Recently I reviewed the ASRock AOD790GX/128 motherboard, an AM2+ motherboard sporting onboard graphics with 128 megs of graphics memory, and AMD's Hybrid Graphics technology. I found it to be an excellent platform for a budget gaming rig, or for that matter, just a good all around board for a Phenom-based rig. Throw in one of ATI's latest sub-$100 4000 series cards and the onboard GPU works together with it to give performance beyond the video card's own capabilities. Or add a full-fledged gaming video card for a gaming rig to contend with anything else out there.
Today I will be looking at the predecessor to that motherboard, the ASRock A780GXE/128M. It sports an AMD 780G chipset, the platform that the 790GX was based on. It also has AMD's Hybrid Graphics via the SB700 Southbridge, which begat the 790GX's SB750 setup. You may ask why I am looking back at this earlier board, when we've already seen its successor.well, this motherboard sells for well under $100, and may just be the answer for someone on a very tight budget, or for someone wanting a very inexpensive Phenom rig. Will the A780GXE/128M make the trip? Find out in the following pages.
The A780GXE/128M comes in ASRock's normal motherboard box, though primarily green in color as compared to the black that their Intel motherboards are packaged in. On the front are several icons denoting various features on the board, on the back is a blurb for the graphic's sideport memory. Also there are some of the many awards given ASRock by publications and websites, including two by your own humble reviewer.
Inside, the bundle is separated from the motherboard by a cardboard divider. The motherboard is protected by an anti-static sleeve, and rests on a foam slab.