Gigabyte GA-MA74GM-S2: AMD 690G, Take 2

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prodeous
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Post by prodeous » Mon Sep 29, 2008 5:07 am

I've seen the "nice" results. but they are trying the 125w, so that is understandable, especialy when OC'd.

I was planing to slap in either the 9x50e 65 watts or 9500 95watt, and mabye undervolting them a tad more. depending on the motherboards posibilities.

With general estimates sub 60watts should be quite possible, then this board should have no issues.

Problem is that no one has shown me that the voltage optiosn still exist when Phenom is pluged in. The reason is that i had something similar with the 690 chipset. X2 had voltage options, but when X4 was pluged in, no option possible, and overdrive didn't support 690. For that matter We still don't know if it supports the 740?

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No PWM on System Fan

Post by rdibley » Thu Oct 02, 2008 1:27 pm

Thanks Mike.

You said that the Kill-A-Watt precision isn’t that high. Is there something better? I probably don’t need anything more than what I have, but it’s nice to know.

So according to my numbers (accuracy of the Kill-A-Watt notwithstanding), my measured power dropped 6W when I took out one of my two drives. If you start with my 31W system with one hard drive, one stick of memory, no system fans, and a PicoPSU, and then subtract off the difference between my hard drive and the 2.5â€

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Post by puddnhead » Wed Oct 08, 2008 12:38 pm

Interesting review of a product I did not know existed. But for the life of me I cannot figure out why you would ever look at buying this gigabyte 740g board for $65, where for $76 shipped (newegg) you can get the very highly acclaimed gigabyte 780g board (which also has HDMI and just about every other port you could ever want). Or the comparable Asus board there. I have the K9AGM2 690g board in my HTPC, it's great, but struggles with very high def playback. It was great when it came out, but I can't imagine getting a 690g or 740g board today for an HTPC when you can get great micro atx 780g boards (or even GeForce 8200) for $75-$85 shipped, it would be foolish not to prefer those.

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Post by BillyBuerger » Wed Oct 08, 2008 6:46 pm

puddnhead wrote:Interesting review of a product I did not know existed. But for the life of me I cannot figure out why you would ever look at buying this gigabyte 740g board...
For HTPC, yeah definitely go for the 780G. The HDMI version of the 740G is unnecessary. I don't see why Gigabyte made that one. Except that the 780G was around $100 when it came out. Drop another $10 for the non-HDMI version and for an office PC or low power file server or something, this thing is perfect.

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Post by juamez » Sat Oct 11, 2008 1:45 pm

In the budget range of computers, the 10 to 20 dollar difference can be significant imo. Especially when you don't really need an 780G mobo over a 740G one, just pick the cheapest available, since both boast the newer SB700 southbridge with nice sata & usb performance and am2+ cpu support. Just my two cents.

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Post by mattthemuppet » Wed Oct 22, 2008 2:32 pm

I've just finished upgrading my PC with one of these boards (the HDMI version, just because that's the only one available here) after reading this article, an X2 5000+ (Brisbane), 2x 1GB DDR2-667 RAM, DVR-216 DVD drive and a WD6400AACS drive. After playing around with CrystalCPUID (that article is still handy) I got the following results:

1GHz @ 0.8V = 39W
2GHz @ 0.9V = ~55W
2.6GHz @ 1.05V, fully loaded = ~75W (jumps between 60+80W, but usually between 70+75W).

I'm seriously impressed - that's 1/2 the idle power of the system it replaces (ancient Sempron SktA) and it rips through DVD encodes in ~ 1/3 of the time. I'm also amazed how well the 5000+ undervolts - full load at less than the C'n'Q idle VCore is stunning. At load and stock volts (1.35V) it drew ~110w, so 35W less is a massive reduction.

At some point when I have time to game I'll stick a 4670 in there, but I don't need it for now.

feb
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Post by feb » Fri Nov 07, 2008 10:53 am

This week, I built a system with a GA-MA74GM-S2H. Power consumption is indeed low: 37W with a cheap 350 QTEC PSU, a 2'5 SATA harddrive and a 4850e underclocked at 1GHz at 1.0V.

But the board does not boot with a bt848 PCI card plugged in the PCI2 slot. In the PCI1 slot, it boots but the SATA controller does not work anymore. The bt848 works perfectly in another computer. Gigabyte didn't make any BIOS update for this board, so there's no hope there. With a simplistic PCI network card plugged in, the board booted.

