AMD 790GX Chipset Platform Launch

Article Index

Our Summary and Conclusion

Performance Summary: AMD's new 790GX chipset proved to be a solid performer throughout our entire battery of benchmarks.  In all of the more processor and memory bound tests, the 790GX performed on-par with or slightly ahead of NVIDIA's nForce 780a chipset and just behind AMD's own 790FX.  In terms of IGP performance, the 790GX outperformed offerings from both Intel and NVIDIA in both in-game benchmarks that we ran and by a very large margin.

The combination of AMD's new 790GX Northbridge and SB750 Southbridge result in the most well rounded and feature-rich chipset for the AMD platform released to date. The platform should appeal to cost conscious consumers due to its strong performance, excellent IGP, and relatively affordable $150 (give or take) price point. Casual gamers can get by with just the 790GX's IGP or add a low-end discreet Radeon to the equation for somewhat better gaming performance through the use of CrossFireX. And hardcore AMD enthusiasts will no doubt be intrigued by the platform's SB750 Southbridge with Advanced Clock Calibration (ACC), which enhances the overclocking potential of Phenom processors, not to mention the chipset's full support for dual graphics configurations, even if each PEG slot features only 8 PCI Express lanes.  We should note that the SB750, however, won't be exclusive to the 790GX.  A new wave of 790FX motherboards featuring the SB750 should arrive in the not too distant future as well, which will also support ACC.

AMD has clearly been on somewhat of a roll as of late. The graphics division is firing on all cylinders and the chipset division is also performing well, which the launch of the 790GX proves. The Phenom may not compete as favorably with Intel's higher clocked Core 2 Quad processors, but in terms of value, there is no denying AMD's overall platform has solid appeal. Who would have thought that consumers would be able to buy a quad-core Phenom processor with a motherboard based on AMD's most feature rich chipset for about $350 when the Athlon 64 FX processor used to command $1000 alone. It may not be as beneficial to the company's bottom line, but it sure is more attractive to consumers. For the masses out there considering a midrange system upgrade, do yourself a favor and consider AMD. The combination of a relatively low-cost Phenom quad-core CPU, a 790GX-based motherboard, and some inexpensive DDR2 memory, offers solid performance that won't break the bank.



  • Great IGP
  • ACC Enhanced Overclocking
  • Low Power
  • Affordable
  • Intel Still has Lower Power Overall
  • Only Dual x8 PEG slots

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