AMD 780G/780V/740G Integrated Socket AM2+ Chipsets
This time the "office" version of the chipset is even less cut down than 690V versus 690G. AMD decided that a modern integrated graphics core of any class must have a digital video output to plug a monitor. Motherboards without DVI on the rear panel must disappear, considering popularity of LCD monitors (digital connections are a natural choice for them). Analog connections result in double signal conversions. It noticeably affects image quality both in expensive monitors (high resolutions tend to suffer from interferences when high-frequency signals are transferred) and in cheap products (their converters are far from perfect).
As a result, the choice of ports for the 780V is preserved - VGA, DVI-D, HDMI, DisplayPort. The analog port can be used simultaneously with one of the digital ones. The graphics core Radeon HD 3100 lacks only UVD, and its frequency is reduced to 350 MHz. However, this chipset also helps a CPU decode main video formats (on the level of chipsets of the previous generation). Nevertheless, you should choose a motherboard on a senior chipset version, if you build a media center. There are no other cuts. The chipset does not support Hybrid CrossFire. However, it's still possible to build a multi-monitor configuration, if you install a graphics card into the PCI Express x16 port. The chipset is also manufactured by the 55-nm fabrication process, it's even supported by AMD OverDrive (overclocking, memory timings control in Windows).
As the 780V chipset is included into the AMD Business Class platform, there is an expansion from 780G. Namely, support for IPMI 1.5. For this purpose, a motherboard must have a certain network controller from Broadcom, Realtek, or Marvell. DASH 1.0, TPM 1.2, and ASF 2.0 certifications are also supported. From the point of view of administrative software, this AMD solution is compatible with Intel vPro.
For motherboards with price tags of $50 and higher, the company decided to roll out a counterpart of AMD 690G manufactured by the new fabrication process (the same 55-nm as for AMD 780G/780V). Such motherboards support Phenoms, but the highest Hyper-Transport clock rate reaches 1000 MHz (2000 MT/s) in compliance with the Hyper-Transport 1.1a standard. Anyway, this chipset is uberfunctional for its price segment. DirectX 9.0c support in the Low-End segment is more than enough. Besides, along with 780G and 780V, this chipset supports HDMI 1.2a (with HDCP) and DVI-D (with VGA, of course). Other issues are actually not very important for an entry-level chipset with integrated graphics. Its primary objective is to provide high-quality connection between a monitor and the board. Besides, it should support Windows Vista Aero.
Along with new Northbridges, AMD also updated the Southbridge. Strictly speaking, SB600 features are more than sufficient for such motherboards (it looks better than Intel bridges, at least because it has a sterling PATA channel and RAID functionality for all, not just in some versions with the R suffix). Nevertheless, SB700 was ready together with new inexpensive chipsets, so it would have been strange to delay this feature until expensive products.
- SATA-II AHCI controller for 6 x SATA300 (up to 3 Gbps). When you install Vista SP1 in AHCI mode, there is no need to specify a driver (there is no need for a driver to install all XP and Vista versions in IDE Native mode, and on the contrary, it's mandatory in all cases in RAID mode)
- RAID support for all SATA ports: 0, 1, and 1+0
- A single PATA channel for two ATA133 devices
- 12 x USB 2.0 and 2 x USB 1.1
- PCI bus (up to six bus master devices)
- HD Audio
- HyperFlash - it's an option to install flash memory with IDE interface to enable Ready Drive and Ready Boost in Vista
At that we conclude the theoretical part of the review and proceed to our tests of the most interesting chipset in this family (780G).
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