Legit Motherboard Reviews
MSI 890FXA-GD70 AMD 890FX Motherboard Review
|Date:||Thu, Jul 29, 2010 - 12:00 AM|
|Written By:||Dan Stoltz -|
MSI 890FXA-GD70 Board Layout
The MSI 890FXA-GD70 is a sharp looking board. Not exactly important to me but it is nice to have a good looking system board when you take a computer to a LAN game and you want to show off! One thing I noticed right off the bat was the size of the heat sink behind the I/O panel. My first thought was; that is a massive heat sink for the PWM's. I then realized that MSI has relocated the northbridge closer to the back edge of the board and closer to the side. That is why that heat sink is so massive, it is cooling both the PWM's and the northbridge. Moving the northbridge in this fashion allowed MSI to move the first PCIe slot over which makes enough room to run four dual slot graphics cards!
The four memory slots on the MSI 890FXA-GD70 will support DDR3 memory up to 2133MHz and a maximum amount of 16Gb. Just to the right of the memory is the CPU phase indicators, these four lights will tell you how many power phases that your CPU is using at any given time. Power is supplied to the MSI 890FXA-GD70 through the 24pin plug on the left of the side of the memory slots.
Starting on the right side of the photo we have a single IDE port. Next to the IDE port we have six SATA 6GB/s ports with a seventh SATA port above those which is limited to 3GB/s. Above the SATA ports is the heat sink that keeps the AMD SB850 within safe operating temperatures.
Rounding this corner of the MSI 890FXA-GD70 we see what at first glance is the missing buttons for the power and reset. They aren't missing though, they are simply done with a touch. Next to the power and reset touch pads is the OC Dial, the OC Dial allows you to change the FSB of the system without being in the BIOS and there is no need to install any software. The Green Power touch pad toggles the MSI 890FXA-GD70 through the different LED functions of the board. Above we have the front panel pin outs as well as the pin out for the Trusted Platform Module. Sliding down the edge of the MSI 890FXA-GD70 we have the JBAT1 jumper which is used to clear the CMOS followed by three USB 2.0 headers. Next to the end of the black PCI slot is the DeBug LED panel which displays the system P.O.S.T. codes.
Starting on the left side of the photo we can see the front panel audio header, JSP1 is the S/PDIF connector. The pair of blue pin outs are a set of IEEE1394 headers.
Taking a look at the back edge of the MSI 890FXA-GD70 reveals several of the chips that make up the list of integrated peripherals. The largest of the chips which is on the left side of the photo is a NEC D720200F1, this is the USB3 host controller. The next two chips are the Realtek 8111DL Gigabit ethernet controllers. Above the audio (label) is the VIA VT6315N IEEE1394 controller chip. Above the L in Lossless is the Realtek ALC892 HD Audio Chip. Above all of the chip is the five PCIex16 slots that are spaced perfectly for the operation of four dual slot Graphics cards. Between the first and second PCIex16 slot there is a single PCIex1 slot, and between the fourth and fifth PCIex16 slots is a single PCI slot.
In the above photo there are a few key features of the MSI 890FXA-GD70. Mainly the heat sink that covers both the power circuitry and the northbridge. Also of note is the 8pin CPU power plug, this will supply the latest AMD Phenom II X6 processors with enough power for those day when you feel the need for speed and want to push your CPU of choice beyond its limits.
The I/O panel has no shortage of ports. Featuring eight USB ports two of which are USB3.0 and one of which is a combination USB2/eSATA port. The button between the PS/2 port and the optical audio port will clear the CMOS. Also present is a pair of Gigabit Ethernet ports controlled by the Realtek 8111DL chips discussed above.
Typically surrounding the CPU socket is all of the traditional capacitors. The traditional solid caps are missing from the MSI 890FXA-GD70, in their place are HI-c Caps(highly conductive capacitor). The Hi-c Caps have a life expectancy eight times that of a Solid Capacitor, and have a higher thermal stability. The core of the Hi-c Capacitors features a Tantalum Core which is a rare and highly stable material.
Next Page - MSI 890FXA-GD70 System BIOS
Page 1 - MSI 890FXA-GD70 Motherboard
Page 2 - MSI 890FXA-GD70 Retail Packaging
Page 3 - MSI 890FXA-GD70 Board Layout
Page 4 - MSI 890FXA-GD70 System BIOS
Page 5 - Legit Reviews Test System
Page 6 - PCMark Vantage
Page 7 - 3DMark Vantage
Page 8 - SiSoft Sandra 2010 Memory Bandwidth
Page 9 - USB3 Testing
Page 10 - Network Throughput
Page 11 - Rightmark Audio Analyzer
Page 12 - Aliens Vs. Predator
Page 13 - MSI 890FXA-GD70 Overclocking
Page 14 - Final Thoughts and Conlusion