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Gigabyte GA-880GMA-UD2H, AMD X3 445 CPU

Today we are going to look at one of AMD’s newest CPU the X3 445. Then we are going to pair this little CPU up on one of Gigabyte’s micro ATX motherboard the 890GMA-UD2H.

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Introduction

It is not every day I get a chance to check out a new CPU. And this week, I got a chance to look at not one, but two new CPU types. One of these new CPU’s I played with was an AMD TRI Core CPU called the AM3 445 CPU.

When we get new CPU’s we also have to have the latest motherboard to support our brand spanking new CPU. The motherboard we at Bjorn3D.com are going to be including is Gigabyte’s 880GMA-UD2H micro ATX motherboard.

In true Dragon style, we over here at Bjorn3D.com are going to pair these two components up, throw on a proven video card, in this case that will be a Sapphire 5870 Vapor X (Review is located HERE); then heat things up a bit in the “Dungeon” and see how these two perform.

The Gigabyte 880GMA-UD2H motherboard we at Bjorn3D.com will be tormenting.


The CPU we will be installing into the 880GMA-UD2H motherboard. This is an AMD AM3 socket TRI Core 445 CPU.

Each AMD PIB/WOF (Processor-In-a-Box / Without fan & heatsink) comes with:

  • A high-performance AMD processor
  • AMD-qualified heatsink/fan with thermal interface (Not included in WOF)
  • Installation manual
  • AMD processor case sticker
  • Certificate of authenticity
  • 3-year limited warranty

AMD PIB/WOF package benefits:

  • Each PIB is bar-coded for scanning and data tracking
  • Tamper-resistant packaging to help ensure processor authenticity

For more information on AMD’s AM3 445 CPU, please feel free to visit AMD’s website HERE.

Features

Get Ready to Unleash the Power of AMD 6-Core CPU
GIGABYTE’s AMD motherboards are ready to support the new generation of AMD Phenom™II X 6 processors, delivering the very best platform for multitasking, multimedia and high performance gaming.

 

On/Off Charge Support
GIGABYTE On/Off Charge technology that enables faster iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch charging. A derivative of GIGABYTE’s highly acclaimed 3x USB Power feature, On/Off Charge technology allows iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices to draw more current from GIGABYTE motherboard USB ports than standard USB ports allow, with the added benefit that the PC can be on, in standby mode or even off…more
*Due to certain mobile phone limitations, users may need to connect the mobile phone to their PC before the PC enters S4/S5 mode to enable a quick charge from non On/Off Charge USB ports. Charging results may vary by model.

 

 
Introduction

The 880GMA-UD2H motherboard is designed to offer a stable, high-speed platform for delivering amazingly fast data transfer via revolutionary GIGABYTE Ultra Durable 3 Classic technology with featuring 2 oz copper PCB, and further the latest GIGABYTE 333 onboard acceleration technologies (USB 3.0 / SATA3 6Gbs / 3X USB power). Based on AMD 880G chipset, the 880GMA-UD2H supports the latest 45nm AMD AM3 Phenom II/ Athlon II processors, integrated DDR3 memory controller, HyperTransport™ 3.0 technology links and dual PCI Express 2.0 graphics interfaces (running at x8 and x8) for ATI CrossFireX/ ATI Hybrid CrossFireX support. With the innovative GIGABYTE Easy Energy Saver technology, the 880GMA-UD2H is able to provide user friendly computing, reach the maximum system performance easily while still able to save the power and environment in real life at the same time.

 

Supports next generation of 45nm AMD AM3 CPU
This motherboard designs with Split Power Plane, 4+1 phase VRM to support AMD the latest 45nm AM3 Phenom™I/ Athlon™II processors, delivering the great performance enchantment to system and ultimate scalability hardware expending.

 

Auto Unlock Support
Unleash your system’s hidden monster performance with GIGABYTE’s innovative Auto Unlock technology. Featuring a unique Core Boost micro-processor design which enables the processor’s hidden cores; GIGABYTE Auto Unlock lets you experience a phenomenal performance upgrade.
* The ability of unlocking the hidden CPU cores might vary by different processors.

