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Socket AM3: 890FX Deluxe4

USB 3.0 To The Front Panel: ASRock Leads The Way

AMD’s current chipset advantage for both mainstream and upper-mainstream products is its added PCI Express 2.0 connectivity, which Intel currently limits in a fairly debilitating way. Those extra lanes mean that the 890FX Deluxe4 can support two graphics cards and two USB 3.0 controllers at full bandwidth.

The 890FX Deluxe4 supports a third card in x4 transfer mode, but PCIe 2.0 technology gives the extra slot twice as much performance as the x4 slots often found on Intel motherboards based on P55 Express. ASRock doesn’t even need to use up any PCIe 2.0 pathways for internal SATA 6Gb/s, since the AMD SB850 southbridge supports six of these ports natively.

Front-panel and rear-panel USB 3.0 are provided by separate NEC D720200F1 controllers, each on its own PCIe 2.0 x1 interface. Individual devices on each controller can be fed with the controller's total bandwidth, but any two devices on the same controller must share bandwidth.

Because USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 use completely different data pathways, the new connector uses 19 pins, rather than the former 9-pins, to provide two ports with the two separate technologies.

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