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Post by prodeous » Sat Nov 08, 2008 12:18 pm

Did anyone find any beta bios to allow undervolting in the BIOS for this board?

I'm not looking for software adjustments, just clean BIOS option. All current BIOS has + option...

alphabetbackward
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Post by alphabetbackward » Sat Nov 08, 2008 3:13 pm

I have the Gigabyte 690G board and I think I had to press Ctrl + F1 to unlock advanced options in the bios where the voltage settings were.

feb
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Post by feb » Sun Nov 09, 2008 6:42 am

prodeous: In the BIOS, there's a screen called "MB Intelligent Tweaker". In it you can control the frequency and the voltage of the CPU, memory and many others. The manual is available on the website of Gigabyte and explains all the controls which are available in the BIOS.

Here, I don't use them as cpufreqd achieves the same result with the potential to ramp up if more power is needed.

clalor
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Post by clalor » Sun Nov 09, 2008 9:28 am

I just put together a file server using the GA-MA74GM-S2, a 4450e, 2 GB DDR2 800 RAM, a 5400 RPM Seagate 120 GB laptop drive (for OS), two Western Digital GP 500 GB drives (in RAID 1) in a SATA hot-swap backplane, and an S12-II 330 W PSU. I've seen idle power consumption as low as 40 W when it was running at 1.0 GHz/1.000 V. With the defaults, it idles at about 50 W.

It's still being tweaked, but I plan on posting to the general gallery after I'm done with that.

prodeous
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Post by prodeous » Wed Nov 12, 2008 12:41 pm

With regards the bios option, i am quite aware of the hidden option. That is why i posted question about possible Beta Bios that might give lower voltages.

Current bios's deliver only options to add voltage to the normal settings.

such as +.025.. so it is a no go with lover then stock voltages.

Hence the hope for Beta Bios that might give -.025 or some other seetings..

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Post by matt_garman » Wed Jan 07, 2009 7:05 am

Regarding the "high temperature" VRM mosfets... I'm thinking about getting one of these boards for a fileserver. I'll use a low-wattage dual core CPU (e.g. 4850e), and either run at stock settings or undervolt/underclock.

Under these conditions, with zero/very low CPU load practically all the time, I assume the VRMs will stay relatively cool, right? I.e., my understanding is that the mosfets only get really hot when overclocking and/or running at full load for more than brief instants.

Still, cooler is generally better, so it seems like sticking some heatsinks on the cpu vrm area can't hurt, and might help. I'd like to think it would extend the life of the circuitry.

Having said all that... has anybody stuck heatsinks on the VRMs of their GA-MA74GM-S2? If so, which ones? These look like they may be appropriate, but one reviewer says they are smaller than the picture suggests. Or perhaps something fancier? Most elaborate yet (at almost 50% the cost of the board itself!)

Thoughts?

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Post by matt_garman » Fri Feb 06, 2009 7:27 pm

Bump on my previous question: is it worth it to get heatsinks for the VRM modules on this board? If so, any recommendations?

But more importantly: I got this board, and paired it with a 4850e CPU to use as a fileserver.

My fileserver has eight total drives: four are connected to the onboard SATA ports (i.e. AMD SB700). The other four are connected via two 2-port PCIe SATA cards (based on the Silicon Image SiI 3132 chip).

Whenever I do any kind of writing to the drives attached to the add-on cards, the computer instantly reboots.

Any thoughts?

Thanks!
Matt

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Post by drees » Mon Feb 09, 2009 11:16 am

matt_garman wrote:My fileserver has eight total drives: four are connected to the onboard SATA ports (i.e. AMD SB700). The other four are connected via two 2-port PCIe SATA cards (based on the Silicon Image SiI 3132 chip).

Whenever I do any kind of writing to the drives attached to the add-on cards, the computer instantly reboots.
Sounds like an issue with one of the following:

BIOS / BIOS settings / or driver bug. Make sure you have the latest BIOS and drivers.

amjedm
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Post by amjedm » Fri Feb 20, 2009 2:39 pm

Has anyone fitted a Ninja (I have the Rev B) to one of these motherboards?

