Asrock A780FullDisplayPort Socket AM2+ Motherboard

Posted by on Tuesday, June 30, 2009 - 6:21pm

overviewToday, the board we will be tackling is the A780FullDisplayPort which is based on the AMD 780G/SB700 chipset. This new board looks to be competing for the title of the ultimate mATX motherboard with its integrated graphics that will support now and future DirectX 10 titles. And if this doesn’t supply you with enough video processing power a higher end graphic accelerator can be added. This is only one thing the A780FullDisplay has to offer. What are the others……read on.

 

 

Introduction

It seems we are getting back on the AMD boat here at Pro-Clockers. We have been asked by a several companies to test some of their latest socket AM2 motherboards. From the number of requests seems things are moving up for AMD. The first motherboard we will be testing here today will be from our old friends at Asrock.

Asrock reputation is one of solid and stable motherboards at a price that is far less than manufacturer on the market. And it seems that Asrock manages this without having to rob us of features. In many cases you get more from their mainboards than some of the Tier 1 guys. For instance a few of the last motherboards I have reviewed from Asrock have Wi-Fi within the included bundle. This is only something I have seen from ASUS.

Today, the board we will be tackling is the A780FullDisplayPort which is based on the AMD 780G/SB700 chipset. This new board looks to be competing for the title of the ultimate mATX motherboard with its integrated graphics that will support now and future DirectX 10 titles. And if this doesn’t supply you with enough video processing power a higher end graphic accelerator can be added. This is only one thing the A780FullDisplay has to offer. What are the others……read on.

 

Packaging and contents

When it comes to packing in the goodies to Asrock board came up short. We were only greeted by the standard of cabling and software drivers. One thing we did feel a little excited about was the Display Port card.

Specifications

CPU

- Support for Socket AM2+ / AM2 processors: AMD Phenom™ FX / Phenom / Athlon 64 FX / Athlon 64 X2 Dual-Core / Athlon X2 Dual-Core / Athlon 64 / Sempron processor
- AMD LIVE!™ Ready
- Supports AMD's Cool 'n' Quiet Technology
- FSB 2600 MHz (5.2 GT/s)
- Supports Untied Overclocking Technology
- Supports Hyper-Transport Technology

Chipset

- Northbridge: AMD 780G
- Southbridge: AMD SB700

Memory

- Dual Channel DDR2 memory technology
- 4 x DDR2 DIMM slots
- Supports DDR2 1066/800/667/533 non-ECC, un-buffered memory
- Max. capacity of system memory: 8GB*

*Due to the operating system limitation, the actual memory size may be less than 4GB for the reservation for system usage under Windows® XP and Windows® Vista™. For Windows® XP 64-bit and Windows® Vista™ 64-bit with 64-bit CPU, there is no such limitation.

BIOS

- 8Mb AMI BIOS
- AMI Legal BIOS
- Supports "Plug and Play"
- ACPI 1.1 Compliance Wake Up Events
- Supports jumperfree
- SMBIOS 2.3.1 Support
- CPU, DRAM, NB Voltage Multi-adjustment

 Audio, Video and Networking

Graphics

- Integrated AMD RV610 graphics
- DX10 class iGPU, Pixel Shader 4.0
- Max. shared memory 512MB
- Four VGA Output options: D-Sub, DVI-D, HDMI and Displayport
- Supports HDCP function
- Supports Full HD 1080p Blu-ray (BD) / HD-DVD playback
- Supports Display port with ASRock DisplayPort Card

Audio

- 5.1 CH Windows® Vista™ Premium Level HD Audio (ALC662 Audio Codec)

LAN

- PCIE x1 Gigabit LAN 10/100/1000 Mb/s
- Realtek RTL8111C
- Supports Wake-On-LAN

 Expansion / Connectivity

Slots

- 1 x PCI Express 2.0 x16 slot (green @ x16 mode)
- 1 x PCI Express 2.0 x1 slot
- 2 x PCI slots
- Supports ATI™ Hybrid CrossFireX™

