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[SMT][Review]DFI LanParty 790FXB-M2RSH

post #1 of 69
Thread Starter 


DFI LanParty 790FXB-M2RSH


Hello, and welcome to my first ever review

Over the next couple of posts I will be looking at DFI's new offering for the AM2+ Platform.

DFI Have a notable reputation among the overclocking community, both from their Intel and AMD boards. Im here today to see whether that Reputation still carries on.

This board is one of the new AMD chipsets featuring the 790FX chipset and, more importantly, featuring AMD's new SB750 Southbridge featuring the new ACC overclocking utility.

So without further ado:

1 - Packaging and Contents
2 - Board Layout
3 - BIOS Snaps
4 - Stock Benchmarks
5 - Overclocking
6 - Overclocked Benchmarks
7 - Conclusion

Edited by OrphanShadow - 10/21/08 at 8:49am
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post #2 of 69
Thread Starter 
Packaging and Contents

The packaging DFI chose for this motherboard has a certain flair to it.



The holographic finish looks very flashy, with a nice Touch of art with the wings.

But of course, what matter is whats inside, so lets get it open



DFI offer a fairly standard, but rather comprehensive accessory bundle with this mobo. You get a the Following:

* Floppy Connector
* IDE Cable
* 2 x Sata Cables
* 4 x Jumper placers
* Crossfire Bridge
* Back Panel I/O Sheild
* Molex to Sata Power Cable
* User Manual
* Auto Boost System Manual
* Driver Disc
* Driver Floppy
* Easy Header Connectors

So as You Can See, nothing groundbreaking, but everything you need. One new inclusion is the Easy header connectors. These allow users to easily connect their front panel buttons to the motherboard headers, an idea very similar to Asus Q-Connector accessories.

The Auto Boost System also Has me rather intrigued. This is a new one to me, and something I will look at later.

As far as the manual, it goes over most facets of the board, although emits any information on the BIOS features. Since this is a board primarily aimed at the Overclockers, im sure DFI expect everyone to know what they are doing. The newbie's however may be left out a little here.

Overall, however, a solid package.
Edited by OrphanShadow - 10/18/08 at 5:03am
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post #3 of 69
Thread Starter 
Board Layout

DFI certainly know how to design nice looking motherboards:



Users of the previous 790FX-M2RS board will notice one striking difference with this board:



This new cooling system should hopefully do a better job of cooling the NB chip. Previous M2RS users will know how hot the thing can get, so this is a welcome addition.



DFI have made a smart move with the expansion area. Whilst this board only features 3 PCI-E x16 ports, the layout of them means that no matter what sort of configuration of graphics you have, you will still have most of your ports available. At most, you will lose 1 legacy PCI port should you go crossfire. The only downside is the lack of any PCI-E x1 ports.



With regard to storage devices, DFI takes advantage of the new SB750 to refresh the number of SATA ports from 4 to 6. You can have RAID 0, RAID 1, or RAID 0+1 with this config, although there is no RAID 5 support. You also have your Floppy Port, IDE Port and ATX 24-Pin power connector on this edge of the board as well.



The M2RSH offers you an extra 3 USB headers here. You also find you front panel headers (as usual), along with a BIOS debug LED for working out what has gone wrong with an OC. You also have 2 Handy switches for reset and power, useful for those who will be running caseless setups, or those who tinker inside their Rig alot. My only slight snag here is that Half of the LED is covered over by the PCI-E clip.



With the back panel you get the usual fare. There are legacy PS/2 ports for your Keyboard and mouse, 6 USB connectors, Gigabit LAN, audio connectors, Optical, and Coax. You also have a CMOS clear jumper on the back for if your OC goes bad. The jumper on the board can be replaced with some of the jumper placers found in the box, so that you can access it even when its in the case. The only nitpick I have with this is the fact that DFI could have used a more convenient button mechanism rather than basic jumpers.



And here is the CPU socket and RAM slots. This board will support up to 8GB of memory, so that means 2GB Dimms are Ok. Nothing much else to report. The NB heatsink doesnt look like it will interfere with the CPU HSF, although if you are using a tower cooler keep in mind that the cooler may overhang the RAM slots, ruling out Dominator style RAMSinks.
Edited by OrphanShadow - 10/18/08 at 5:30am
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post #4 of 69
Thread Starter 
BIOS Snaps

This boards BIOS has most of the standard features you would expect a board to have, so im gonna charge straight into the focal point of the BIOS: DFI's Genie BIOS.


