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Roundup: Four 790FX Socket AM3 Motherboards


Features and Layout

DFI’s high-end LANParty DK 790FXB-M3H5 comes at a decidedly mid-market price, lacking a fourth graphics-card slot and a FireWire controller that competing models offer.

DFI uses the reduced number of x16 slots as a good way to spread these farther apart for enhanced graphics cooling. The top-two slots are locked with x16 pathways, while the third slot uses four of 790FX’s six left-over PCI Express 2.0 links to provide the same bandwidth that previous-generation x8 slots do. The third slot should offer adequate performance for cards up to the single-GPU Radeon HD 4870, while Radeon HD 4870 X2 users will prefer the two x16 slots.

DFI takes a symbolic lead over Asus in Ultra ATA and especially floppy header placement (for anyone who still uses those legacy interfaces), but the lower drive cage of some older case designs could block its forward-facing SATA ports. However, forward-facing ports allow cables to slip under the end of long expansion cards.

DFI is the only company in today’s line-up to provide a method for clearing custom BIOS settings from outside of an already-built system. A jumper on the rear panel is a little more cumbersome than a button would be, but it greatly reduces the likelihood of accidental engagement.

Great layout choices include a front-panel audio connector at the centerrather than at the bottomof the rear edge, which is far enough below the top x16 slot to prevent collision with over-sized graphics coolers.

We have no layout complaints for the LANParty DK 790FXB-M3H5, but one minor caveat concerns the eight-pin CPU power connector. Since it is around 1.5" below the top edge, attaching the power connector may pose problems for builders who prefer to wrap this cable around the back of the motherboard tray from bottom-mounted power supplies.


Voltage and frequency ranges for the LANParty DK 790FXB-M3H5 can be found in a comparative chart in this article’s overclocking section.

DFI’s Genie BIOS has all the most important frequency controls, but some of the labels might appear unfamiliar to users of other brands.

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A fairly broad selection of DRAM timing controls are found in a Genie BIOS submenu, but the voltage sub-menu is slightly less elaborate.

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DFI still provides a round Ultra ATA cable, but the LANParty DK 790FXB-M3H5 lacks any floppy cable. DFI also includes four replacement jumpers with easy-grip tabs.

Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.