 

SATA 6 Gbps Support
Yet another onboard feature of GIGABYTE AMD 800A series motherboards are integrated the latest AMD SB850 chip for high-speed SATA Revision 3.0 compatibility, delivering 6 ports native superfast 6Gbps link speeds for twice the data transfer rates of SATA Revision 2.0 (3 Gbps) and RAID 0, 1, 5, 10 support. When used in RAID 0 (Stripe) mode, GIGABYTE AMD 800A series motherboards offer even faster data transfer rates of up to 4x the speed of current SATA interfaces.

 

USB 3.0 Support
The GIGABYTE AMD 800A series motherboards support the latest generation SuperSpeed USB 3.0 technology made possible through an onboard NEC uPD720200 host controller. With superfast transfer rates of up to 5 Gbps, users are able to experience an almost a 10x improvement over USB 2.0. Additionally, backwards compatibility with USB 2.0 assures users of long term use of their legacy USB 2.0 devices. The onboard NEC SuperSpeed USB 3.0 technology also provides new power management features that include increased maximum bus power and device current draw to better accommodate power-hungry devices.

 

3x USB Power Boost
GIGABYTE motherboards feature a 3x USB power boost, delivering greater compatibility and extra power for USB devices. GIGABYTE’s unique USB power design is also able to efficiently regulate output over the full voltage range, which greatly enhances USB device compatibility. In addition, dedicated lower resistance fuses ensure lower voltage drops, and provide more stable and plentiful power delivery.

 

 
Ultra Durable 3 – Classic

GIGABYTE Ultra Durable 3 Classic motherboards once again lead the motherboard industry for the highest quality and most innovative motherboard design. Featuring the industry’s first consumer desktop motherboard design to introduce 2 ounces of copper for both the Power and Ground layers, delivering a dramatically lower system temperature, improved energy efficiency and enhanced stability for overclocking. GIGABYTE Ultra Durable 3 Classic motherboards are equipped with the GIGABYTE Ultra Durable signature features including Japanese Solid Capacitors boasting an operational life time of more than 50,000 hours, and GIGABYTE patented DualBIOS™ technology (providing dual hardware BIOS protection). GIGABYTE Ultra Durable 3 Classic motherboards promise to provide the stability, reliability and longevity essential to meet the power needs of high-end processors and other components running today’s most demanding applications and games.

 

AMD 880G 3D Graphics Performance Upgrade- up to 3DMark 2006 3000 marks!!
The 3DMark 2006 is a benchmark software which is from Futuremark Corporation and generally used on analyzing a PC performance of DirectX® 3D visualization, especially a valuable guideline for gaming users as reference.
3DMark06 2868 marks on 880G system configuration
AMD PhenomII X4 965 (OC), GPU OC 1124MHz, 4GB DDR3-1600(OC), Win7-32bit, 3DMark06 (1280×1024)

* 3000+ marks in 3DMark06 was achieved by overclocking.
* Please be aware that GIGABYTE’s product warranty does not cover damages caused by overclocking.

 

ATI Hybrid Graphics Technology support
Experience the advanced ATI Hybrid Graphics Technology, which is including ATI Hybrid CrossFireX™, ATI SurroundView™, and ATI PowerPlay™ with Windows 7, Vista and XP supported. With combination of onboard GPU and a single VGA card’s GPU*, ATI Hybrid CrossFireX™ can bring remarkable display performance on AMD platform, and also further to increase your overall system value. ATI SurroundView™ allows 4 or more monitors support at once and also ATI PowerPlay™ enables power saving profiles to help reduce power consumption and further resulting in reduced system temperatures and fan noise.
* Please use ATI Hybrid CrossFireX certified DX11 VGA card (i.e., ATI Radeon HD 5450, etc.).

 

Dual Channel DDR3 1800+ MHz
Delivering native support for DDR3 memory up to 1800MHz, GIGABYTE Ultra Durable 3 series motherboards allow users to easily reach higher memory frequencies at lower voltages; achieving higher memory performance with lower power consumption to run even the most memory intensive applications such as high-definition video and 3D games with ease.

