Testing Methods

With the exception of SiSoft Sandra and Lavalys Everest, all of our benchmarks have been engineered to give you numbers that you are likely to find useful when actually using the products we have evaluated in the real world.

We are also focusing a lot more of our time on evaluating the stability of the motherboards (and platforms) using a stress test designed to highlight any of the potential weaknesses that the product may have. That involves a gradually increasing amount of stress starting with Prime95 torture test on all cores and expanding to a looping 3DMark06. This is to ensure that all parts of the system are stressed simultaneously over a period of time.

We believe that the consumer is never likely to subject their platform to this level of stress and we are not expecting every product to complete an entire extended stress test. However, most poorly engineered products fail within the first couple of hours, or even minutes, allowing us to make a conscious decision on whether a motherboard (or platform) is worth your money, regardless of how well it performs in our benchmarks.

*Gigabyte GA-MA785GMT-UD2H Review Testing Methods

Test Setup:

Motherboards:

  • Gigabyte GA-MA785GMT-UD2H (AMD 785G/SB710 F1 BIOS)
  • Asus M4A78-HTPC (AMD 780G/SB700 0506 BIOS)
  • MSI 770-C45 (AMD 770X/SB710 1.3 BIOS)

Common Components:

  • AMD Phenom II X3 720 Black Edition (3x2.8GHz)
  • 4GB Corsair DDR3 PC12800 CL9
  • MSI 770-C45: AMD Radeon HD4350 512MB DDR2 graphics card
  • PC Power and Cooling Silencer 750W PSU
  • Seagate 7200.11 1TB SATA hard drive
  • Intel X25-M 80GB SSD
  • Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit SP1
  • ATI Catalyst 9.7 WHQL

Overclocked Settings

  • Gigabyte GA-MA785GMT-UD2H: 4x3.5GHz (15.5 x 226MHz HT) CPU, 2.26GHz NB, 1,506MHz DDR3 at 8-8-8-20-1T. 785G core clock increased from 500MHz to 700MHz.
  • Asus M4A78-HTPC: 3x3.485GHz, (17 x 205MHz CPU), 2.0GHz NB, 1,093MHz DDR2 at 5-5-5-18-2T. 780G core clock increased from 500MHz to 700MHz.
  • MSI 770-C45: 3x3.5GHz (15.5 x 225MHz HT), 2.2GHz NB, 1,500MHz DDR3 at 8-8-8-24-1T, HD 4350 clocks increased to 640MHz core, 445MHz (890MHz effective) DDR2 memory.

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