Edit: found the answer in this thread viewtopic.php?t=51199&highlight=gama74gms2 (thank God) :)

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Post by bigclaw » Sun Mar 01, 2009 7:54 am

Excellent article! Based on it, I built an SFF box that will act as NAS as well as a general-purpose server machine. Here are some preliminary stats:

Motherboard: GA-MA74GM-S2
Case: Antec NSK-1380
PSU: supplied with case, Antec AR-350 350W (80-plus certified)
CPU: AMD 5050e (cheaper than the 4850e at the time)
RAM: 2GB (2x1GB) Corsair DDR2-800
HDD: 1 x WD Caviar Green Power 750GB
OS: Vista SP1 32-bit

Idle power: 29W!

I'm happy. :D

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Post by Firetech » Sun Mar 01, 2009 9:45 pm

Impressive power consumption, just wish I could find a vendor with the board in stock locally! :(

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Post by mattthemuppet » Sun Mar 01, 2009 9:49 pm

MSY used to stock them - that's where I got mine from in Melbourne. They still have a listing for them ($103) and I believe they have a couple of stores in Sydney.

impressive consumption bigclaw - my rig is pretty similar but draws ~10W more. My guess is the non-80+ PSU - a picoPSU would be an obvious replacement :)

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Post by Firetech » Sun Mar 01, 2009 9:56 pm

mattthemuppet wrote:MSY used to stock them - that's where I got mine from in Melbourne. They still have a listing for them ($103) and I believe they have a couple of stores in Sydney.
Thanks. It's a shame that they don't have a online stock control - I'd hate to wait in an hour long queue and them have none. All the usual online suspects have zero stock.
impressive consumption bigclaw - my rig is pretty similar but draws ~10W more. My guess is the non-80+ PSU - a picoPSU would be an obvious replacement :)
Have you found a pico psu source? - overseas suppliers are super expensive..

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Post by mattthemuppet » Sun Mar 01, 2009 10:01 pm

no worries - I just email the store in Box Hill (closest to me), if they have an item in stock they'll issue an invoice and hold it until a time (usually 1-2 days) I specify. Bit archaic, but seems to work fine.

No info on the picoPSU I'm afraid, one of those things I'd like to do but can't in any way justify :)

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Post by JamieG » Sun Mar 01, 2009 10:17 pm

Firetech wrote:Have you found a pico psu source? - overseas suppliers are super expensive.
mattthemuppet wrote:No info on the picoPSU I'm afraid, one of those things I'd like to do but can't in any way justify :)
I bought a PW-200V from these guys in WA:

Platinum Data Solutions:
T: +61 8 6262 0430
a: 573 Canning Hwy Alfred Cove 6154 WA
f: +61 8 9317 6664
w: www.platinumsolutions.com.au

From what the mini-box website says, it appears that these guys are the Australian resellers.

From memory, my PW-200V + power brick was $120 incl shipping from WA to Vic. This was a while ago (April 2008) so no guarantee re prices.

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Post by mattthemuppet » Sun Mar 01, 2009 10:21 pm

wow, that website redefines saying nothing with many words :shock:

just had a look - these guys would be one option:

http://stores.ebay.com.au/MITXPC_Power- ... W0QQfsubZ4

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Post by bigclaw » Mon Mar 02, 2009 5:54 am

mattthemuppet wrote: impressive consumption bigclaw - my rig is pretty similar but draws ~10W more. My guess is the non-80+ PSU - a picoPSU would be an obvious replacement :)
Thanks. Even with two HDDs and a blower fan installed, this thing can still idle at 30W - 32W. Considering that a typical 350W power supply is more than likely only 60%-70% efficient at around 30W (despite been 80-plus certified), the machine is really consuming around 20W at full idle. That's very impressive.

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Post by Firetech » Thu Mar 05, 2009 10:31 pm

rpsgc wrote:You really ought to do something about these spammers.
Given that the availability of pico psu parts in Australia is minimal compared with other areas of the world, I'm happy to be given any leads I can get.
I thought my only option was from the US and that was going to cost more than the rest of my build put together!
Having said that, it's still hard to justify the cost of pico psu over a decent low wattage 80+ 'normal' PSU.