 

GIGABYTE innovative technology – Easy Energy Saver
Featuring an advanced proprietary software design, GIGABYTE Easy Energy Saver is able to dynamically adjust CPU power depending on workload, delivering just the right amount of power needed for the task. Coupled with AMD’s highly efficient 45nm AM3 CPU, the Easy Energy Saver is able to provide exceptional levels of power savings and enhanced power efficiency without sacrificing computing performance.

 

EasyTune6
GIGABYTE has completely redesigned EasyTune6 from the ground up to make it easier than ever to manage and monitor your hardware resources as well as tweak your system settings in order to achieve maximum system performance. Whether you are an overclocking enthusiast, or a computer novice, EasyTune6 provides the tools you need to quickly and effortlessly fine tune your system.

 

HDMI 1.3* certification, support Full HD 1080P
HDMI is able to provide up to 5Gb/s video transmitting bandwidth and multi-channel high quality audio all through a single cable. Able to transmit superior, uncompressed digital video and audio, HDMI ensures the crispest rendering of digital content up to 1080p without the quality losses associated with analog interfaces and their digital-to-analog conversion. GA-880GMA-UD2H has obtained the latest HDMI 1.3* certification, able to support Full HD 1080p multi-media and HDCP (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection) which allowing Blu-ray/ HD DVD and other protected contents playback.
* HDMI 1.3 certified in video spec only.

 

Dolby Home Theater Support
Delivers vivid surround sound for music, movies, and games, using two to eight speakers or any set of headphones.

 

Norton™ Internet Security
Fast, comprehensive, and up-to-the-minute protection against online threats. It safeguards your computer, identity, and home network without slowing you down. It sets a new standard for speed and makes online shopping, banking, and browsing safer and more convenient than ever.

 

 
Qualified for Windows® 7
The motherboard qualified for WHQL (Windows Hardware Quality Labs) certification of Windows 7 from Microsoft®, setting the standard for future Windows 7 certified motherboards…more

 

ErP Lot 6 support
The ErP (as known as Energy-Related Products Directive) is part of new European Union’s environment regulations. ErP established is based on the concern of environmental issues regards electronic devices been gained popularity and how to improve energy efficiency for better and greener life. GIGABYTE presents standard motherboards to help you effectively improving system performance and saving more energy.

 

* The entire materials provided herein are for reference only. GIGABYTE reserves the right to modify or revise the content at anytime without prior notice.
* All trademarks and logos are the properties of their respective holders.
* Due to standard PC architecture, a certain amount of memory is reserved for system usage and therefore the actual memory size is less than the stated amount.

Specifications

CPU
  1. Support for Socket AM3 processors: AMD Phenom™ II processor / AMD Athlon™ II processor
Hyper Transport Bus
  1. 5200 MT/s
Chipset
  1. North Bridge: AMD 880G
  2. South Bridge: AMD SB850
Memory
  1. 4 x 1.5V DDR3 DIMM sockets supporting up to 16 GB of system memory (Note 1)
  2. Dual channel memory architecture
  3. Support for DDR3 1800(OC)/1333/1066 MHz memory modules (Note 2)
Onboard Graphics North Bridge:
  1. 1 x D-Sub port
  2. 1 x DVI-D port (Note 3)(Note 4)
  3. 1 x HDMI port (Note 4)
Audio
  1. Realtek ALC892 codec
  2. High Definition Audio
  3. 2/4/5.1/7.1-channel
  4. Support for Dolby Home Theater
  5. Support for S/PDIF In/Out
  6. Support for CD In
LAN
  1. 1 x Realtek 8111D chip (10/100/1000 Mbit)
Expansion Slots
  1. 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x16 (PCIEX16) (Note 5)
  2. 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x4 (PCIEX4) (Note 5)
  3. 1 x PCI Express x1 slot (All PCI Express slots conform to PCI Express 2.0 standard.)
  4. 1 x PCI slots
Multi-Graphics Technology
  1. Support for ATI Hybrid CrossFireX technology
Storage Interface South Bridge:
  1. 5 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors 6 supporting up to 5 SATA 6Gb/s devices
  2. 1 x eSATA 6Gb/s connectors on the back panel supporting up to 1 SATA 6Gb/s device
  3. Support for SATA RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 10, and JBOD

JMicron JMB368 chip:

