Asrock A780FullDisplayPort vs GigaByte GA-MA78GM-S2H

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Asrock A780FullDisplayPort vs GigaByte GA-MA78GM-S2H

Post by feb » Sun Oct 19, 2008 11:12 am

In planning a new quiet system on a budget, there is the choice between two micro-ATX motherboards:
* The Asrock A780FullDisplayPort is cheap (about 57 €) and includes a lot of features. Support of DisplayPort can become handy when compliant monitors become available.
* The Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H got a good review here on SPCR. A bit more expensive too at about 62€.

The system is targeted at HTPC usage and a bit of workstation usage. I planned to use a 4850e CPU with a 2'5 HDD.

How does the Asrock board compare to the Gigabyte on power consumption and quietness potential ?

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problems with asrock

Post by charonme » Wed Oct 22, 2008 2:31 am

I'm thinking about the same setup, but I excluded asrock from my search because of some problems I had with their boards... On the other side, the gigabyte board reportedly had problems with speedfan, I don't know if that was solved already... Aren't there other options?

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Post by PASware » Wed Oct 22, 2008 3:28 am

I've found a review with both boards (and a lot more boards) ... ngstest/15

It's a review from a dutch hardware site, but I think you will understand the graphs.

In short:

Asrock: 85w
Gigabyte: 73w

Asrock: 120w
gigabyte: 119w

There's a large difference between the boards when the PC is idle'ing. I guess it is because the Asrock has a 5 phase VRM and the Gigabyte a 4 phase VRM.

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Post by AuraAllan » Wed Oct 22, 2008 6:15 am

The Asrock has NO solic caps. Thats disappointing and a deal breaker IMO.

As PASware mentioned it has been reported that the Gigabyte board has problems with Speedfan. I cant tell if that has been fixed.

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Post by jhhoffma » Wed Oct 22, 2008 6:15 am

The Gigabyte board supports SPDIF (optical and coax) audio if you can't use HDMI for some reason. It also supports DTS Connect (DTS Interactive 5.1) which does real-time AC3 (DTS) encoding if that's something you might need.

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Post by feb » Sat Oct 25, 2008 8:31 am

Right, the Asrock has no solid caps. If I understand it correctly, it means that the board risks to break earlier than boards with solid capacitors. It could also consume more power. To make matters worse, the A780FullDisplayPort seems to disappear from most online stores. Too old probably.

The Asus M3A78-EM and the Asus M3A78-VM look like very interesting alternatives. They have solid caps and support displayport. Even better, the 2 Asus mainboards have the displayport connector on the rear panel instead of an add-on board with the Asrock A780FullDisplayPort. Feature-wise the M3A78-EM seems almost equivalent to the Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H.

According to the review posted by PASware, the Asus M3A78-EMH (note the extra H) uses 70W at idle versus 73W for the Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H. The review of the M3A78 Pro by SPCR reports 39W at idle and 2W when off versus 38W and 8W for the GA-MA78GM-S2H.

danielG warns about using the M3A78-EMH. :( quikkie in the same thread says he didnt have any problem. In another thread, [F]bernZ says the M3A78-EM is a completely different board that works well.

I'm planning to use the board for a Linux system for HTPC and sofware work. On paper, the Asus looks like a good solution for a good silent mATX system. What do you think: Asus or Gigabyte ?

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Post by mattthemuppet » Sun Oct 26, 2008 4:32 pm

if you don't need a lot of GPU grunt (for games or video) then why not go for the GA-MA74G-S2 (740G)? Cheaper, idles lower, Speedfan works (does on mine). I'd save some money and get a X2 5000+ and undervolt it - with a 3.5in drive, oldish PSU, 2GB RAM and DVD player I get slightly higher idle draw (39 vs. 31W) but much lower load draw (~75 vs. 97W) than the set up reviewed on here that used a 4850e.

Really can't imagine needing more for general use and work stuff.

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