MSI 790FX-GD70 Socket AM3 Motherboard Review

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Introduction and Specs

MSI 790FX-GD70 Motherboard Review

 

We have the opportunity to look at another AMD Socket AM3 motherboard in our review today.  This one is the 790FX-GD70 from MSI and it is poised to be the flagship motherboard of the AM3 lineup for MSI.  MSI has been around for quite some time, and so it is no stranger to competing in the motherboard business.  This board sports the 790FX/SB750 combination of chipsets, so it is the best that you can get now in the AM3 scene.  It also has a total of four X16 PCIE slots, so it is ready for a multi-GPU setup to take gaming to its graphical extremes.  That is a just a couple of the great features of the board; let’s take a closer look at what all it has…

SPECIFICATIONS

CPU

 

Supports 64-bit AMD® Phenom II X4 / Phenom X3 processor (Socket AM3)
Supports AMD CPU with 140W power requirement
For latest information on CPU support list, please check http://www.msi.com/index.php?func=cpuform2 for more detail

 
 

Chipset

 

• AMD 790FX (AMD RD790) Chipset

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HyperTransport connection to AMD Phenom/Athlon processor

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HyperTransport supporting speed up to 2.6GHz (5200mt/s)

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Supports 4 PCI-E x 16, & 1 PCI-E X 1

• ATI SB750 Chipset

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Supports SATAII controllers for six drives

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Supports single channel Ultra DMA 100/133 master mode EIDE controller

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Supports Hi-Speed (USB2.0) controller 480 mb/s transfer rate up to 11 ports

 
 

Main Memory

 

Supports four unbuffered DIMM of 1.5 Volt DDR3 800/1066/1333/1600*/1800*/2133* (OC) SDRAM, 16GB Max

Due to the High Performance Memory design, motherboards or system configurations may or may not operate smoothly at the JEDEC (Joint Electron Device Engineering Council) standard settings (BIOS Default on the motherboard) such as DDR3 voltage, memory speeds and memory timing. Please confirm and adjust your memory setting in the BIOS accordingly for better system stability.

 
 

Slots

 

Four PCI Express X16 slots , support ATI CrossFire Technology (PCI Express Bus Specification v2.0 compliant)
{Slot configurations: Dual CrossFire (16X+16X), Quad CrossFire (8X+8X+8X+8X)}

One PCI Express X1 slot

Two 32-bit PCI slots (3.3v/5v PCI Bus Master slots)

 
 

On-Board IDE / SATA

 

An IDE controller on the ATI SB750 chipset provides IDE HDD/CD-ROM with PIO, Bus Master and Ultra DMA133/100 operation modes.

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Can connect up to 2 IDE devices

SB750 supports 6 SATA II ports (SATA1-6). Transfer rate is up to 300MB/s.

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Supports up to 6 SATA

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RAID 0 or 1, 0+1, 5 is supported

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RAID function work w/ SATA/SATAII HDDs

JMicron JMB322 controller supports 2 SATAII (SATA7/8) & eSATA port

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RAID 0, 1, is supported

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RAID function work with SATA/SATAII HDDs

 
 

BIOS

 

The mainboard BIOS provides “Plug & Play” BIOS which detects the peripheral devices and expansion cards of the board automatically.

The mainboard provides a Desktop Management Interface (DMI) function which records your mainboard specifications.

Supports boot from LAN, USB Device 1.1 & 2.0 and SATA HDD

 
 

Audio

 

8 Channel software audio codec Realtek ALC889
True Blu-ray Audio Support

Compliance with Azalia v1.0 spec.

Flexible 8-channel audio with jack sensing

 
 

LAN

 

Dual Realtek® 8111DL Gb LAN chip

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Supports 10Mb/s, 100Mb/s and 1000Mb/s

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Compliance with PCI-Express v1.0a

 
 

IEEE1394

 

VIA VT6315N controller

Support up to 2 IEEE 1394 ports (rear x 1 / front x 1)

Transfer rate up to 400 mbps.

 
 

On-Board Peripherals

 

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1 floppy port supports 1 FDD with 360K, 720K, 1.2M, 1.44M and 2.88Mbytes

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1 serial port (supported by pin-out)

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1 audio jack (6-in-1), coaxial/fibre SPDIF out

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11 USB 2.0 ports (Rear x 7 / Front x 4)

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2 RJ45 LAN jack

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1 eSATA/USB share port

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2 IEEE 1394 a connectors (Rear x 1/ Front x 1)

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1 CD-in pinheader

 
 

Dimension

 
12 in (L) x 9.75 in (W) ATX Form Factor

Let’s move along and look at the layout of the board.

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