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ASUS, DFI and Gigabyte prepare RD790, RD780 and RX780 motherboards

AMD motherboard partners displayed RD790-based motherboards at Computex 2007. ASUS, DFI and Gigabyte have RD790 motherboards on display. Gigabyte is the only partner to have a live demonstration of RD790, from what we have seen. The Gigabyte GA-M790-DQ6 features four PCIe 2.0 x16 slots capable of dual x16 or quad x8 configurations.

The live demo of the Gigabyte GA-M790-DQ6 did not have two ATI Radeon GPUs operating in CrossFire. Instead, Gigabyte equipped the RD790 demo system with a single ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT.

The Gigabyte GA-M790-DQ6 does not have any PCIe x1 slots. However, the GA-M790-DQ6 features two standard PCI slots. Gigabyte also equips the GA-M790-DQ6 with a Realtek ALC889 high-definition audio codec capable of 106dB signal-to-noise ratios.

ASUS had the M3A32-MVP Deluxe on display. The upcoming ASUS M3A32-MVP Deluxe supports Socket AM2+ processors with HyperTransport 3.0, or HT3. The board features dual PCIe 2.0 x16, three PCI and one PCIe x1 slots. The ASUS M3A32-MVP Deluxe will also support DDR2-1066 memory.

ASUS equips the M3A32-MVP Deluxe with an elaborate heat-pipe cooling setup. The heat-pipe cools the RD790, SB600 and accompanying system memory.

DFI had the LANPartyUT RD790-M2R on display. The LANPartyUT RD790-M2R features four PCIe 2.0 x16, two PCI and one PCIe x1 slots. DFI only claims HyperTransport 1.0 support with the LANPartyUT RD790-M2R. Nevertheless, the LANPartyUT RD790-M2R features a six-phase Vcore and one-phase digital PWM. Additionally, the DFI LANPartyUT features dual Gigabit Ethernet ports with teaming technology and DFI Bernstein eight-channel audio.

ASUS had additional AMD 7-series motherboards on display – the M3A-MVP and M3A. The ASUS M3A-MVP features the mainstream RD780 chipset with a cut-down PCIe lane configuration. ASUS equips the M3A-MVP with two physical PCIe 2.0 x16 slots. The PCIe 2.0 x16 slots default to dual eight-lane configurations when both slots are occupied.

The ASUS M3A-MVP also features three PCIe x1 and two PCI slots for expansion. The vanilla M3A-MVP does not receive the elaborate heat-pipe setup as its deluxe brethren.

Lastly is the value-level ASUS M3A. The ASUS M3A features the AMD RX780 chipset paired with the SB600. The AMD RX780 does not support CrossFire. The ASUS M3A features one PCIe 2.0 x16, three PCIe x1 and three PCI slots.

Expect AMD RD790, RD780 and RX780 motherboards later this year.

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PCIE 2.0 but no DDR3 Support?
By MetaDFF on 6/6/2007 8:38:37 PM , Rating: 2
Just an observation, but it's odd that all these boards support PCIE 2.0 but not DDR3.
Anybody know when AMD is planning to bring DDR3 support to AM2+?

RE: PCIE 2.0 but no DDR3 Support?
By Goty on 6/6/2007 8:56:34 PM , Rating: 3
AMD probably won't make the move to DDR3 for quite a while. I assume that they'll make the switch when they move to the "AM3" socket.

RE: PCIE 2.0 but no DDR3 Support?
By fk49 on 6/6/2007 9:02:48 PM , Rating: 2
I think its code-named AM3 and comes a while after AM2+. The CPUs after Agena/Barcelona (greyhound?) are supposed to have both DDR2 and DDR3 controllers so they can go into AM3 and AM2 boards.

By EarthsDM on 6/6/2007 9:15:05 PM , Rating: 4
Don't expect DDR3 support until after DDR3 is faster and cheaper than DDR2, in the same way that AM2 didn't happen until DDR2 was cheaper and faster than DDR. AMD likes letting Intel pay the early adopter fees ;)

RE: PCIE 2.0 but no DDR3 Support?
By leidegre on 6/7/2007 2:26:56 AM , Rating: 2
Well, the performance differance is still small, and I'm currently still on DDR, and DDR2 is cheaper than DDR, and certainly a lot cheaper than DDR3, so for a while, you'll be better of with DDR2, it just more for your money that way.

RE: PCIE 2.0 but no DDR3 Support?
By xxeonn on 6/7/2007 2:44:11 AM , Rating: 2
I think its sometime Q4'2007 or Q1'2008 not sure. I thought i saw that in an article when they were interviewing someone from AMD.

