate he's already done a few, pay attention :whack::banng::haha:

09-05-2008, 17:10:02

Luigi
Lol, i havent been reading as many recently... nice

Did you get my pm kemp?

09-05-2008, 17:25:24

cl0ck_ed
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='ionicle'
nice

good to see asus havent abandoned AMD, and neither has Nvidia, back in the day they made some good boards, like mine, the A8N sli-premium
Haha, I had the A8N sli-deluxe, great board.

This new 780a chip looks packed with features, great (pre)review. The layout of the asus board looks spot on aswell.

16-05-2008, 19:22:30

Azza
Hes the thing about these boards.

1. The Price!

2. Current AMD processors.

Why pay 140+ for a motherboard that uses current AMD processors? When you could spend 140+ on an X48 board and get an Intel processor that is better than current AMDs. Who would buy a 140+ motherboard just for the onboard graphics and hybrid SLI when they would be combined with an AMD processor?

16-05-2008, 19:24:19

FarFarAway
OEM's getting nice prices but still wanting to sell PC's with decent specced GPU's?

01-06-2008, 09:45:34

PP Mguire

Asus board

Nforce 4 chipset

AMD processor

tis the shizz

Spot on, cept DFI Lanparty SLI-DR, X2, 3gig DDR500

Im glad there will be another reiview on this board though. To really put it through its paces you need to test the tri-SLI capability, Quad-SLI, and have a Phenom 9850X4 BE. Also testing hybrid SLI to see how well that works and to see if there really is a dip in performance with it enabled.

For a (not so) little preview i thought this was great. Keep up the good work! And sorry ima bit late. This is the board im looking at getting in the near future so i wanna see the OC3D seal of approval before i decide on heading to Intel. (Which is going to be exspensive for me, QX9650, DDR3, 790i, ect)
Reply
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