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Five AMD 890FX-Based Motherboards Compared

Features Comparison

890GX Motherboard Features
ASRock 890FX Deluxe3Asus Crosshair IV FormulaBiostar TA890FXEGigabyte 890FXA-UD7MSI 890FXA-GD70
PCB Revision1.031.01G5.02.01.1
ChipsetAMD 890FX/SB850AMD 890FX/SB850AMD 890FX/SB850AMD 890FX/SB850AMD 890FX/SB850
Voltage Regulator10 Phases10 Phases6 Phases10 Phases5 Phases
BIOSP1.40 (04/23/2010)0801 (05/03/2010)506 (05/06/2010)F1 (04/06/2010)V1.2 (04/26/2010)
200.0 MHz BCLK200.0 MHz (+0.0 MHz)200.7 MHz (+0.35%)200.0 MHz (+0.0 MHz)200.0 MHz (+0.0 MHz)200.0 MHz (+0.0 MHz)
Clock GeneratorICS 9LPRS477CKLICS 9LPRS477CKLRealtek RTM880N-793Realtek RTM880N-793Realtek RTM880N-793
Internal Interfaces
PCIe x16 (lanes)3 (16/16/4)4 (16-1-16-4 or 16-8-8-4)4 (16-1-16-4)6 (16-4-0-1-16-0 or 8-4-8-1-8-8)5 (16-0-4-16-0 or 8-4-8-8-8)
PCIe x1/x42/00/00/00/01/0
Legacy PCI12211
USB 2.02 (4 ports)3 (5 ports)3 (6 ports)3 (6 ports)3 (6 ports)
Serial Port1None111
Parallel PortNoneNoneNone1None
Ultra ATA 1331 (2 drives)None1 (2 drives)1 (2 drives)1 (2 drives)
SATA 3 Gb/sNone1None21
SATA 6 Gb/s86566
4-Pin Fan28121
3-Pin Fan3None234
S/PDIF I/OOutput OnlyOutput OnlyOutput OnlyBothOutput Only
Power ButtonYesYesYesYesYes
Reset ButtonYesYesYesYesYes
CLR_CMOS ButtonJumper OnlyJumper OnlyJumper OnlyYesJumper Only
Diagnostics PanelNumericPass/Fail LEDsNumericNumericNumeric
I/O Panel Connectors
P/S 221212
USB 2.04766 (2 Shared w/eSATA)6 (1 Shared w/eSATA)
USB 3.042None22
eSATA11121 (Shared w/USB)
CLR_CMOS ButtonYesYesNoNoYes
Digital Audio OutOptical + CoaxialOpticalOptical + CoaxialOptical + CoaxialOptical + Coaxial
Digital Audio InNoneNoneNoneNoneNone
Analog Audio66666
Mass Storage Controllers
Chipset SATA6 x SATA 6 Gb/s6 x SATA 6 Gb/s6 x SATA 6 Gb/s6 x SATA 6 Gb/s6 x SATA 6 Gb/s
Chipset RAID Modes0, 1, 5, 100, 1, 5, 100, 1, 5, 100, 1, 5, 100, 1, 5, 10
Add-In SATA88SE9123 PCIe 2 x SATA 6 Gb/sJMB363 PCIe 1 x SATA 3 Gb/s 1 x eSATA 3 Gb/sNoneJMB363 PCIe 2 x SATA 3 Gb/s JMB362 PCIe 2 x eSATA 3 Gb/sJMB363 PCIe 1 x SATA 3 Gb/s 1 x eSATA 3 Gb/s
Add-In Ultra ATAVT6330 PCIeNoneVT6330 PCIeJMB363 PCIeJMB363 PCIe
USB 3.02x NEC D720200F1 4 x 5.0 Gb/sNEC D720200F1NoneNEC D720200F1 2 x 5.0 Gb/sNEC D720200F1
IEEE-1394VT6330 PCIe 2 x 400 Mb/sVT6315N PCIe 2 x 400 Mb/sVT6330 PCIe 2 x 400 Mb/sTSB43AB23 PCI 3 x 400 Mb/sVT6315N PCIe 2 x 400 Mb/s
Gigabit Ethernet
Primary LANRTL8111E PCIeMarvell 88E8059 PCIeRTL8111DL PCIeRTL8111D PCIeRTL8111DL PCIe
Secondary LANNoneNoneNoneRTL8111D PCIeRTL8111DL PCIe
HD Audio CodecVIA VT2020VIA VT2020ALC892ALC889ALC889
DDL/DTS ConnectUnspecifiedUnspecifiedUnspecifiedDolby Digital LiveUnspecified
  • makwy2
    Great article. Very informative!

    One little suggestion, in the features comparison it would be nice to include a row on the cost of these mobos. As one eventually reads in the Conclusion there is quite a bit of difference between them in this area but if this 'stat' was featured I would be able to focus only on the boards within my price range. I know that it would be hard to keep up to date and such but it would really be a service to those of us who are not made of money.
  • wintermint
    I own a gigabyte mobo and I'm happy with it :)
  • Lmeow
    I'd personally go for the Crosshair IV Formula simply because of the kickass colour scheme. :D
  • xurwin
    uhuh! i really like the crosshair IV formula for its design and Awesome color! wish every mobo has a creativity design
  • joytech22
    Ugh this year i already made some horrible decisions, honestly didn't think the Asus board would look so beautiful! i really wanted that board too but i already ordered a different Asus board for SLi support (with AM3)..

  • liquidsnake718
    interesting and very persuasive article as i was seriously thinking of getting an AMD based system instead just a few weeks ago until I finally bought a new processor. I still dont have the mb yet but reading this article made me want to get the Asus or the Gigabyte board. I would have possibly gone for a phenom II x4 or even x6 but its too late! What a good read this was and I am slowly understanding the value oriented target market that AMD and ATi offer to beginners and enthusiast builders and overclockers.

    Truly.... if not for getting my i7930 I would have bought these motherboards first!

    I have just purchased a i7 chip x58 chip but reading this article actually made me regret it! I have yet to buy a mb as the ud4 isnt available in Manila yet.

    I will build this pc slowly but make it the best possible in the timeframe while I eke out the best of my current c2d system and netbook in the meantime.
  • alexcheng
    URRGH!!! X58 or 890FX?!?!! AMD and Intel are causing me a mental breakdown!!!!!!!
  • dEAne
    I have a gigabyte mobo and Its good, One thing I don't like is that DDR3 cannot use past 1333 range if you want to use 1600 only few slots are available.
  • aquicl
  • xurwin
    dEAneI have a gigabyte mobo and Its good, One thing I don't like is that DDR3 cannot use past 1333 range if you want to use 1600 only few slots are available. now now. breathe slowly. ASUS CROSSHAIR IV FORMULA 890FX!!!