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power consumption magic

Post by alexx » Mon Mar 23, 2009 4:35 am

Hi,

I have long been thinking about uprade of my fileserver and at first I was looking towards mini-itx based solution, but later found this great forum and decided to go the proven road... I've assembled the following system:

Code: Select all

Motherboard: GA-MA74GM-S2H (rev. 1.1), BIOS version F2
Memory:      2 x 1 GB Corsair DDR2 800
Processor:   AMD Athlon LE-1640, 2.7 Ghz, stepping G2
PSU:         Seasonic S12II-330 (no pico PSU since I plan on adding 3-4 hard-drives in the future)
HDD:         Western Digital 20GB (7200 rpm, ATA), just for testing
OS:          FreeBSD
Now I have C & Q enabled in BIOS, and so I can use OS to dinamically change the CPU speed. the sysctl dev.cpu.0.freq_levels suggests that I have the following speed steps: 2700, 2600, 2200, 2000, 1800 and 1000 GHz. I've tried setting all of these speeds and this is what I get in terms of power consumption:

2700 - ~55 watts
2600 - ~51 watts
2000 - ~16 watts
1800 - ~14 watts
1000 - ~46 watts (???)

Actually, having about 16 watts power consumption at 2GHz speed looks kind of black magic to me, but this is what I see in my power meter... but it gets better when I set CPU to 1GHz -> power consumption jumps to 40+ watts for some reason. I really can not explain this.

Another thing: I've tried disabling C&Q in bios and manually undervolting the system. So I've set multiplier to x5 (i.e. 1GHz) and Vcore to 0.8 volts
but the lowest seen power consumption was about 37 watts. It is absolutely not clear to me how C&Q can bring the power consumption that low at 2.0GHz compared to manual undervolting?[/code]

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Re: power consumption magic

Post by rpsgc » Mon Mar 23, 2009 4:51 am

alexx wrote: 2700 - ~55 watts
2600 - ~51 watts
2000 - ~16 watts
1800 - ~14 watts
1000 - ~46 watts (???)

Actually, having about 16 watts power consumption at 2GHz speed looks kind of black magic to me, but this is what I see in my power meter... but it gets better when I set CPU to 1GHz -> power consumption jumps to 40+ watts for some reason. I really can not explain this.
Maybe it's an error and it's the other way around, i.e. 46W for 2000MHz?

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Post by alexx » Mon Mar 23, 2009 5:42 am

i wish... I've checked many times. The power consumption gets significantly down when I switch to 2GHz, looks like processor goes to a totally separate mode. But I can assure you - it's not asleep, and all my console commands are processed immediately.

Unfortunately under FreeBSD there is no HW monitor where I could check voltages, it could give a hint.

Overall I am very happy with this system, even with stock AMD cooler it works very quietly and the only noise I can hear comes from the hdd...

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Re: power consumption magic

Post by nutball » Mon Mar 23, 2009 6:49 am

alexx wrote:Actually, having about 16 watts power consumption at 2GHz speed looks kind of black magic to me, but this is what I see in my power meter... but it gets better when I set CPU to 1GHz -> power consumption jumps to 40+ watts for some reason. I really can not explain this.
What power meter are you using?

I've seen similar readings from my power meter from my file server when idle (5050e, 780G board, 8GB RAM, Adaptec 5805 and eight hard-drives, Corsair 450VX) and, frankly, I don't believe them. I think either the read-out is going screwy or something. Most the time it's reading sensibly though, at ~58-59W idle to ~125W under full load which is about what I'd expect for my setup. Just some times it decides to freak out and tell me it's pulling 16-18W, which is nonsense because the RAID controller pulls about 8-10W on its own.

Looking at your figures I'd guess that the 16 and 14W results are wrong, and should be ~48 and ~46W or similar. I think you'd be hard pushed to get any system to idle at 14-16W from a standard 300W+ ATX power supply. They're too damned inefficient, and most of them pull 5-10W anyway even when the PC is off.

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Post by alexx » Mon Mar 23, 2009 7:22 am

I don't have this power meter at hand; of course it's not something professional, I paid about 18 euros for it. However it has quite nice features, measures voltage and current, you can enter the price of kW and it will calculate the electricity cost for you...

I've also used it to measure power consumption of my other appliances, including C2D based system, old junk PI and PII PCs, and all readings were consistent... no nonsense like 16 watts... although it would be great :-)

maybe it has something to do in a combination power meter -> psu -> motherboard, that in certain circumstances it starts showing these bogus values...

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