PCWizKid takes a close look at the latest AM3 motherboard from MSI, the MSI 785GM-E65. For a while now if you had been in the market for a AM3 compatible board that was Micro ATX your choices where to most likely get a AM2+ board and upgrade the bios to support the latest AM3 CPU's this meant that you had to also use DDR2 instead of DDR3 memory on the board. The wait is over with MSI releasing their latest AM3 Micro ATX board with AMD's new 785G Northbridge chipset, the HD4200 integrated video onboard and support for DDR3 this makes a recipe for a great combo.
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A few things to mention about this new chipset, the onboard video has 40 stream processors (like the HD3200) but the 785G supports Unified Video Decoder 2 and also this video card has support for DirectX 10.1 and Shader model 4.1. The UVD 2.0 adds support for accelerated multiple streams, which allows for technology such as picture-in-picture and video detail enhancements. The 785G also has accelerated video transcoding, as well as HDMI 1.3 support. This indicates that for those looking to build multimedia PC this has the required support for today and tomorrow.
Lets take a closer look in PCWizKid's video review more in detail and see how it performs.
PCWizKid's Test System
- AMD AM3 Phenom II X2 250 Black Edition @ 3.1Ghz (Overclocked to 3.8Ghz) - 4GB Patriot G-Series DDR3 AMD Black Edition - Glacial Tech Igloo 5710 Silent CPU Cooler - Lian Li PC-A05N MicroATX Case - InWin Commander 1200 Watt PSU - 500GB Seagate SATA 7200.12 Hard Drive - Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit RTM - ATI Catalyst Drivers version 9.8 - AMD Overdrive 3.02
CPU (Max Support)
AM3 CPU Ready
FSB / Hyper Transport Bus
up to 2.6GHz
Max Memory (GB)
PCI-E Gen 2.0
USB ports (Rear)
Audio ports (Rear)
1394 ports (Rear)
VGA Share Memory (MB)
As seen in the video review, overclocking can be easily done. There are many ways you can go about it and PCWizkid tried them all.
- AMD Overdrive Utility proved to automatically adjust CPU settings and voltages to attain a stable 3.5Ghz (thats a 400Mhz overclock) - Alternatively manually tweaking the BIOS settings (in the Cell Menu area) to increase the CPU multiplier to 18.5 and the front side bus to 206 and the CPU voltage to 1.445v gave a stable 3.8Ghz (thats a great 700Mhz increase!) - The third option aimed at those not knowing how much or how to ocerclock is by using the MSI onboard Overclocking switches, which have the options to increase the front side bus 10, 15 and 20 % respecively to overclock your CPU only further hassle free.
Another interesting option MSI includes in the ability to set the memory and core speed of the onboard HD4200 video GPU. This was a very nice option to have for those looking to squeeze every bit out of the GPU. However don't expect dazzling 3D Gaming results with the onboard video. Like all onboard , there is nothing you can really compare against when it comes to having a discrete separate card installed along with it. Since the board comes with a PCI express x16 slot if you are looking to do more than video recording, video decoding and playback, watch movies DVD or DivX in HD and the casual PC gaming, I always strongly recommend getting for a board like this a separate video card to compliment it further.
For one of the latest AM3 785G chipset mATX motherboards on the market today MSI has provided an affordable solution. Those looking for quality and performance in a neat little bundle can find it in the MSI 765GM Series board easily. PCWizKid found the motherboard components such as the solid capacitors and heatsink of excellent quality which showed in the stability and stress tests. The votage regulators, active phase switching support for the latest AM3 CPU's was proven with a successful overclock of one of the latest AM3 CPU's on the market today. Enthusiasts looking to create a high end multimedia PC can take further the onboard video with its capabilities to overclock the HD4200 and optionally expand with another video card making this a well rounded option and a definite recommended choice by PCWizkid.