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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

MSI 890GXM-G65

Revisión técnica

Lo que nos entregaron a cambio fue un “OC Switch”, el cual puede darnos hasta un 20% de incremento en la velocidad del FSB tan solo bajando ambos interruptores.  Incrementos de un 10 y 15% también son posibles bajando solamente uno de ambos interruptores. Hablando de switches e interruptores, la placa incluye APS (Active Phase Switching), una tecnología que apaga ciertos componentes cuando no se están utilizando para ahorrar energía y que puedas presumirle a todos tus twitteramigos vegetarianos kawaii neko desu n_n cuán preocupado por el medioambiente eres. A pesar de que tengas un Crossfire de 5970 corriendo a full 24/7.

Review by Benjamin Sun
  • SATA 3.0
  • USB 3.0
  • Live Update 4
  • Lossless Content Protection
  • USB Safeguard
  • MSI Active Phase Switching
  • M-Flash
  • All-solid capacitors
  • SidePort memory
  • Easy OC Switch
  • Live Update
  • Hybrid Crossfire ready
  • 140W CPU Ready
Part Number 890GXM-G65
Manufacturer MSI
Chipset 890GX
North Bridge 890GX
Socket Socket AM3
Memory speed DDR3 21331800/1333/1066/800
Processor Types Phenom II/Athlon II/ Sempron 100 Up to 6 core
Number of CPUs1
QPI 5200MT/s
Memory Type DDR3
Memory Channels Double
Maximum Memory 16GB
External Graphics PCI Express x16 x1, PCI Express x8
IGP HD 4290
South BridgeSB 850
Audio 8-channel
IDE 133/100/66
SATA 3.0 GB/s
RAID 0, 1, 0+1, 5, 10
LAN 10/100/1000 4 LAN Ports
Firewire IEEE 1394a
Form Factor Micro-ATX
The 890GXM-G65 is MSI’s first motherboard based upon the AMD 890GX chipset. This is AMD’s latest and greatest motherboard chipset for their processors. The 890GXM-G65 motherboard has the 890GX and SB850 Northbridge/Southbridge combination. The 890GX has as its heart the new HD 4290 internal graphics chipset. The HD 4290 has 40 Stream Processors, much like the ATI HD 4350 which is the lowest end of the video cards of the HD 4xxx series. As the name implies, this chipset supports DirectX 10.1 as do all HD 4xxx series chips and video cards do. DirectX 10.1 brings improved support for MRTs, anti-aliasing and parallel cube mapping. The HD 4290 is clocked at 700MHz for the graphics chip matching the HD 3300 found on the 790GX chipset. The 890GXM-G65 chipset is fully compatible with the upcoming 6-core CPUs from AMD, the first chipset to fully support the new CPUs without a BIOS update. Earlier motherboard chipsets will also support the new CPUs with a BIOS update. The 890GX chipset supports 140W CPUs including all current Phenom II X4 CPUs and also supports the X3, the Athlon II and other AM3 CPUs. Note due to the 2 missing pins the Socket AM3 does not support Socket AM2+ CPUs. To clear a bit of confusion on the MSI website the motherboard chipset does NOT support Hybrid SLI as this would require an NVIDIA chipset. Instead the motherboard supports Hybrid Crossfire which works in a similar manner. Hybrid Crossfire allows the user to install a HD 5450 or HD 4350 card to improve the integrated graphics performance by working together with the integrated graphics chip. The 890GXM-G65 has 128MB of SidePort memory that works as framebuffer memory. AMD’s 890GX chipset is the only one in the world to support SATA 6Gbps drives natively without using a bridge chip. This is useful for those having SSD drives on that interface but not for those having SATA HDDs as they hardly max out the bandwidth found on SATA 2 much less SATA 6GBps. The 890GXM-G65 supports USB 3.0 offering 10x the bandwidth found on the USB 2.0 interface, up to 5Gbps bandwidth and increasing the power fed to USB devices as well from 500mV-900mV. Active Phase Switching dynamically controls the demand for power from the CPU, Memory and Chipset PWM. It saves power depending on the loading. In other words, more power is required for 3D gaming than is required to surf the Net. The board has LEDs which show when the board is on full load and when lower loading is in operation. Every motherboard manufacturer has a type of APS on their boards. MSI differentiates them by having control over the phases in Linux as well as Windows. The board has 4 power phases under the 140W CPU Ready heatsink.
  1. Introduction
  2. Features
  3. Bundle
  4. Layout
  5. BIOS and Overclocking
  6. Integrated Test Setup and Performance
  7. Test Setup and Software
Another review
Getting a closer look at the processor area, you can see that the board uses a black AM3 retention bracket that will hold a standard AMD heatsink onto the processor. Since this is a Socket AM3 board, it will fit any 938-pin AM3 processor, but it will not fit any previous CPUs, such as AM2+ or AM2. To power the processor area, the motherboard uses a 4+1 Phase Unit and all solid caps, allowing it to support all AM3 processors with up to 140W TDP. This means there are no limitations when it comes to processors that can be used, including AMD's fastest quad-core or hexa-core processors. Also, MSI has included its power saving technology, Active Phase Switching, which controls the power demand throughout specific areas of the motherboard, depending on the system needs. Just off to the right of the AM3 socket are four DDR3 Memory DIMM slots. These slots will support up to 16GB of DDR3 memory and are supply 1.5V by default.