  1. 1 x IDE connector supporting ATA-133/100/66/33 and up to 2 IDE devices

iTE IT8720 chip:

  1. 1 x floppy disk drive connector supporting up to 1 floppy disk drive
USB South Bridge:
  1. Up to 10USB 2.0/1.1 ports (4 on the back panel, 6 via the USB brackets connected to the internal USB headers)

NEC D720200F1 chip:

  1. Up to 2 USB 3.0 ports on the back panel
IEEE 1394 T.I. TSB43AB23 chip:
  1. Up to 2 IEEE 1394a ports (1 on the back panel, 2 via the IEEE 1394a bracket connected to the internal IEEE 1394a header)
Internal I/O Connectors
  1. 1 x 24-pin ATX main power connector
  2. 1 x 8-pin ATX 12V power connector
  3. 1 x floppy disk drive connector
  4. 1 x IDE connector
  5. 5 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
  6. 1 x CPU fan header
  7. 1 x system fan header
  8. 1 x front panel header
  9. 1 x front panel audio header
  10. 1 x CD In connector
  11. 1 x S/PDIF In/Out header
  12. 1 x IEEE 1394a header
  13. 3 x USB 2.0/1.1 headers
  14. 1 x serial port header
  15. 1 x clearing CMOS jumper
Back Panel Connectors
  1. 1 x PS/2 keyboard port or PS/2 mouse port
  2. 1 x D-Sub port
  3. 1 x DVI-D port (Note 3)(Note 4)
  4. 1 x HDMI port (Note 4)
  5. 1 x optical S/PDIF Out connector
  6. 1 x IEEE 1394a port
  7. 4 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports
  8. 1 x eSATA 6Gb/s connector
  9. 2 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports
  10. 1 x RJ-45 port
  11. 6 x audio jacks (Center/Subwoofer Speaker Out/Rear Speaker Out/Side Speaker Out/Line In/Line Out/Microphone)
I/O Controller
  1. ITE IT8720 chip
H/W Monitoring
  1. System voltage detection
  2. CPU/System temperature detection
  3. CPU/System/Power fan speed detection
  4. CPU overheating warning
  5. CPU/System/Power fan failu warning
  6. CPU/System fan speed control (Note 6)
BIOS
  1. 2 x 8 Mbit flash
  2. Use of licensed AWARD BIOS
  3. Support for DualBIOS™
  4. PnP 1.0a, DMI 2.0, SM BIOS 2.4, ACPI 1.0b
Unique Features
  1. Support for @BIOS
  2. Support for Q-Flash
  3. Support for Xpress BIOS Rescue
  4. Support for Download Center
  5. Support for Xpress Install
  6. Support for Xpress Recovery2
  7. Support for EasyTune (Note 7)
  8. Support for Easy Energy Saver
  9. Support for Smart Recovery
  10. Support for Auto Green
  11. Support for On/Off Charge
  12. Support for Q-Share
Bundle Software
  1. Norton Internet Security (OEM version)
Operating System
  1. Support for Microsoft Windows 7/ Vista/ XP
Form Factor
  1. ATX Form Factor; 30.5cm x 24.4cm
Note (Note 1) Due to Windows 32-bit operating system limitation, when more than 4 GB of physical memory is installed, the actual memory size displayed will be less than 4 GB.
(Note 2) To reach DDR3 1800MHz or above, you must install two memory modules and install them in the DDR3_3 and DDR3_4 memory sockets.
(Note 3) The DVI-D port does not support D-Sub connector by adapter.
(Note 4) Simultaneous output for DVI-D and HDMI is not supported.
(Note 5) For optimum performance, if only one PCI Express graphics card is to be installed, be sure to install it in the PCIEX16 slot. The PCIEX4 slot shares bandwidth with the PCIEX16 slot. When PCIEX4 is populated with a x4 card, the PCIEX16 slot will operate at up to x4 mode.
(Note 6) Whether the CPU/system fan speed control function is supported will depend on the CPU/system cooler you install.
(Note 7) Available functions in EasyTune may differ by motherboard model.
Remark
  1. Due to different Linux support condition provided by chipset vendors, please download Linux driver from chipset vendors’ website or 3rd party website.
  2. Most hardware/software vendors no longer offer support for Win9X/ME. If drivers are available from the vendors, we will update them on the GIGABYTE website.

