PI-AM2RS780G is an entry-level socket AM2+ motherboard with on-board video from Sapphire based on AMD 780G (RS780) chipset, featuring two on-board video outputs (one VGA and one DVI) and targeted to users willing to build an entry-level PC based on an AMD CPU like Athlon X2. In this review we will compare the performance of AMD 780G to its main competitor, GeForce 8200, and we will also analyze if Hybrid CrossFire technology really improves gaming performance. Check it out.
AMD currently has five chipsets with integrated video for the AMD platform: AMD 690V, AMD 690G, AMD 740G, AMD 780V and AMD 780G. AMD 690V, AMD 690G and AMD 740G are based on a DirectX 9 graphics engine, while AMD 780V and AMD 780G are based on a DirectX 10 one. AMD 780V is based on Radeon HD 3100 engine, which runs at a lower clock rate compared to Radeon HD 3200 engine (400 MHz vs. 500 MHz), which is used by AMD 780G. AMD 780V also doesn’t support Hybrid CrossFire configuration (more about this feature in just one second).
The main competitor of the reviewed motherboard are boards based on the GeForce 8200 chipset – which also features a DirectX 10 engine, has similar specs and can be found on the same price range. While AMD 780G uses two chips (RS780 north bridge chip and SB700 south bridge chip), GeForce 8200 (codename MCP78M-A) is a single-chip solution. In the table below you can see a comparison between the main specs of these two chipsets.
|Chipset||GeForce 8200||AMD 780G|
|GPU Clock||500 MHz||500 MHz|
|Graphics Processors Clock||1,200 MHz||500 MHz|
|USB 2.0 Ports||12||12|
|RAID||0, 1, 0+1, 5||0, 1, 10|
|ATA-133 Ports||1 (2 devices)||1 (2 devices)|
|Hybrid SLI/CrossFire||GeForce Boost||Hybrid Graphics|
ROPs stand for “Raster Operation Units” and are also known as “Rendering Back-End Units.” They are the final stage on rendering a 3D image.
As you can see, these two chipsets have very similar specs. AMD 780G has more graphics processors (40 against 16) but the graphics processor on GeForce 8200 run at a higher clock rate. Both chipsets have RAID capability but supporting different RAID levels.
Both chipsets support Hybrid SLI or Hybrid CrossFire technologies. These technologies allow the on-board video to work in parallel to a discrete video card under SLI or CrossFire modes, increasing gaming performance (usually when you install a “real” video card the on-board video is disabled). The video card must support this technology and in fact only a few support this. Read our tutorial SLI vs. CrossFire for further information.
In this review we will analyze the Hybrid CrossFire feature by installing a Radeon HD 3450 on the reviewed board, first with the on-board video disabled and then with it enabled and CrossFire mode activated.
In our benchmarking we will compare Sapphire PI-AM2RS780G to ECS GF8200A Black Series, which is based on GeForce 8200 and competes directly with the reviewed motherboard.
Before going to our testings, let’s take an in-depth look at Sapphire PI-AM2RS780G.