For rear expansion, MSI includes just about all the 890GX chipset can offer. For video alone there are three options - a DVI-D port, VGA port and a HDMI port - all run though the 890GX chipset. You also have one mouse/keyboard connector, optical S/PDIF-Out, four USB 2.0 ports, LAN, and the rear audio panel. These alone would be enough for most users, but thanks to the on-board NEC chip, the MSI 890GXM-G56 also has support for the new USB 3.0. These new USB 3.0 ports support up to 4.8Gb/s transfer rates and are colored blue to distinguish them from the USB 2.0 ports.

With a smaller form factor than the other 890GX motherboards, the MSI 890GXM-G65 does have to reduce the amount of expansion the board can hold. This leaves us with two PCIe x16 slots that will run at a full x16 bandwidth when one graphics card is in use and at a reduced x8/x8 bandwidth when using dual graphics cards in CrossFireX. Other than the two x16 slots, you also have one PCIx x1 slot and one PCI slot. This is a decent amount of expansion for a mATX motherboard, but there is an issue - if you use dual-slot graphics cards with this board, the expansion slots below the PCIe x16 slots will be blocked. In a single dual-slot graphics card setup, only the PCIe x1 slot would be unusable, but if using CrossFireX with dual-slot coolers, both the PCIe x1 and PCI slots would be unusable. For many users, this will not be an issue, as the days of multiple PCI cards are over, but there are still users that prefer an add-on sound card or other device and this could prevent them from adding these to their system. Of course the use of a single slot graphics card would fix this, but how many high-end graphics cards can be found with a single slot cooler these days?

For additional expansion, MSI includes a host of headers found at the bottom of the motherboard. Going from left to right, you have a front panel audio header, JCD header, JSP header, four USB 2.0 headers, front panel connector, and five SATA 3.0 ports. All these are standard, but with the SB850 southbridge, AMD has been able to include the new SATA 3.0, that can reach transfer speeds of up to 6GB/s and has RAID 0/1/5/10 support. This is double the data transfer rate of the older SATA 2.0 and will increase the system's performance when paired with a SATA 3.0 hard drive. Also found at the bottom of the board, resting just between the JSP and first USB port, is MSI's Easy OC switch. This switch will automatically overclock the CPU FSB simply by moving one of the switches either up or down, with four settings to choose from. By moving the switches into one of the four preset positions, you can increase the FSB by either +10%, +15% or +20%. Since this switch makes adjustments to the FSB, other frequencies, such as the memory, will be increased along with the processor.
Lastly, we are going to have a look at the cooling solution used on the MSI 890GXM-G65. This consists of two coolers, with one being a dual-heatsink design that is connected by a single heatpipe that cools the 890GX northbridge and the MOSFET area. The other cooler is a simple, finned heatsink that sits on the SB850 southbridge. Each cooler is secured into place by screws that are mounted though the back of the motherboard. This will create a better connection between the base and the chipsets below, reducing the operating temperatures more efficiently than the standard push-pin method.
  1. Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Closer Look: The Motherboard
  3. Closer Look: Drivers & Programs
  4. Closer Look: The BIOS
  5. Closer Look: The BIOS (Continued)
  6. Specifications & Features
  7. Testing: Setup & Overclocking
  8. Testing: Apophysis, WinRAR
  9. Testing: Office 2007, POV Ray 3.7, PcMark Vantage
  10. Testing: Sandra 2009 Professional
  11. Testing: ScienceMark, CineBench 10, HD Tune
  12. Testing: Far Cry 2
  13. Testing: Crysis Warhead
  14. Testing: Call of Duty: World at War
  15. Testing: Fallout 3
  16. Testing: Left 4 Dead
  17. Testing: 3DMark06 Professional
  18. Testing: 3DMark Vantage Professional
  19. Conclusion

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