The First thing to keep in mind with this board is that Advanced options will not be available until you hit F9 at the main BIOS screen.
Once you have unlocked the whole BIOS, however, things start getting fun.

From the main page you can change the CPU-Multiplier, change RAM speed, bus speed and PCI-E speed. You can also disable the TLB fix on B2 phenoms, as well as disable cool 'n' quiet.

This page will also display current voltage settings.

and Speaking of Voltages:


You can change the CPU VID, DRAM Voltage, and chipset voltages from within the PWM settings. Its quite dissapoiting to see that there is no CPU-NB voltage adjustment feature within the BIOS. This is an important factor in getting the best from phenoms, and considering how heavily this board is aimed at OCers I would have expected more from DFI. Maybe with a future BIOS release this will be added.

Memory settings are very in depth:


As you can see, most timings are covered here, so the extreme tweakers among you will enjoy messing with this. The memory can also be set to run in Ganged (Unified 128-bit) or Unganged (Split 64-bit).

And lastly there is the CPU Feature menu:


From here you can control ACC ratio's across all cores or one at a time. CPU and CPU-NB multipliers can also be set here using the DFI hex setting.

And that about sums up the main BIOS features.
Edited by OrphanShadow - 10/20/08 at 9:24am
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post #5 of 69
Thread Starter 
Stock Benchmarks

All benchmarks were done with my sig rig. Everything here is at stock.

WinRAR 5 Minute Benchmark: 1506KB/s, 430MB's Processed

SiSoft Sandra 09 [Drystone ALU Test]: 35.07Gips
SiSoft Sandra 09 [WhetStone iSSE3 Test]: 27.94Gflops

Doublemark 1M MultiThreaded Run: 78497 Primes Found in 1 Minute

3DMARK 06
Overall Score: 11902

SM2.0 Score: 4862
SM3.0 Score: 5390
CPU Score: 3392
Edited by OrphanShadow - 10/20/08 at 10:30am
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post #6 of 69
Thread Starter 
Overclocking

Now, at this stage I should let you know that a few of the voltage options in this initial BIOS release dont work, so for the majority of this section I was left to Meddle with AMD Overdrive.



I Have to say, the program worked very well.

Using this program I managed to get the 9850's clock frequency to 3.1Ghz, with a 2.4Ghz NB. This was roughly 200Mhz faster than my last DFI board.



Im sure with a more mature BIOS and more time i could top this very easily. Watch this space

Update: Latest BIOS release fixed issues with voltage adjustment. However, NB FID/DID control has been lost. Will update when I get this resolved.
Edited by OrphanShadow - 10/23/08 at 2:47pm
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post #7 of 69
Thread Starter 
Overclocked Benchmarks

These tests were ran at 3.12Ghz/2.4Ghz NB with my sig rig

WinRAR 5 Minute Benchmark: 1711KB/s, 486MB's Processed

SiSoft Sandra 09 [Drystone ALU Test]: 42.74Gips
SiSoft Sandra 09 [WhetStone iSSE3 Test]: 34.91Gflops

Doublemark 1M MultiThreaded Run: 78497 Primes Found in 48 seconds

3DMARK 06
Overall Score: 13816

SM2.0 Score: 5856
SM3.0 Score: 5857
CPU Score: 4189

Increases % (OC Increase of 24.8%)

WinRAR - 13.6%
SiSoft Sandra - 21.9%
Doublemark - 25%
3DMark06 - 16%
Edited by OrphanShadow - 10/20/08 at 11:44am
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post #8 of 69
Thread Starter 
Conclusion

This is a solid overclockers board. The feature set ensures that you will be able to get high overclocks out of your processor, even more so with the inclusion of AMD's ACC.

Triple Crossfire is a bonus for those who thrive on multicard setups. The layout of the board is excellent to this end. The increase in the number of SATA connections also stands out as a bonus.

AMD Overdrive also work an absolute charm here. Transitions between OC's was smooth and changes kicked in almost immediatly.

As far as the new cooling system, it does have some slight advantages, although the NB still gets quite toasty under full load, topping out at about 61c.

The only nags I have for DFI at this point: Work on getting the BIOS glitches sorted out.

Strengths
-Good OC capability
-Triple Crossfire
-Plenty of BIOS options
-More SATA ports
-Flawless AOD support

Weaknesses
-Glitchy BIOS
-NB Gets Hot
Edited by OrphanShadow - 10/20/08 at 11:50am
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post #9 of 69
Thread Starter 
First half of the review a go go guys

More will be covered sometime over the weekend/beggining of next week
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post #10 of 69
Awsome +Rep. I'm looking forward to this review.
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