I found the article and here it is.

We asked AMD's Phil Hester when he expects to see DDR3 make sense for the desktop, and he gave us an unusually candid answer. According to Hester, it won't be until late 2008 or early 2009 that DDR3 will make economic sense to move to. Given that Phenom will be DDR2 from the start, it looks like AMD's transition to DDR3 will be much like its transition to DDR2: it will complete well after Intel has made the move.

By FITCamaro on 6/7/2007 6:58:20 AM , Rating: 1
Current Athlon X2s don't support DDR3. And while I don't remember if K10 does, if it does, they'll release motherboards for it with DDR3 slots.

By Mitch101 on 6/7/2007 10:25:41 AM , Rating: 2
LOWER LATENCY is usually greater/better than MEMORY SPEED.

Anandtech already had a posting comparing top end DDR2 to recently released DDR3 and the DDR2 system was faster because of the latency of the DDR2 ram.

DDR2 should also make the cost lower to build a machine around. Generally when you buy a CPU you get the equivilent MOBO and RAM to go with the machine.

CPU + MOBO + RAM = New rig guts cost. If you can use readily available DDR2 then the cost would be lower for most to build a machine around that.

By Goty on 6/6/2007 8:19:13 PM , Rating: 2
Is it just me or does that DFI motherboard look like nothing more than an AMD reference board?

RE: Hmm...
By EarthsDM on 6/6/2007 8:49:46 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know, I haven't seen the reference design, but what I'm wondering why they only have HT1 instead of HT3. Anyone know why?

RE: Hmm...
By MDE on 6/6/2007 11:19:21 PM , Rating: 2
If you look at the picture, the sign next to the board says "Platform Preview," so it's pretty safe to assume the board isn't final. They could just be using the AMD board as a placeholder.

RE: Hmm...
By Goty on 6/6/2007 11:21:49 PM , Rating: 2
Ah, good eye.

RE: Hmm...
By JackPack on 6/7/2007 1:27:26 AM , Rating: 3
It's 100% reference.

Notice the hammerhead shark image silkscreened onto the PCB? It's exactly the same as the AMD Hammerhead board they showed last month.

HyperTransport 1.0
By Zurtex on 6/6/2007 9:40:05 PM , Rating: 2
"DFI only claims HyperTransport 1.0 support"

Are you absolutely sure?!? Even the AM2 supports HyperTransport 2.0:

My understanding is that HT 3.0 was backwards compatible with HT 2.0, but I wasn't sure that HT 1.0 was compatible in anyway with either 2.0 or 3.0...

RE: HyperTransport 1.0
By Anh Huynh on 6/7/2007 2:05:45 AM , Rating: 2
My guess is the board isn't validated for HT3 yet, or someone in the marketing department mistakenly wrote down HT1.

What's the interest level?
By BPB on 6/7/2007 8:24:43 AM , Rating: 2
I started using non-Intel CPU's back in the NextGen days, prior to AMD purchasing NextGen. We're talking mid-90's. Late last year I switched back to Intel with the C2D lineup being too good to ignore, and I am probably going to get a quad when the next price cuts kick in. Since I've switched back I've gotten the impression that many, many others swtiched along with me. Which makes me wonder, what kind of interest is there for these boards and AMD's next gen of CPU's? I'll happily hold off from getting a Q6600 if the next round of AMD boards/cpu's are worthy, but I can't help but doubt they will be. It does not make me happy to write that. I want AMD to take back the lead, but they way they've handled things lately, especially with ATI, does not give me hope.

RE: What's the interest level?
By Proteusza on 6/7/2007 8:52:23 AM , Rating: 2
I feel the same way.

AMD's current situation could largely have been avoided if it was managed better. They needed to have a more transparent PR approach probably most importantly.

And I think they should have got AM2+ boards out as soon as possible, and respin the higher rated Athlon X2's on 65nm.

launching AM2+ boards sooner would mean more people would have bought them for use with Barcelona.

but hey what I do know, I'm just one of the millions of enthusiasts who are now seriously considering or have already invested in intel, because AMD didnt deliver. I mean, there is no way AMD's marketing team could have been wrong, could they?

By Proteusza on 6/7/2007 4:40:09 AM , Rating: 2
So when can we expect these boards? How many months away?

By Assimilator87 on 6/6/2007 11:52:59 PM , Rating: 2
Do Anglos even make motherboards?

By Goty on 6/7/2007 12:16:17 AM , Rating: 2
Not good ones. =D

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007
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