* The entire materials provided herein are for reference only. GIGABYTE reserves the right to modify or revise the content at anytime without prior notice.
* All trademarks and logos are the properties of their respective holders.
* Due to standard PC architecture, a certain amount of memory is reserved for system usage and therefore the actual memory size is less than the stated amount.

 

Overview

Since this motherboard did not come with a box, I will skip that portion and jump right into the overview of this great little motherboard. Giving this micro-ATX type of motherboard a quick look over, it appears that this motherboard does have a fairly decent layout. The only thing I am concerned with are the five SATA ports.

Starting off on the SB area of the motherboard, we see that Gigabyte uses 90° SATA ports instead of the 180° SATA ports we see on most other motherboards. Personally I wish that Gigabyte would have used 180° SATA ports, I have a feeling these may get into the way of my fairly large 5870 Sapphire video card. Left of the five SATA 3 ports we can see the front IO on/off port header; then right above that we have the CMOS battery.  Moving our eyes over towards the bottom edge of the motherboard, Gigabyte included an IDE port for those who still use this type of HDD.

Looking over the memory DIMMs, since the AMD CPU’s only support dual channel we only get four memory DIMMs. Unlike the Intel based motherboards, were each memory gets interleaved by memory DIMM, for dual channel capabilities we need to place each memory in the same corresponding color memory DIMM. Right below the memory DIMMs, we have a floppy drive connector port here and then the main 24 pin main power plug.

This is the CPU socket area; this motherboard came with the standard AMD mounting system. But, because those original images I took did not turn out very well, I had to remove this motherboard from the chassis and retake them.  The CPU area does seem to be clear of any large obstacles so the use of large CPU coolers should be ok.

Gigabyte did not put any mosfet coolers on the CPU power mosfets. The EPS CPU power plug should be fairly easy to access being there is no CPU power mosfet coolers in the way. Counting up the chokes this motherboard uses, we see that the motherboard gets a five phase power distribution.

Looking over the PCI-E/PCI expansion port layout, right to left; Gigabyte placed a PCI-E x1 port up top. Followed, by a PCI-E x16 VGA port, then a PCI-E x 8 (PCI-E x16 physical) port; then finally we have a standard PCI expansion port.

Looking to see if the NB heatsink will be in the way of the top PCI-E x1 port.; it appears to clear the NB heatsink.

Let’s see what comes on the rear IO ports, shall we? Starting to our left then working to our right, Gigabyte includes a PS2/2 USB header. Continuing to our right, we can see a D-Sub VGA port, and right below the D-Sub port is a DVI VGA port. Moving further right, Gigabyte includes a HDMI port with an Audio Optical header. The next header we see is the USB power 3, Fire Wire 1394 and E-SATA header. Gigabyte also gives us a single Gigabit Ethernet with two USB 3.0 headers, followed by the On-board 8 channel audio header. It appears this motherboard is geared up for not only general OEM type of builds but can also be used as a HTPC as well.

Extra’s

A few extra images to get a better look at this motherboard.

bios part 1

We at Bjorn3D.com like to include what is in the entire BIOS of each motherboard we review, as this portion of the motherboard is just as important as the overclocking portion of the BIOS. This is where we can set up our HDDs, turn on/off features we want or don’t want. Gigabyte has been using this style of BIOS for quite a while now, so those who have used other Gigabyte based motherboards should feel right at home with the 890GMA-UD2H motherboard BIOS.

BIOS Part 2

This is where pedal meets the metal. Yes folks that is correct, this is the area where we can tweak the Gigabyte 890GMA-UD2H motherboard. As we can see Gigabyte gives us plenty of adjustments that we can make to fine tune our computer. Another thing that Gigabyte included, was that we can also unlock unused cores on our AMD type of CPU’s. With the AMD X3 445 CPU I used in this review, I did initially unlock the fourth core with this CPU, but instability ensued shortly afterwords of me doing so. This happened mostly when I started overclocking the AMD X3 445 CPU.

