ECS have opted for a dragon design on their 785G packaging which has various logos informing us of a few features of the board. Inside we find a standard bundle which includes an eJiffy CD. EJiffy is the ECS take on an idea we have seen Asus push for a while (Express Gate). It gives us basic functionality through a Linux based operating system that boots quickly, ideal for those who want to check the net or chat online in a hurry and don’t want to load Windows.
The board itself is a micro ATX model which measures 24.4x 24.4cm. There are two large heatsinks on the board, the first for the power circuitry and second for the 785G Northbridge. AMD’s SB710 is also passively cooled but with a smaller heatsink. As with the other boards shown earlier in the review this is an AM3 based product which supports Phenom 2 X4, X3, X2 and Athlon 2 X2 CPUs. There are four memory slots split into two channels and each can utilise 16 GB, ECS state that in the future 32 GB will be supported. DDR3 speeds of 800 to 1333MHz are available.
ECS include two PCIe 1x slots on their A785GM-M as well as a single PCI and PCI-Express 16x. Over to the right of these we find six SATA 2 ports which are capable of RAID 0, 1 and 10 and below these are the power and reset buttons.
Connectivity options are very good with Firewire, six USB 2.0, GB LAN (Realtek 8111DL), Realtek 888S 7.1 audio and two eSATA ports which use the JMicron JMB362 controller.
As this is a 785G based board we have onboard graphics present. The Radeon 4200 is a 55nm DirectX 10.1 chip with supports full Blu-Ray acceleration, HDCP and audio/video over HDMI. As a result of having the onboard GPU we have three outputs on the back panel of the board; DVI, VGA and HDMI.
American Megatrends are certainly a popular choice as this is another board which features their code. In the advanced chipset setup screen we find our onboard GPU options which include shared memory size and overclocking. In M.I.B. screen we find CPU and memory configuration which includes CPU voltage adjustments although they are listed in the less useful +XXXmV method rather than by actual decimal values.
Last month Intel launched their Z97 chipset, essentially an evolution of Z87, which in many cases brought new features such as SATA Express and M.2 compatibility to the mainstream desktop market. There was of course no new CPU at that time with the existing socket 1150 processors working without issue in the new boards. Since then though Intel launched (along with some lower spec models) the Core i7-4790K, a model which sits at the top of their mainstream platform. Today we see how it compares to various other models when installed on Gigabytes Z97X Gaming 5 and paired with PowerColors new dual core 290X Devil 13.
PowerColor offer their own branded version of the liquid cooled R9 295 X2… and now for those who want a similar level of framerate they have their air cooled dual core R9 290X with Devil 13 branding. Today we take a look at this R9 290X2 to see what Powercolor can do with their custom design card in a selection of games including Battlefield 4 and GRID Autosport at 4K resolution.