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For the gaming tests, higher resolutions tax the videocard, but lower resolutions rely on the CPU and subsystem speed. Higher scores are better. We used the built in Far Cry 2 benchmark tool and the for ETQW.
The game settings were 640x480, 4:3 aspect ratio and low quality.
Far Cry 2
We ran the benchmark 3 times and used the average score. The settings were 640x480, DX10, Performance low, and Render high.
You won't find any evolutionary leap in performance here, but there are a lot of improvements that make the MSI DKA790GX Platinum a very attractive choice for those of you looking for a new home for your AMD AM2. Let's look at the pros first.
From a performance standpoint, the MSI DKA790GX performed on par with the 790FX in a stock speed scenario. Overclocking tells a different tale as the 790GX was a very good overclocker. The new SB750 South Bridge is a lot more stable in this department and for those of you looking to squeeze more out of their CPU, you will want to think about this if you’re due for a motherboard upgrade.
Sticking on the subject of overclocking, the board was very stable once we established an acceptable overclock. The board never buckled at 240FSB, and if your cooling is up for it, you can probably do a little better. Even if your overclocking goes south, the board will default back to basic settings after 4 attempts. If you feel less adventurous, you can even use theoverclocking dip switch on the motherboard itself for an easier overclock, though you’ll have more flexibility doing it through the BIOS.
In terms of features, everything you have come to expect from a premium AMD based board is present. Items such as RAID, CrossFire, and decent integrated peripherals are all there. The onboard HD 3300 is not going to break any records as it recorded a miserable 12fps in the 640x480 Far Cry 2 test, but it’s good enough that it will power the Vista interface quite well.
While we think the board itself is a solid product, as we all know by now, AMD has some catch-up to do in the performance enthusiast market. I use both Intel and AMD platforms day-to-day and truth be told, if you’re running a Core 2 or i7 platform, the MSI DKA790GX alone will not be enough to make you hop over if speed and the absolute fastest performance is a concern. We do see a lot of value in the 790GX in the HTPC and family workstation environment, and the MSI DKA790GX Platinum is something we can recommend for those of you looking that direction.