Asus’ full-sized board provides the extra space needed to access most 890GX chipset functions, including two of the chipset’s six PCI slots and five of its eight PCIe 2.0 lanes. Much of the chipset’s remaining connectivity is tied to on-board controllers.
Only four of the chipset’s USB 2.0 ports are found on the I/O panel, as the area is far too laden with other connections to allow for more. Two USB 3.0, FireWire, eSATA, digital and analog audio, gigabit networking, and triple-format display output round out the rear.
Builders looking for the best performance from a single card need to pay close attention to the included VGA switch card, which is used to control the number of lanes fed to the dark-blue slot. Sixteen lanes are shared across two graphics card slots in x8 mode, but placing the card into the light-blue slot redirects its eight lanes to the dark-blue slot for full x16 connectivity to a single card. This low-cost switching method eliminates the need for more expensive devices, such as the electronic switches used by its competitors.
Four USB 2.0 headers support up to eight front-panel ports or devices, but the add-in ATA controller supports only Ultra ATA drives. All ATA connectors including the chipset’s six SATA 6Gb/s ports are found near the bottom edge, which could make cable installation difficult for the top-bay drives in mid-tower cases.
Front-panel audio is found in its usual bottom-rear-corner position, where it will usually be difficult to reach with the cables of top-bay connections.
|Reference Clock||100-600 MHz (1 MHz)|
|iGFX Clock||400-1500 MHz (1 MHz)|
|DRAM Data Rates||REF x4-x8 (x1.33)|
|PCIe Clock||100-150 MHz (1 MHz)|
|CPU Vcore||0.65-2.05V (3.125mV)|
|IMC Voltage||0.4-1.8V (3.125mV)|
|890GX Voltage||0.8-2.0V (6.25mV)|
|SB850 Voltage||1.10-1.40V (50mV)|
|DRAM Voltage||1.20-2.50V (6.25mV)|
|CAS Latency||4-12 Cycles|
The M4A89GTD Pro/USB3 provides a fairly long list of overclocking controls, supporting even sideport memory overclocks (DDR3-1333 to DDR3-2000) and over-voltage (from 1.50 to 1.80 volts).
A fairly short selection of DRAM timings still provides all the settings most tuners will need.
Asus is proud of its Core Unlocker feature, which is meant to enable the disabled cores of Phenom II X2 and X3 processors. This is notable since the SB850 southbridge does not include ACC as a built-in feature. Nevertheless, while we've had minor luck randomly unlocking a handful of retail-purchased CPUs, we wouldn't recommend you buy a cheaper processor hoping for an unlock when you really want the higher-end CPU. It's not like we're dealing with the difference between a Core i5-750 and a Core i7-975 Extreme or anything, cost-wise.
Up to eight BIOS configurations can be saved as user profiles or exported to a drive.
Asus includes four SATA cables with its M4A89GTD Pro/USB3, but only two are marked as SATA 6 Gb/s capable.
- Clear Leadership, Or More Of The Same?
- Motherboard Features
- Asus M4A89GTD Pro/USB3
- Gigabyte GA-890GPA-UD3H
- MSI 890GXM-G65
- Test Settings
- Benchmark Results: Integrated Graphics And SATA 6Gb/s
- Benchmark Results: Modern Warfare 2 And Crysis
- Benchmark Results: DiRT 2 And Call of Pripyat
- Benchmark Results: Audio And Video Encoding
- Benchmark Results: Productivity
- Benchmark Results: Synthetic Benchmarks