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::>Motherboards > 2014 > 04 > GIGABYTE GA-F2A78M-D3H

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10-04-2014


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GIGABYTE GA-F2A78M-D3H motherboard review and testing

Recently in our test lab we have tested a mother board on the basis of AMD A78. It does not differ much from the older one (AMD A88X) and has almost identical functionality except for two: support for six SATA 6 Gb/s instead of eight, and the lack of possibilities for organizing RAID array of fifth level. Since these features are not critical for most users, and the price of chipset is lower than the first one, it is not a surprise that GIGABYTE company have decided to offer the customers more affordable models. In particular, the motherboard GIGABYTE GA-F2A78M-D3H is a complete solution for processors of AMD Kaveri line or AMD Trinity/Richland. While it has a more affordable cost in comparison with similar models based on AMD A88X. Let us learn more detailed what the Taiwanese company offers the user for approximately $ 75.

 GIGABYTE GA-F2A78M-D3H 

The specs:

Producer

GIGABYTE

Model

GA-F2A78M-D3H (rev 3.0)

Chipset

AMD A78

Socket

Socket FM2+

CPU

AMD A / AMD Athlon

Memory frequency

2400* / 2133 / 1866 / 1600 / 1333 MHz

(*OC)

Memory support

4 x 1,5В DDR3 DIMM- slot up to 64 GB

Expansion Slots

1 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 (CPU)

1 x PCI Express 2.0 x16 (PCH)

x16

x16+x4

1 x PCI Express 2.0 x1

1 x PCI

 

Storage Interface

AMD A78 chipset supports:

6 x SATA 6 Gb/s

RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 10, JBOD

LAN

1 x Realtek RTL8111F (10/100/1000 MB/s)

Audio subsystem

Кодек Realtek ALC887

2 / 4 / 5.1 / 7.1-channel sound

S/PDIF Out

Power connectors

24-pin ATX power connector

8-pin ATX 12V connector

Fans

1 x CPU fan connector (4-pin)

2 x system fan connectors (4-pin)

Cooling

Aluminum cooler on chipset

External I/O

1 х DVI-D

1 x D-Sub

1 x HDMI

1 x LAN (RJ45)

2 x USB 3.0

4 x USB 2.0

3 x audio ports

1 x optical S/PDIF Out

1 х PS/2 (mouse or keyboard)

Internal I/O

1 x USB 3.0 with support of 2 USB 3.0 (19-pin)

2 x USB 2.0, each with support of 2 USB 2.0

6 x SATA 6 Gb/s

1 х COM socket

1 х LPT socket

1 х TPM socket

1 х S/PDIF Out

1 x connector of front panel audio output

1 x set of front panel connectors

1 x CMOS jumper

BIOS

2 х 64 Mb AMI UEFI BIOS

PnP 1.0а, DMI2.0, SM BIOS 2.6, ACPI 2.0а

Packaging

User manual

Warranty description booklet

Driver disc

4 x SATA cables

1 х faceplate of interface panel

Form-factor, dimensions

microATX

244 х 244 mm

Producer website

GIGABYTE
Updated versions of BIOS and drives are available here со страницы поддержки

Packaging and content

 GIGABYTE GA-F2A78M-D3H 

GIGABYTE GA-F2A78M-D3H motherboard is supplied in standard cardboard box and has qualitative color printing of dark colors. The front side contains Company name, device type, logo with information about the support of AMD Eyefinity и AMD Dual Graphics technologies. Also you will find the logo of Ultra Durable 4 Plus conception that combines the following features:

  • Ultra Cool a new sample of high efficiency cooler is used for cooling.
  • Ultra Performance - circuitry includes high quality components such as solid-state capacitors and Field Effect Transistor with low channel resistance (Low RDS(on)). They have higher level of efficiency, stability and reliability.
  • Ultra Safe - this model is equipped with two chips with BIOS firmware download (main and additional) that will allow you to avoid a visit to the service center in case of main chip damage. Also there is an additional protection of USB and LAN connectors against electrostatic discharge. Each LAN and USB connector is operated with a special protective filter that can withstand severe electrostatic discharge. It protects the system against power instability even during a thunderstorm.

 GIGABYTE GA-F2A78M-D3H 

On the reverse side of the box the user can find diagrammatic representation of motherboard and short technical specification. Several interesting features are specified:

  • circuit board protection against moisture and high temperature;
  • support of HDMI video interface with image resolution 3840 х 2160 pixels (4K Ultra HD);
  • the usage of separate safety device for each USB port on interface panel. In case of damage of one of them will save the operation of another one.

The most useful for everyday usage will be such technologies as GIGABYTE ON/OFF Charge и 3x USB Power. Please use the link to find these materials in our previous overviews.   

 GIGABYTE GA-F2A78M-D3H 

Set of delivery of model under testing includes: faceplate of interface panel, four SATA cables, driver disc and user manual. This kit is quite enough for the product of this price range.

