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MSI 890FXA GD70 Motherboard review

Rating: 8.0.

MSI have a reputation for making great motherboards and their previous 790FX GD70 board received much critical acclaim. Not willing to rest on their laurels however, they went back to the drawing board and made some changes with the 890FXA GD70 in regards to board layout. With the new AMD 890FX chipset and SB850 Southbridge complimenting the USB 3.0 and SATA 6gbps ports this board looks to be fully locked n’ loaded.

This socket AM3 motherboard has been designed with the demanding enthusiast in mind – it is able to deliver increased PCI Express 2.0 bandwidth for ATI video cards in four way Crossfire and also supports AMD processors with up to 140W TDP, which also includes 6 core Phenom II X6 processors.

This motherboard supports all socket AM3 CPU’s – Phenom II X6/X4/X3/X2, Athlon II X4/X3/X2 and AM3 based Sempron processors. Obviously with AM3 support the motherboard will ONLY support DDR3 memory. It can cope with up to 16GB of memory in 1066/1333 and 1600 (OC) flavours. The AMD 890FX chipset is based around Hypertransport 3 at 5.2GT/s bandwidth and is matched with the AMD SB850 southbridge.

Product overview:

Chipset: AMD 890 FX
CPU Support: Socket AMD3 Phenom II, Athlon II, Sempron 100
Memory Support: 4 slots: max 16GB DDR3
Expansion slots: Four 16x PCI-E 2.0 slots (two 16x or four 8x), one 16x PCI-E 1.1 (4x), one PCI, one 1x PCI-E
Network support: Realtek RTL8111DL Gigabit Ethernet
Sound: Intel HD Audio via ALC892 with 8 channel support
Overclocking: CPU Clock 100 – 600mhz, max voltages, CPU 2.025v, CPU/NB 1.6V, DRAM 2.9V, NB 2V, SB 1.8V, HT 2V
Connectivity: 6x SATA 6Gbps, 2xSATA 3Gbps, 1 x IDE, 2 x PS/2, 2 x USB 3.0, 12 x USB 2.0, 2x FireWire, LAN, 4x Surround audio out, line in, mic, optical and coaxial S/PDIF out, eSATA 3Gbps
Dimensions: ATX (305mm x 244mm)

Are you already drooling? good, lets have a closer look …

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  • Peter

    I own Intel, but I do think that AMD get better motherboards. look at the current state of slot 1156 motherboards for instance. cant get two with x16 !

  • Dave

    Wow, this was better than I thought it would be, ive never rated MSI.

  • Trevor

    Nice idea to include 3d studio max, what were you benchmarking in it?

  • Rob

    Interesting to see power consumption figures, wish you had did that for the GTX465 review. Bet they were bad bad bad

  • Eric K

    AMD motherboards are great, just wish Intel made the CPUs for them :p

  • Sebastian Cruckshanks

    Great review, gotta say tho, those miltitary grade capacitors. thats bollocks. Are we meant to believe MSI are getting them from the airforce or something?

  • Rick The Mick

    It is nt funny how no matter how good a board is, the makers always do smoething stupid? that sata port for instance …. oops!

  • Roy

    Shame we didnt see the asus board in the mix, its the best one of them all. would be interesting to see performance with it

  • Stefan

    Fab board this, shame its not intel slot though !

  • death dealer

    The overall quality of AMD motherboards seems to be higher. the 890FX chipset is brilliant however.