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Thread: ECS A785GM-M Black

  1. #1
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    Default ECS A785GM-M Black

    Phoronix: ECS A785GM-M Black

    Back in March the open-source ATI Linux driver had gained support for an unreleased IGP known as the RS880, months before it would end up on the market and become known as the AMD 785G Chipset. The open-source support is there for this integrated graphics processor and motherboard chipset, along with the proprietary support through the Catalyst Linux driver, and there is even chipset documentation to help the CoreBoot developers. With the 785G being the latest (and likely last) ASIC in the AMD 700 series, we decided to look at the ECS A785GM-M motherboard. The A785GM-M from Elitegroup Computer Systems is affordable and offers a nice set of features for being a micro ATX motherboard.

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=14235

  2. #2
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    The ASRock has 128 MB of DDR3 Sideport memory. Maybe the GPU performance is therefore higher. Surely AMD didn't integrate sideport memory for the pure joy of it.

  3. #3
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    page 7: "UVD2 on Linux may not mean much right now since XvBA (the X-Video Bitstream Acceleration API that will take advantage of the Unified Video Decoder 2), but it will soon enough."
    What does this mean?
    Will XvBA finally be released? When?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by satan0rx View Post
    The ASRock has 128 MB of DDR3 Sideport memory. Maybe the GPU performance is therefore higher. Surely AMD didn't integrate sideport memory for the pure joy of it.
    Sideport memory is mainly for powersaving rather than performance. Sideport memory has a relatively slow bus even compared to UMA. Moving scanout into sideport allows you to put the CPU into lower C states and shutdown the HT link. It can also help performance to a certain extent in that you can interleave sideport and UMA memory, but it's main use is for powersaving.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by mibo View Post
    page 7: "UVD2 on Linux may not mean much right now since XvBA (the X-Video Bitstream Acceleration API that will take advantage of the Unified Video Decoder 2), but it will soon enough."
    What does this mean?
    Will XvBA finally be released? When?
    It means that Phoronix continues to tease us with this, even though they have no control over it, and no idea when/if the feature will ever come out. I believe the most encouraging (least discouraging) statement I've seen from Bridgman was along the lines of "I think we would have told you if we knew we were not going to release this feature", or something like that.

    I'd love to see it come out too, but I've switch to Nvidia for VDPAU since I could not stand to wait any longer for AMD.

  6. #6

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    Michael, would it be possible to do some power consumption measurements?

  7. #7
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    Here's power measurements from other 785G boards, though as you can see, the boards vary a good bit (SPCR attributes this to their power circuitry) even though they have the same chipset.
    http://www.silentpcreview.com/article967-page8.html

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mibo View Post
    page 7: "UVD2 on Linux may not mean much right now since XvBA (the X-Video Bitstream Acceleration API that will take advantage of the Unified Video Decoder 2), but it will soon enough."
    What does this mean?
    Will XvBA finally be released? When?
    Lol.
    Phoronix when talking about amd, has a bad attitude and tends to follow this rule:

    The argument from ignorance, also known as argumentum ad ignorantiam, argument by lack of imagination, or negative evidence, is a logical fallacy in which it is claimed that a premise is true only because it has not been proven false, or is false only because it has not been proven true.

    Just kidding... we all know uvd2 will come...right?

  9. #9
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    If you're into unlocking processor cores, it won't work on ECS boards (according to what I've read). I just thought I'd mention that.

    I'm looking to build a budget system and am looking at 785G boards.

    Does anyone like the choices from Gigabyte and MSI?

    MSI has one in which they angled the SATA ports. A nice design but is the board any good, is what I'd like to know. I have a Gigabyte P35 board and it's great but these are newer designs and AMD boards we're discussing.

    I read the article (on the ECS board) and to be honest, I'm still confused about the HD Radeon 4200 IGP. They said there would be updates about the performance so is there any or is it still early?

    Does this chip work well in Linux? What driver works best with the 4200, the proprietary Catalyst (and which ver.?) or the Open Source (and which ver.)? What's the current status and what is the predicted outcome or development? A lot of questions, I know - sorry!

    Can one get a discrete card later if they're not satisfied or want better specs? If you disable the onboard graphics, is there still some power or heat consumption remaining? Just curious.

    I also am not sure whether to keep two sticks of memory I have not being used. Is it worth keeping? It's faster Crucial Ballistix RAM, 1066MHz / PC28500. I was looking at 760G and 785G motherboards and hoping that both support the faster RAM. I thought about going with a total AM3 DDR3 RAM memory setup but it starts to add up regarding the budget so it's an option but not my #1 choice right now. Can the DDR2 motherboards perform close enough?

    Thanks for any answers and sorry if I veered a bit off topic. I hope you consider I included some important and relevant(?) info on the ECS boards. Some users are interested in that kind of thing. I probably would try it if I really wanted the speed increase. ;-)

  10. #10

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    MSI seems to have some of the better 785g boards it seems.
    From all benchmarks i've seen they use the least amount of power as well.

    Dont know about the drivers, dont have a 785g mainboard.

    You can always add a discrete card, power consumption of the IGP/northbridge is actually lower than most non-IGP northbridges.

    Dont know what u are planning on doing, but AM3 on an IGP board only adds a little FPS in games because of the limited amount of sideport memory.
    If you dont do any gaming or only low res/low detail gaming DDR2 is just fine.

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