Design and features of this board

 GIGABYTE GA-F2A78M-D3H 

The basis of GIGABYTE GA-F2A78M-D3H motherboard is dark-brown microATX (244х244mm) circuit board of square shape. Packaging of key elements is quite correct to simplify the access during mounting and operation. One more feature is non-standard LPT socket layout (behind interface panel) and the absence of the hole for fastening screw in right lower part of the board. Taking into account perpendicular layout of all SATA ports, you should be careful during drive connection because the excessive pressing can damage the textolite. 

 GIGABYTE GA-F2A78M-D3H 

Traditionally the reverse side has the support plate of CPU socket as well as plastic spring clips to fix chipset cooler.

 GIGABYTE GA-F2A78M-D3H 

The lower part of textolite has the following ports and sockets: leading-in audio socket in front panel; S/PDIF Out; COM, LPT and TPM ports; CMOS jumper; two leading-in sockets for USB2.0 enable, as well as leading-in socket for front panel (including color separation to simplify connection process). Total number of USB 2.0 ports is eight: four inside and four on interface panel.

 GIGABYTE GA-F2A78M-D3H 

Disk subsystem organization is presented by six SATA ports. All of them operate due to AMD A78 chipset. Also there is a support of SATA RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 10 и JBOD files.

 GIGABYTE GA-F2A78M-D3H 

GIGABYTE GA-F2A78M-D3H system board is equipped with four DIMM-slots for installation of standard DDR3 memory modules, which are equipped with latches on both sides. RAM can operate in dual channel mode. There is a support of memory boards operating at frequencies up to 2133 MHz in nominal mode and up to 2400 MHz in overclocked mode. Despite the specified by manufacture support of 64Gb memory, the actual maximum index was 32 Gb. This should be enough for almost all tasks.

Also draw your attention to the 19-pin USB 3.0, which is used to activate the two external interfaces USB 3.0. Total number of USB 3.0. ports is four: two internal and two on the interface panel.

 GIGABYTE GA-F2A78M-D3H 

Cooling system of the product consists of one aluminum radiator fixed with the help of plastic spring clips. It provides heat removal out of AMD A78 circuit. In the process of testing the following temperature indices were fixed:

• radiator for chipset cooling - 38,2°C;

• radiator for cooling of processor elements power - 43,3°C;

As we can see the cooling system easily copes with its responsibilities and the results can be described as excellent.

GIGABYTE GA-F2A78M-D3H

GIGABYTE GA-F2A78M-D3H

Processor power supply is performed via 6-phase scheme for computational cores and additional joints. Converter is based on a digital PWM controller Intersil ISL6377. All power components of CPU have high reliability level: solid capacitors and chokes with ferrite core are used. Basic 24-pin and additional 8-pin connectors are use for power feeding.

 GIGABYTE GA-F2A78M-D3H 

To extend motherboard functionality the user has 4 slots:

  1. PCI Express 3.0 x16 (mode х16);
  2. PCI Express 2.0 x1;
  3. PCI;
  4. PCI Express 2.0 x16 (mode х4);

Despite the availability of 2 expansion slots for video card installation and support of AMD CrossFireX technology, the scheme of distribution line х16+х4 does not allow to realize their potential in full manner. Also the functioning of first slot will be realized only if CPU AMD Kaveri. Is installed.

GIGABYTE GA-F2A78M-D3H

Opportunities of Multi I/O are based on ITE IT8620E chip, which controls the operation of the system fans, COM, LPT and PS/2 ports, as well as provides the monitors.

 GIGABYTE GA-F2A78M-D3H 

To support network connections there is gigabit LAN-controller Realtek RTL8111F.

GIGABYTE GA-F2A78M-D3H

Sound subsystem is based on HAD codec of 8-channel sound Realtek ALC887 that supports 2/4/5.1/7.1 sound systems.

GIGABYTE GA-F2A78M-D3H

Interface panel contains the following ports:

  • 1 x D-Sub;
  • 1 x DVI-D;
  • 1 x HDMI;
  • 1 x LAN (RJ45);
  • 2 x USB 3.0;
  • 4 х USB 2.0;
  • 1 x optical S/PDIF Out;
  • 1 х PS/2 (mouse or keyboard);
  • 3 x audio ports.

Interface panel offers quite wide variations of periphery connection which can be extended by adding COM and LPT ports to back panel.  Also here is HDMI video port with picture resolution 3840 х 2160 pixels (4K Ultra HD) and presence of optical audio output. The only feature is the inconvenient connection of multichannel acoustics where the user has to use audio sockets of front panel.

GIGABYTE GA-F2A78M-D3H

Three sockets for fan connection are used to organize cooling of GIGABYTE GA-F2A78M-D3H motherboard. One of them is used for the CPU cooling system, and the other two - to activate the system of fans. All sockets are in accordance with the modern requirements.


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