ASRock A780GXE vs AOD790GX - Phenom Battle - Real-World Gaming and Applications Benchmarked

Article Index
ASRock A780GXE vs AOD790GX - Phenom Battle
Closer Look at the Boards A780GXE and AOD790GX
AMD 780 Chipset and A780GXE/128M Features
AMD 790 Chipset and AOD790GX/128M Features
BIOS, Energy Saving and Overclocking
Test Setup, HDD and Systems Testing
Let the Benchmarking Begin - Synthetic
Real-World Gaming and Applications Benchmarked

Gaming Performance:

To find out how these two boards compare when playing games, we used my personal favorite game - Call of Duty 4, as well as Crysis to see how these boards hold up.  Crysis takes a very powerful system to run smoothly and while we only have a single HD4850, the AMD Phenom x4 9950BE processor is pretty solid and keeps the gameplay running much smoother than I thought.  Call of Duty 4 runs pretty good on mid-range systems so I expect 60FPS+ in this game.  For the Crysis benchmark we used the HOC Benchmarking tool at several different resolutions, but settled on 1280x768 as it is a balance between CPU and GPU limitations.  We ran this at Medium settings and did three passes on each level.  The results were averaged.  CoD4 benchmarking was done with a custom timedemo at 1920x1200 with no AA and details set to "Normal" and "High" were applicable.  The settings were identical on both boards so any performance difference is due to the motherboards.

Gameplay Performance

 

Crysis shows identical stock performance on both boards, but the higher clocked CPU on the AOD790GX helps it beat out the A780GXE by 1FPS when overclocked.  Call of Duty 4 looks to be more GPU limited at these settings as performance doesn't increase much when overclocked.  The AOD790GX wins here as well, but by a mere 2.1FPS at the most - unnoticeable in a game.

 

Real-World Performance:

We wrap up with a look at video decoding (watching) and encoding.  We've used several HD Video clips at 1080p and 720p on both WMVHD and Quicktime H.264.  The fast CPU on this system makes HD videos play very smoothly and the chipsets actually offload the processing to the integrated GPU and/or the HD4850 graphics card.  We've used this test several times before but have left out those results as they were using different CPUs.  For this test, only the two ASRock boards are being compared.

 HDVideo Playback

 

It seems that this is a toss-up.  For some videos the A780GXE comes out as the winner and in other tests the AOD790GX pulls ahead.  The biggest difference is in the 1080p Amazon clip.  The difference on CPU load is 8% and after many passes on each machine the results are still the same.  The AOD790GX never has CPU load rise above 20% - except on the "Coral Reef Adventures".  The A780GXE has two videos that require greater than 25% CPU load.

Video encoding is a very CPU intensive application and shows just how efficient the system is.  We've used DVDShrink, ConvertX to DVD in real world tests as well as the x.265 benchmark - which is a scripted test that merely calculates frames per second.  All tests are very CPU intensive.

 ConvertX to DVD
ConvertX to DVD
DVDShrink
DVDShrink
 x.264 SD & HD
x.264 SD & HD

 

In ConvertX to DVD from VSO-Software, the A780GXE takes the cake at stock speed.  Even when overclocked to a lower frequency the A780GXE still does very well where we'd expect it to lag behind.  This follows through with DVDShrink as well - the A780GXE beats out the AOD790GX - and still holds it's own in the overclocked benchmarks as well. In the x.264 and x.264HD tests we see the AOD790GX finally live up to our hopes of better performance.  At stock speed it transcodes video slightly faster than the A780GXE, and when overclocked it shows greater improvement due to its higher clock speed.

 

Final Thoughts & Conclusion:

Although released close to the same time the ASRock A780GXE/128M has an older chipset and a more limited set of features than the ASRock A790GX/128M motherboard.  While the A780GXE is based on the 780G Northbridge and HD3200 graphics chipset, the AOD790GX is based on the newer 790GX Northbridge chipset and HD3300 graphics chipset.  The 790GX board also sports the AMD SB750 chipset that is said to allow greater overclocking on the Phenom processor.  In our tests the board certainly does overclock the Phenom better, but only when not using the Advanced Clock Control setting that is supposed to yield all the extra performance.

If I'd have to pick a winner between the two, I'd go with the AOD790GX/128M motherboard.  Overall it offers better performance, better overclocking, better audio quality and a little more integrated GPU power from the HD3300 GPU.  Both boards support upcoming AM3 CPUs and should provide years of service.

 

A780GXE/128M Pros:

  • Good performance & stability
  • 140W Phenom Support
  • Crossfire Ready
  • AM3 Ready
  • Firewire, eSATA and 10x USB2.0

 

A780GXE/128M Cons:

  • Mediocre Phenom Overclocker
  • Audio Quality not the greatest
  • Split-up Power Connectors
  • Mixed capacitors - all Japanese, but not all solid-state

BCCRating

 

 

AOD790GX/128M Pros:

  • Good performance & Stability
  • 140W Phenom Support
  • Good Phenom X4 overclocking
  • Crossfire & AM3 Ready
  • Firewire, eSATA and 10x USB2.0
  • All Japanese Solid-State Capacitors
  • Excellent audio quality for on-board sound

 

AOD790GX/128M Cons:

  • ACC doesn't work as advertised
  • Split-up power connectors

BCCRating

 Top Pick

 

When you consider that the A780GXE/128M board is available for $80USD and the AOD790GX/128M can be found for $105USD, both of these boards are great value and are worthy of buying for your next upgrade.  It's your choice.

I'd like to thank ASRock for sending these boards our way for review.  If you have any questions or comments, please post them in the forum at the "Comments" link below.