Connector

- 6 x Serial ATAII 3.0 Gb/s connectors, support RAID (RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 10 and JBOD), NCQ, AHCI and "Hot Plug" functions
- 1 x ATA133 IDE connector (supports 2 x IDE devices)
- 1 x Floppy connector
- 1 x DeskExpress Hot Plug Detection header
- 1 x COM port header
- 1 x HDMI_SPDIF header
- 1 x IEEE 1394 header
- CPU/Chassis FAN connector
- 24 pin ATX power connector
- 4 pin 12V power connector
- CD in header
- Front panel audio connector
- 2 x USB 2.0 headers (support 4 USB 2.0 ports)
- 1 x WiFi/E header

Rear Panel I/O

ASRock 1394_DVI I/O Plus
- 1 x PS/2 Mouse Port
- 1 x PS/2 Keyboard Port
- 1 x VGA/D-Sub Port
- 1 x VGA/DVI-D Port
- 6 x Ready-to-Use USB 2.0 Ports
- 1 x RJ-45 LAN Port
- 1 x IEEE 1394 Port
- HD Audio Jack: Line in / Front Speaker / Microphone

 Other Features / Miscellaneous

Unique Feature

- ASRock OC Tuner- Hybrid Booster:
- CPU Frequency Stepless Control
- ASRock U-COP
- Boot Failure Guard (B.F.G.)
- ASRock AM2 Boost: ASRock Patented Technology to boost memory performance up to 12.5%

Support CD

- Drivers, Utilities, AntiVirus Software (Trial Version)

Accessories

- Quick Installation Guide, Support CD, I/O Shield
- Floppy/ATA 133 cables
- 1 x SATA data cable (optional)
- 1 x SATA 1 to 1 power cable (optional)
- 1 x HDMI_SPDIF cable (optional)
- 1 x ASRock DisplayPort card
- 1 x DVI-to-HDMI converter

Hardware Monitor

- CPU Temperature Sensing
- Chassis Temperature Sensing
- CPU Fan Tachometer
- Chassis Fan Tachometer
- CPU Quiet Fan
- Voltage Monitoring: +12V, +5V, +3.3V, Vcore

Form Factor

- Micro ATX Form Factor: 9.6-in x 9.6-in, 24.4 cm x 24.4 cm

OS

- Microsoft® Windows® XP / XP Media Center / XP 64-bit / Vista™ / Vista™ 64-bit compliant

Certifications

- FCC, CE, WHQL

Features

  • FSB 2600 MHz (5.2 GT/s)
  • Supports Dual Channel DDR2 1066 with AM2+ CPU , and DDR2 800/667 with AM2 CPU, with 4 DIMM slots, maximum capacity up to 8GB
  • Integrated AMD RV610 graphics , DX10 class iGPU, Pixel Shader 4.0, Max. shared memory 512MB
  • Supports ATI™ Hybrid CrossFireX™
  • 1 x PCI Express 2.0 x16 slots (green @ x16 mode)
  • 6 x Serial ATAII 3.0 Gb/s connectors, support RAID (RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 10 and JBOD), NCQ, AHCI and Hot Plug functions
  • Supports PCIE Gigabit LAN 10/100/1000 Mb/s
  • Supports 2 x IEEE1394 ports (one port on back panel, one header on board)
  • Four VGA Output options: D-Sub, DVI-D, HDMI and DisplayPort
  • Supports HDCP function to enjoy better quality with High Definition HDCP Encryption contents
  • Supports Full HD 1080p Blu-ray (BD) / HD-DVD playback
  • 1 x Wi-Fi/E header
  • Supports ASRock OC Tuner
  • Windows® Vista™ Premium 2007 Logo Ready
  • Free Bundle: 1 x ASRock DisplayPort Card, 1 x DVI-to-HDMI converter
  • ASRock 1394_DVI I/O Plus: 1 x VGA/D-Sub Port, 1 x VGA/DVI-D Port, 1 x IEEE 1394 port, 6 ready-to-use USB ports

 

Closer look

We all see a microATX motherboard as a budget board and we also see Asrock as a low price alterative to some of the other motherboard manufacturers out there. Well if you put the two together you get the A780FullDisplayport motherboard. For a while now I have been looking heavily at mATX as I don’t think I need a ton power in my everyday system. And for anyone in the same boat this board may be an option.

