MSI 790FX-GD70 Socket AM3 Motherboard Review

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Board Layout

MSI 790FX-GD70 Motherboard Review

As you first look at the board, you can see that it is an attractive board with a good color choice.  The heat sink/pipe that runs through the board is not gaudy and does not take away from the overall appearance of the board.  The layout is clean, and it does not look like there will be any issues at all.

MSI 790FX-GD70 Motherboard Review

The top right of the board is where the four dimm slots are.  The MSI 790FX-GD70 supports up to 16GB of DDR3 memory in dual channel configuration at speeds of 800, 1066, 1333, 1600, 1800 and 2133.  DDR1600 and above are overclocked speeds.  The 24-pin power connector is also here at the edge of the board in a perfect position.

MSI 790FX-GD70 Motherboard Review

The bottom right of the board is where the SATA connections are on the board.  This board has 6 SATAII ports that are powered by the SB750, and 2 SATAII ports (blue ports) are driven by the JMicron JMB322 controller.  We also have an IDE connector here.

MSI 790FX-GD70 Motherboard Review

MSI has some cool buttons on the bottom right edge of the board.  There are power and reset buttons, a clear CMOS buttons, a “Green Power” button for power consumption and a Max Overclock button to use with the overclocking dial that will allow for overclocking in real time.  It has pretty neat features, especially for the novice overclocker.  The front panel pin connections are right behind the knob as well.

MSI 790FX-GD70 Motherboard Review

The bottom left of the board is the location of two legacy PCI slots, an X1 PCIE slot and four X16 slots.  The MSI 790FX-GD70 supports Crossfire, dual Crossfire and Quad Crossfire setups.  There are a couple of other interesting things here…

MSI 790FX-GD70 Motherboard Review

…such as LEDs on the board that help you through the boot process.

MSI 790FX-GD70 Motherboard Review

Audio is powered by the Realtek ALC889 audio chip and provides 8 channel Hi Def sound.  Dual LAN is powered by the Realtek 8111DL Gigabit chip.  Firewire is controlled by the VIA VT6315N controller.

MSI 790FX-GD70 Motherboard Review

Here is the Battery and heatsink on the Southbridge.

MSI 790FX-GD70 Motherboard Review

The top left is where we find the CPU socket.  It is pretty clear, other than the large heatsink next to the socket.  It should not pose a problem with any cooler, though.

MSI 790FX-GD70 Motherboard Review

The 8-pin 12v connector is positioned in a terrific location as well, up and out of the way in the top corner area.

MSI 790FX-GD70 Motherboard Review

The I/O ports include connections for 7 USB ports, two LAN ports, firewire, eSATA, PS/2 mouse and keyboard and your audio connections.

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