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System build advice: What do you guys think of this motherboard?

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  • System build advice: What do you guys think of this motherboard?

    First of all, I haven't put together a system for about 5 years, so i'm not sure about the capability of these newer on-board graphics chipsets. I want to put together an AMD system (for non-technical reasons), and pretty much decided on the M3A785GMH/128M from Asrock.
    Quality of the board aside, will this thing perform OK with a decent dual or triple core processor? My goals are pretty meager, simply something along the lines of the current gen consoles in terms of graphics power.

  • #2
    785G is ok for an IGP, and runs fine on all drivers. Whether it's enough depends on your usage.


    • #3
      Similar to current gen consoles? Hell no, it's good for HD Video and very casual gaming maximum. If you want something to game on then you'll need a dedicated graphics card, depending on your budget and if you've got that then it's a bit 'messy' having a graphics chip on your motherboard as well so look into the 770, 790X, 790FX and 870 motherboards.


      • #4
        Thanks, thats what I wanted to know. Care to elaborate on what you mean by "messy", when adding a dedicated card?


        • #5
          You generally have to disable the on-board graphics if you want to use a discrete GPU. Most motherboards do that automatically but not all.

          Regarding performance, the main thing to keep in mind is that the GPU in the IGP parts is similar to what you get in an HD2400 or 3450, but with slower clocks and slower memory (even with sideport interleaving). The entry-level 7xx and Evergreen discrete parts are roughly twice as fast as a 2400/3450 - 80 ALUs vs 40, and 8-wide SIMDs rather than 4-wide.


          • #6
            And it's still drawing power and putting out heat. For something you don't intend on using it's pretty inefficient.

            How about you give us a budget and we'll try speccing a full system?


            • #7
              Thanks for the input guys. The reason I asked about that particular motherboard is that I ran across it for sale w/ a processor. I guess I was kind of hoping the integrated graphics would save me from having to buy a discrete card right away, but now i'm thinking to just get a board without integrated at all.

              I'm planning on building a tiny, basic setup. MicroATX form factor is a must, since I want to put together the smallest box possible.
              I appreciate the offer Superewza, but i'm still undecided on budget and final specs. Kinda still in the brainstorming stage.


              • #8
                I can't comment on the asrock mobo but it's very similar to the gigabyte board I have as far as chipset & features. I do like your sata layout better.

                About 6 weeks ago I took advantage of a sale at my local Microcenter I got the above motherboard and the Phenom 2 720 running at 3.2Gzh 4 gig of Adata 1600 G series Very good timings @ 8-8-8-24 1T 1600 mhz in Dual channel. I also bought a Gigabyte 5770
                to throw in as the on-board solution wasn't going to be powerful enough to play EverQuest...all for 467$ US with tax..

                Disabling the onboard graphics has not been an issue in both Mandriva Linux and Win 7 both 64 bit os's.

                To date I've been very pleased with the price/performance of this budget set-up...

                Honestly while the fglrx driver isn't perfect I've had very little problems
                compared to some users that post here..I don't use Compiz but I do use Kwin and just toggle off compositing if I'm going to game or watch movies..
                Wine 1.2 RC2 and the latest Cat 10.5 driver work very well together for the 1st time in awhile I can play EverQuest at Gold rating.
                Powered with my Corsair VX 550 psu from my previous build.

                Sorry if I rambled a bit was just trying to give you an overview since you seem to be looking to build something similar to what I built.
                Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety,deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
                Ben Franklin 1755


                • #9
                  AMD + Nvidia SLI anyone??

                  Being mostly an AMD guy, I own an Asus M4n82 Deluxe motherboard (Nvidia Nforce 980a chipset), PhenomII 955_BE CPU , 4gb Gskill PC2 9600 ram and 2x BFG Geforce GTX 295 video cards. I am really happy with this machine, and there is now a new version of this board (Asus M4N98TD EVO) that supports Dual Channel DDR3 OC 2000mhz ram.. For those interested in AMD hardware and Nvidia SLI tech, this is one of the only board solutions available for you, and based on my experience, I highly recommend it to anyone.

                  M4N98TD EVO = $139.00
                  2x PCI-E 16x
                  2x PCI-E 1x
                  2x PCI
                  Hybrid SLI support


                  • #10
                    Gigabyte GA-MA785GMT-UD2H AM3 board is pretty cheap and decent, all-solid japanese caps, very nice detailed bios settings(like undervolt support), wide cpu support. You can plugin discrete card or use onboard. Most IGP motherboards cost the same their non-IGP cousins, it does not really matter. Gigabyte does however have some trouble, they do not support linux and provide BIOSen as .exe files. Those are 7z archives however and lastest linux p7z unzips them directly(without wine); also customer support will help you if you have linux, they just wont help with pure linux questions. No trouble so far.

                    Gigabyte, MSI, Asus will run fine. Asrock is mixed thing, it is 0.75 Asus, a bit scarce in bios options, but rock solid. Avoid ECS aka Elitegroup at any cost and you will be fine.