DisplayPort is nothing new to many of us but it is great that Asrock makes it afford for anyone that needs to support dual displays. And even with the Radeon 3200 integrated into the board the end-user has the option to ante up for a higher end GPU. If you decide to pony up for the extra graphic card you will still have two additional PCI and one PCIe 1x slots to do with what you need. But I would not underestimate the power for 512mb of onboard graphics for a workstation.

One good thing that I see with this board is the fact there are four DIMM slots and not just two that I have seen on many of the ECS motherboards lately. This is good for eight gigs of DDR2 at 800MHz.

How do six SATA ports sound? Well the A780 has that much which would support raids 0, 1, and 10. A couple of USB and firewire ports add to the useable levels of this board. We were not fortunate enough to get eSATA ports in this model.

It seems that we will not get Asrock to move the ATX connection. Like all their other mainboards it is still located behind the I/0 ports.

For cooling you will not have to worry about any fan whine as the A780 uses passive heat sinks to control the 780G chipset. For a hefty upgrade path the chipset supports all the current AM2 and AM2+ processors.

The rear I/O area has all one would need to make an awesome HTPC setup. On the back of the board are two monitor ports which is the standard VGA and the higher definition DVI. This alone with the add-in card that supports a HDMI you have all the video options carried.

 

BIOS

CPU Frequency: 150-500MHz
PCI Frequency: 75-200MHz
CPU ratio: 5 to 25
CPU voltage: 1.075-1.45V
DRAM voltage: 1.80-2.20V
Memory Clock: 200, 266, 333 and 400MHz
Video Shared Memory: Auto, 32, 64, 128, 256 and 512 MB
Chipset Voltage: 1.1 and 1.2V
PCIe Voltage: 1.8 and 1.9V

 

Testing

Testing Hardware:
AMD A64 6400+ Black Edition
DDR2 Crucial Ballistix PC6400 (4-4-4-12)
Maxtor 100GB SATAI
Leadtek 6800GT
Thermalright Ultra 120
Thermaltake TP1000

Testing Software:
Futuremark PCMark05
Futuremark 3DMark06
SiSoftware Sandra
Everest Ultimate
SuperPi 1.5 mod
Prey
F.E.A.R.

Competition:
Itself

 

Results

CPU results

Futuremark PCmark05 Build 1.1.0
PCMark®05 is everything you need to reliably and easily measure the performance of your PC and determine its strengths and weaknesses. With PCMark05, you will be able to select the optimal upgrades for your existing PC, or choose the right new PC that fits your specific needs. This easy-to-use product gives you the same tools and knowledge that virtually every professional tester in the industry uses.

Super PI Modded 1.5
In August 1995, the calculation of pi up to 4,294,960,000 decimal digits was succeeded by using a supercomputer at the University of Tokyo. The program was written by D.Takahashi in collaboration with Dr. Y.Kanada at the computer center. This record should be the current world record. (Details are shown in the windows help.) This record-breaking program was ported to personal computer environment such as Windows NT and Windows 95. In order to calculate 33.55 million digits, it takes within 3 days with Pentium 90 MHz, 40 MB main memory and 340 MB available storage.

 

Ram results

Futuremark PCmark05 Build 1.1.0
PCMark®05 is everything you need to reliably and easily measure the performance of your PC and determine its strengths and weaknesses. With PCMark05, you will be able to select the optimal upgrades for your existing PC, or choose the right new PC that fits your specific needs. This easy-to-use product gives you the same tools and knowledge that virtually every professional tester in the industry uses.

SiSoftware Sandra Lite 2007 SP1
SiSoftware has announced the availability of Service Release 2 (SR2) for SiSoftware Sandra 2005, the latest version of its award-winning utility. The focus of this service release has been improved support, compatibility and reliability rather than new features. We have been working closely with more hardware vendors than before to be able to bring greater direct support of an increased market share of commodity and server technologies.