Testing Methodology

Test Setup &Testing Methodology

“Mini Me”

CPU AMD X3 Core 445 CPU
Motherboard ASUS Rampage II  Extreme, ASUS Sabertooth 55i, Gigabyte 890GMA-UD2H
Case Cooler Master Cosmos
Memory Corsair 1600 Dominators
Video Card’s Sapphire 5870 Vapor X
Hard Drives PNY Torqx 128 Gig SSD
CDRom Drive Lite On Blue Ray
Power Supply Cooler Master 750 PSU
CPU Speeds Used 3.1GHz, 4GHz, 2.8GHz, 2.66GHz
Operating System Used Microsoft Windows 7
Video Card Cooler
Standard air cooler
CPU Cooler
EK Supreme HF paired up with a Dual Danger 120mm radiator

 This testing portion is going to seem one sided, and I do apologize for this. I did not have another similar CPU to compare the AMD X3 445 CPU against. I will be including my Core i7 930 CPU and my Core i5 750 CPU in the charts. These are just here for comparison only. I will only be writing about the AMD X3 445 CPU throughout this review. The conclusions of this review will be based upon my personal thoughts about this CPU only. This review will be based upon the combination of the  AMD X3 445 CPU and the Gigabyte 890GMA-UD2H motherboard. You can’t run a CPU without a motherboard.

I will be using the absolute base line speeds on all motherboards tested. For testing purposes, I ran each program a minimum of three times to ensure accuracy of each programs scores, or performance numbers. All testing was done on a fresh Windows 7 64 bit install.

Again I remind you, this review will be based upon personal experience of the AMD X3 445 CPU and the Gigabyte 890GMA-UD2H motherboard only.

Programs used for testing the AMD X3 445 CPU and the Gigabyte 890GMA-UD2H motherboard.

  • SiSoft
  • Everest
  • wPrime
  • Excel
  • Auto MKV
  • POV Ray
  • Win RAR
  • Dirt 2
  • 3DMark Vantage
  • Unigine Heaven 2

Overclocking

Overclocking both the AMD X3 445 CPU and the Gigabyte 890GMA-UD2H motherboard was one of my most interesting overclocking endeavor to date. I was not expecting much of an overclock on this little CPU and my target overclock for this CPU was around the 3.8GHz mark. Just because I was not expecting a serious overclock did not mean I was not going to try for a large overclock either. In this area I was not disappointed. Like all motherboards I review, I started off at default settings, installed Windows 7, installed my drivers and some basic benchmarking programs to be used during my overclocking journey. Then I rebooted the computer, entered the BIOS, and started pushing buttons.

I set the FSB of this motherboard to a mild 250MHz and set the CPU multiplier to 14; then I rebooted the computer. After allowing Windows to boot up, I ran some quick benchmarks to see how things were going and if I had stability or was it going to lock-up or crash. Unfortunately, I did not have 100% stability. This is more my fault because I did not adjust any of the voltages at first. I rebooted the computer, reentered the BIOS, bumped up the CPU voltage, ICH voltage’s and the SB voltages. This time I had stability with this CPU/motherboard combo. I continued this for about another 30 minutes or so (might have taken an hour, time just flies when you having fun.) upping the FSB, making minor voltage corrections, to see exactly how far this motherboard and the AMD X3 445 CPU would go.

I ended up settling out with a 286 FSB x 14 CPU multiplier, giving me a respectable 4GHz overclock. Not too shabby for a little TRI Core CPU.

Overclocked setting used during benchmarking.

SiSoft

 “SiSoftware Sandra (the System Analyser, Diagnostic and Reporting Assistant) is an information & diagnostic utility. It should provide most of the information (including undocumented) you need to know about your hardware, software and other devices whether hardware or software. It works along the lines of other Windows utilities, however it tries to go beyond them and show you more of what’s really going on. Giving the user the ability to draw comparisons at both a high and low-level. You can get information about the CPU, chipset, video adapter, ports, printers, sound card, memory, network, Windows internals, AGP, PCI, PCI-X, PCIe (PCI Express), database, USB, USB2, 1394/Firewire, etc.”

Starting off with one my personal favorite benchmarks we can see that during the Drhystone testing the little AMD X3 CPU has a serious handicap. During the Whetstone portion of testing is when we start seeing the performance of the AMD X3 445 CPU shine.

