Power Consumption and Conclusions

Power consumption

ECS A790GXM-AD3 790GX AM3 Motherboard Review - Motherboards 85


ECS A790GXM-AD3 790GX AM3 Motherboard Review - Motherboards 86

Power consumption for both motherboards were extremely low because we didn’t use a separate PCI-E graphics card or any additional hard drives or PCI devices. But, we also noticed that both of these boards were very energy efficient to begin with. The current ephasis on creating hardware that uses less power is becoming one of the key selling points for consumers.


After all our testing and benchmarks were completed, a couple things really stood out about these two motherboards. When we were testing “apple to apples” with the M3A78-T and A790GXM-AD3, almost every benchmark told us these boards were very similar performance wise. But, when you throw in the differences between using DDR2 and DDR3 memory, the game changes significantly to the AM3 board’s favor. This wasn’t unexpected though because of the bandwidth and performance gains we received using DDR3 memory with the ECS A790GXM-AD3.

ECS A790GXM-AD3 790GX AM3 Motherboard Review - Motherboards 87

End users looking to do some basic overclocking will also love the A790GXM-AD3 for its simplicity and functionality. The plain language and terminology used in this board’s BIOS was very refreshing and should be a key marketing point to target novice OCers looking for just the right board to learn about overclocking.


Memory bandwidth aside, the ECS A790GXM-AD3 also had a host of other features to discuss. The versatility of the 790GX combined with the newest AM3 processors were a huge one-two punch in terms of overall system performance and gaming performance. Combine any of ATI’s mid to high-end video cards with the Radeon HD 3300 graphics chip on board via AMD’s Hybrid Graphics and end users should be able to play most of today’s most graphically-intense games at very high resolutions with all the bells and whistles turned on.

ECS A790GXM-AD3 790GX AM3 Motherboard Review - Motherboards 88

Those looking to step up to DDR3 should also consider this board when upgrading to the AM3 platform. The increase in memory bandwidth and overall system performance should be more than enticing for end users looking to cheaply upgrade their systems. Overall, ECS has done a great job melding a variety of components together and I think we’ll see greater performance as the AM3 platform matures.

Pricing and Availability

At the time of this review, the ECS A790GXM-AD3 was out of stock at Newegg with an estimated arrival date of May 22. The board is currently listed at $109.99. A quick check at other popular online shopping websites like Buy.com, Tiger Direct, and MWave indicated that this board was currently unavailable at all those websites.

Final Thoughts

We’d like to thank our friends at ECS for providing the A790GXM-AD3 for our review today. The ECS A790GXM-AD3 is a great entry-level, budget-minded AM3 motherboard that gives end users more than enough features to quench their thirst for higher performance, easy of use, and stability. The BIOS was absolutely fantastic in terms of usability and also had plenty of advanced features for overclocking. Overall, I didn’t see too many flaws with this board. It was rock solid during our benchmarks and was a decent overclocker. Budget users looking to upgrade to the AM3 platform should really consider this board for this next gaming or multimedia system.

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