Sapphire PC-AM2RS790GX review

Price when reviewed

Sapphire’s new board is based on the AMD 790GX chipset. That’s the same chipset as our Recommended MSI board and it means the PC-AM2RS790GX has similar capabilities.

Sapphire PC-AM2RS790GX review

Those include the latest HD Radeon 3300 integrated graphics, which can play HD video without breaking a sweat, and there are also two PCI Express x16 slots, so it will happily take up to two graphics cards for serious gaming. The board supports Hybrid CrossFireX, so you can fit a low-end card to work in parallel with the onboard GPU.

Although the PC-AM2RS790GX is slightly cheaper than the MSI DKA790GX, it offers a two-digit POST display as well as onboard power and reset controls. Its speed and voltage controls are more precise as well.

And where the MSI is limited to 8GB of RAM, the Sapphire can accept up to 16GB, so there’s a good chance it will answer your needs for years to come – especially since it will support future Socket AM3 processors.

But when it comes to basic connectivity, the PC-AM2RS790GX looks less attractive. With just four integrated USB ports, and no eSATA or FireWire, it’s limited – more like a microATX board than the full-sized model it really is.

And power consumption was among one of the group’s highest, with an idle drain of 87W running on integrated graphics. That isn’t the end of the world – it’s still far lower than any X58 board, for example – but it’s disappointing next to the 74W of the MSI.

If tweaking and upgrades are your thing, this motherboard could be right up your street. For an everyday desktop, though, it isn’t the best-connected choice, and there are certainly more eco-friendly options.


Motherboard form factorATX
Motherboard integrated graphicsyes


Processor/platform brand (manufacturer)AMD
Processor socketAM2+
Motherboard form factorATX
Memory typeDDR2
Multi-GPU supportyes


Motherboard chipsetAMD 790GX
South bridgeAMD SB750
Number of Ethernet adapters1
Wired adapter speed1,000Mbits/sec
Graphics chipsetATi Radeon HD 3300
Audio chipsetRealtek ALC888

Onboard Connectors

CPU power connector type8-pin
Main power connectorATX 24-pin
Memory sockets total4
Internal SATA connectors6
Internal PATA connectors1
Internal floppy connectors1
Conventional PCI slots total2
PCI-E x16 slots total2
PCI-E x8 slots total0
PCI-E x4 slots total0
PCI-E x1 slots total2

Rear ports

PS/2 connectors2
USB ports (downstream)4
FireWire ports0
eSATA ports0
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports0
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports0
3.5mm audio jacks6
Parallel ports0
9-pin serial ports0
Extra port backplane bracket ports0

Diagnostics and tweaking

Motherboard onboard power switch?yes
Motherboard onboard reset switch?yes
Software overclocking?yes


SATA cables supplied2
Molex to SATA adaters supplied1
IDE cables supplied1
Floppy cables supplied0

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