ASUS M3N78 Pro Motherboard Review :: ASUS M3N78 Features

10-06-2008 · Category: Motherboards

By Ben Sun
  • DirectX 10.0
  • 16 SPs
  • 1.5GHz Stream Processor clock
  • 500MHz Graphics Clock
  • HDMI 1.3a
  • DVI through adapter
  • VGA through adapter
  • NVIDIA Hybrid SLI and DX10 support

The NVIDIA GeForce 8300 is a single chip solution. While most other motherboard chipsets including those with onboard integrated graphics have a Northbridge and Southbridge, the GeForce 8300 controls both the graphics and the other functions normally controlled by two chips. It is built on TSMC’s 80 nanometer process.

The 8300 is based upon the GeForce 8400 series chip that was released last year as the value segment of the 8xxx series. The 8300 has 16 Stream Processors which is a far cry from the 240 SPs on the GeForce GTX280 or the 128 SPs on a GeForce 9800GTX+ but matches the number on the ATI 790GX and 780G chipsets. The clock speed of the 8300 is 500MHz and the Shader clock on the integrated graphics is 1500MHz.

One of the big pushes in the computer industry is the Green initiative, one that reduces carbon emissions to save the environment. NVIDIA integrated graphics platforms have the ability to run without the discrete graphics thereby saving power compared to using the discrete graphics like a GTX280 that draws up to 226W of power by itself. Hybrid Power can save a lot of power especially when the computer is running 2D applications like running Word or surfing the Net when the 3D power of the discrete card isn’t necessary.

The GeForce 8300 supports all current AMD CPUs that are based on either the AM2 or AM2+ interface including the Phenom X4 9950 which was recently released. The AMD 780G had an issue with the 140W and 125W TDP processors but the GeForce 8300 works right out of the bat with the 9850 and was able to work with the 9950 when I tried it.

One big push by all computer video card companies right now is HD playback of H.264 content, HD-DVD playback, and Blu-Ray disc playback. NVIDIA’s GeForce 8300 supports PureVideo HD which allows smooth playback of H.264 content. PureVideo HD on the GeForce 9 and above series has the ability to do dual-stream playback of HD content but the integrated graphics doesn’t have the horsepower to do it on the 8300.