On our multimedia testing with SiSoft, the performance of the AMD X3 445 was somewhat impressive. However I am not expecting staggering performance levels because of the 3 core limitation of the AMD 445 CPU.

Memory frequency to memory frequency, AMD gets slapped around like a red-headed stepchild. AMD really needs to work on their on-die memory controller a bit more.

Again, not much different from what I was expecting once I saw how the memory bandwidth testing went. Intel still shows it has the better memory controller on their CPU’s. Now keep in mind that I am using an absolute base line CPU/memory frequency. I kept the memory at 1066MHz on all systems tested here. This I feel, will give me the best comparison across all platforms.

Everest

“EVEREST Ultimate Edition is an industry leading system diagnostics and benchmarking solution for enthusiasts PC users, based on the award-winning EVEREST Technology. During system optimizations and tweaking it provides essential system and overclock information, advanced hardware monitoring and diagnostics capabilities to check the effects of the applied settings. CPU, FPU and memory benchmarks are available to measure the actual system performance and compare it to previous states or other systems. Furthermore, complete software, operating system and security information makes EVEREST Ultimate Edition a comprehensive system diagnostics tool that offers a total of 100 pages of information about your PC.”

 Not much different from what we saw with the SiSoft memory bandwidth testing. AMD can barely keep up with Intel regarding the memory bandwidth performance.

 Unlike SiSoft, Everest gives us a bit of a different story when it relates to our latency of the memory. SiSoft gave us a significant gap between each system tested here. However with Everest, that performance gap is a bit more reasonable between all tested platforms. This is why it is best to use several different programs to determine your performance levels.

 Again no staggering performance levels, but the AMD/Gigabyte combo does manage to hold its own quite well. Considering this CPU sells on or around the 80 USD mark, and the Gigabyte motherboard goes for 95 USD this  combo is still cheaper than just buying the Core i5 750 CPU by itself.

Win RAR

This module in WinRar generates random data, which contains specially introduced redundancy, increasing the load to both the processor and memory. Data is then passed through RAR compression and decompression algorithms, and the output of the decompression algorithm is compared to the source data. If any differences are found, WinRar then reports “Errors found – Yes” in the command window. WinRar displays a size of processed data and compression speed, current and resulting, in kilobytes per second.

WinRAR prefers to have multiple CPU cores at its disposal vs having a high frequency alone. This is verified by looking at the AMD X3 445/Gigabyte 890GMA-UD2H at a default CPU speed of 3.1 GHz, then looking at the overclocked AMD X3 445/Gigabyte 890GMA-UD2H and then finally looking at the Asus Sabertooth 55i with the Core i5 750 using default speeds.

POV RAY

The Persistence of Vision Ray-Tracer was developed from DKBTrace 2.12 (written by David K. Buck and Aaron A. Collins) by a bunch of people (called the POV-Team) in their spare time. It is a high-quality, totally free tool for creating stunning three-dimensional graphics. It is available in official versions for Windows, Mac OS/Mac OS X and i86 Linux. The POV-Ray package includes detailed instructions on using the ray-tracer and creating scenes. Many stunning scenes are included with POV-Ray so you can start creating images immediately when you get the package. These scenes can be modified so you do not have to start from scratch. In addition to the pre-defined scenes, a large library of pre-defined shapes and materials is provided. You can include these shapes and materials in your own scenes by just including the library file name at the top of your scene file, and by using the shape or material name in your scene. Since this is free software feel free to download this version and try it out on your own.

 The AMD/Gigabyte combination did a lot better then I was expecting. Even though being crippled and having one less CPU core the AMD X3 445 CPU again manages to hold its own up against the Intel counterparts.

wPrime

wPrime is a benchmarking application designed to use a highly multithreaded approach to calculating the square-roots of large amounts of numbers (up to 32 billion)

 wPrime, similar to WinRAR, prefers to have multiple CPU cores at its disposal and having a fast memory controller helps it out loads too.

Excel

Microsoft Excel is the widely known and most used spreadsheet application for the manipulation and calculation for number crunching. With Excel you can analyze and share information on small scale or the largest scale you can imagine. We’ve seen spreadsheets in every day use that contain literally tens of thousands of numbers and hundreds of equations. Bjorn3D uses two tests in Excel to determine CPU and Motherboard performance.