Lavalys Everest
Lavalys EVEREST Home Edition is freeware system information, system diagnostics and benchmarking solution for home PC users, based on the award-winning EVEREST Technology. It offers the world's most accurate system information and diagnostics capabilities, including online features, memory benchmarks, hardware monitoring, and low-level hardware information. EVEREST Home Edition is uniquely available for home users without any charges, based on the freeware license.

 

HDD results

Futuremark PCmark05 Build 1.1.0
PCMark®05 is everything you need to reliably and easily measure the performance of your PC and determine its strengths and weaknesses. With PCMark05, you will be able to select the optimal upgrades for your existing PC, or choose the right new PC that fits your specific needs. This easy-to-use product gives you the same tools and knowledge that virtually every professional tester in the industry uses.

Simpli Software HD Tach 3
HD Tach will test the sequential read, random access and interface burst speeds of your attached storage device (hard drive, flash drive, removable drive, etc). All drive technologies such as SCSI, IDE/ATA, 1394, USB, SATA and RAID are supported. Test results from HD Tach can be used to confirm manufacturer specs, analyze your system for proper performance, and compare your performance with others. HD Tach is very easy to use, quick, and presents data in easy to read graphs, including the ability to compare two storage devices on screen at the same time for easy analysis.

 

Video and Gaming results

Futuremark 3DMark06 Build 1.0.2
3DMark®06 is the worldwide standard in advanced 3D game performance benchmarking. A fundamental tool for every company in the PC industry as well as PC users and gamers, 3DMark06 uses advanced real-time 3D game workloads to measure PC performance using a suite of DirectX 9 3D graphics tests, CPU tests, and 3D feature tests. 3DMark06 tests include all new HDR/SM3.0 graphics tests, SM2.0 graphics tests, AI and physics driven single and multiple cores or processor CPU tests and a collection of comprehensive feature tests to reliably measure next generation gaming performance today. Futuremark's exclusive Online ResultBrowser web service tracks and compares 3DMark06 scores.

Sierra F.E.A.R. Update 1.08
F.E.A.R. ™ (First Encounter Assault Recon) is an intense combat experience with rich atmosphere and a deeply intense paranormal storyline presented entirely in first person. Be the hero in your own spine-tingling epic of action, tension, and terror… and discover the true meaning of F.E.A.R.

3drealms Prey
PREY takes full advantage of the Sound Blaster® X-Fi™ sound card. PREY supports OpenAL hardware acceleration, EAX® ADVANCED HD™ 5.0 features of 4 reverberation effects at once, and uses Sound Blaster® X-Fi™ XRAM feature to load audio samples on the cards with 64 megs of RAM.

 

 

Power Consumption

We started the testing with a WattsUp Pro meter to measure watts use by the components listed above. And we used a standard digital multimeter to measure the rails of the power supply. To implement a load on the system, we ran Futuremark 3DMark06 at the highest settings with SuperPi and OCCT running in the background.

Overclocking

Not too bad considering who this board is made for and for what it is used for. Dropping the multiplier to 5x we were able to get the HTT to 349MHz.

 

Conclusion

It seems that Asrock is making a name for themselves far beyond the one they already have. The recent announcements have bought on some impressions that they are moving more in to the higher end motherboard market. For those that fear Asrock has forgotten about the budget computer user have no fear as the A780FullDisplayPort is just the motherboard the budget minded user would like. The A780FullDisplayPort offers a lot in the form of features. The main option and the reasons behind this board are the multi-port combinations for video purposes.

The rest of the features of this board we will favor the HTPC and mini house server user. This is one of the few boards we have seen with more than four SATA fours, six to be exact. And there is also support for raids 0, 1 and 10. Along with the integrated 3200 GPU chipset you have up to 512MB of video memory to power your LCD or dual monitor setup.

The A780Full has one of the best memory settings setup I have ever seen in a mATX motherboard. Another look at the ram setting screen proofs this.

In the areas of overclocking many will not be too impressed. The BIOS isn’t really geared to get the most out of any processor but you can get some performance bump with what is offered. Just don’t have high hope. Then again Asrock never marketed this board as the end all in the overclocking arena.

 

 

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