AMD 785G hits the street

Integrated takes another step forward

AMD HAS FINALLY launched their new chipset, called the 785G. It is a 780G variant with a lot of polish and a few new tricks up it’s sleeve.

If you recall, the 780G was a real breakthrough part, moving integrated graphics from the world of slow and inadequate to fast enough to hurt sales of low end discrete parts. That was followed by a faster revision called the 790GX, it ran at 700MHz compared to the 500MHz of the original. Both overclocked very well, 1000+MHz was attainable with only modest cooling. They changed the game, and integrated graphics have not been the same since. Even Intel has lit a fire under their integrated graphics developers.

Not much has changed since we brought you one of the first pictures of a 785G board (and here and here). In terms of branding, the 780G had an RV610 GPU that was called the HD3200. The 785G sports an RV620 that is called HD4200 on the box. It is a very similar core with the few missing DX10.1 ops added in to justify the added 1000. It also bumps HDMI up to v1.3 so you can be encumbered with all the latest DRM.

The biggest step forward is UVD2, AMD speak for for hardware HD decoders. The UVD in the 780G has one, UVD2 in 785G has two, so multiple streams are possible with full hardware decoding. Other than that, there is little change, 40 shaders, 12 USB ports, 16 + 6 PCIe 2.0 lanes, and C1e sleep support.

The southbridge is also updated, from the SB700 to the SB710 chip. The biggest difference is, well, we can’t find any. It would have been better to include the SB750 with full RAID5 support, but seeing as this is a budget part, with motherboards ranging from $80-100, that is understandable.

What is less exciting about the new parts are the lack of drivers. There is no Linux driver available on the AMD site, either the game.amd.com or the main driver download page. Just when you think things are getting better…..

All in all, I think the 785G is a solid chipset that fills the gap until the delayed 880 comes out. The graphics are solid enough for anything but hardcore gamers, and you can get a board and a Phenom II X3 for under $200. That should tide you over until the next generation parts arrive in a few months.S|A

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Charlie Demerjian

Roving engine of chaos and snide remarks at SemiAccurate
Charlie Demerjian is the founder of Stone Arch Networking Services and SemiAccurate.com. SemiAccurate.com is a technology news site; addressing hardware design, software selection, customization, securing and maintenance, with over one million views per month. He is a technologist and analyst specializing in semiconductors, system and network architecture. As head writer of SemiAccurate.com, he regularly advises writers, analysts, and industry executives on technical matters and long lead industry trends. Charlie is also a council member with Gerson Lehman Group. FullyAccurate