 Excel prefers having an Intel CPU when performing complex algorithms.

AutoMKV

  AutoMKV is an application aiming for easy media conversion between various media formats using various third party codecs. With improved internet speed and enhanced computing power, more users are interested in encoding to different media formats for their various multimedia needs. With AutoMKV and x264 codec, a freeware H.264 encoder, users can easily create media files. For more information and to obtain AutoMKV 0.95c and AviSynth* 2.5.7, please visit (http://forum.doom9.org/showthread.php?t=134478). We created a media file using AutoMKV and x264 codec. The input file used in the document is a raw 416 MB 720×480 DV file and the output is a 253MB H.264 media file.

 During our movie conversion portion of testing, the AMD X3 445/Gigabyte 890GMA-UD2H combo does not do too badly. Considering this combo will be going for less than 180 USD, it is not too shabby.

3dmark vantage

For complete information on 3DMark Vantage Please follow this Link:

www.futuremark.com/benchmarks/3dmarkvantage/features/

The newest video benchmark from the gang at Futuremark. This utility is still a synthetic benchmark, but one that more closely reflects real world gaming performance. While it is not a perfect replacement for actual game benchmarks, it has its uses. We tested our cards at the ‘Performance’ setting. 

 Now it is time for us to see how the AMD X3 445 CPU/Gigabyte 890GMA-UD2H combination fares with 3DMark Vantage while having a Sapphire 5870 Vapor X strapped to it. 3DMark Vantage is one of those benchmarks that loves to have both multiple CPU cores and also having a high CPU core speed. The performance levels we see here are not at all that great, but then again they not at all that bad. About where we would expect a X3 CPU to perform.

Dirt 2

 Dirt 2, is a game that is sensitive to both multiple CPU cores and CPU frequency. The more you have the better the game will play. The AMD/Gigabyte combo, while using a 5870 video, does give us some rather nice playable frame rates.

Unigine Heaven 2.0

 With the Unigine Heaven Benchmark, it did not matter what we had or used as this benchmark is purely video card specific.

Conclusions

The AMD X3 445 CPU while being paired up with a Gigabyte 890GMA-UD2H motherboard is a fairly decent combination to have. Granted we did not get earth shattering performance, but we did not get exactly slow performance either. The AMD X3 445 CPU and the Gigabyte 890GMA-UD2H motherboard will set you back at around the 180 USD mark, (give or take a buck or two) which puts the pricing of this combo cheaper than a single Core i5 750 CPU from Intel. This makes this a perfect candidate for anyone who needs an affordable secondary computer that has the capabilities of playing games, while also serving as an internet browser computer. Another area this little CPU/motherboard combination could provide us as useful is with the fact that it can double up as a HTPC fairly easy and effortlessly.

Since I combined both CPU and a motherboard reviews into one review, it only makes sense if I do separate scoring for each product reviewed here today.

OUR VERDICT: AMD X3 445 CPU
Performance 7
Value 8
Quality 10
Features 8
Innovation 8
We are using a new addition to our scoring system to provide additional feedback beyond a flat score. Please note that the final score isn’t an aggregate average of the new rating system.
Total 8
Pros Cons

Good Quality

Affordable CPU

Good overclockability

Stable

Nothing

 

 

 

 

Summary: The AMD X3 445 CPU may not give you Earth shattering, record breaking results but this CPU will however give you decent performance at a decent price.
OUR VERDICT: Gigabyte 890GMA-UD2H
Performance 9
Value 9
Quality 10
Features 9
Innovation 9
We are using a new addition to our scoring system to provide additional feedback beyond a flat score. Please note that the final score isn’t an aggregate average of the new rating system.
Total 9
Pros Cons

Good Quality

USB 3, SATA 3, RAID support on the SATA 3 controller

Good overclockability

Stable

 Great layout

Nothing

 

 

 

Summary: Your CPU is only as good as the motherboard that is paired with it. In this case the 890GMA-UD2H motherboard proved to be just that, a motherboard that can take an affordable CPU and make it perform even better.

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