Five AMD 890FX-Based Motherboards Compared

Making The Competition Green With Envy

AMD’s highest-performance chipset is as much an indictment of its competitor’s behavior as it is an example of how AMD serves the gaming community. With 42 lanes of PCI Express (PCIe) 2.0 connectivity, the mainstream-priced AMD 890FX already bests Intel’s high-priced X58 (with 36 lanes), and that’s before we even think of adding the SB850 southbridge and its SATA 6Gb/s controller, a feature Intel doesn’t even offer. Comparisons to Intel’s 16-lane LGA 1156 platform are even more brutal. 

It's a good thing Intel has CrossFire and SLI support on its side, otherwise we might question the company's dedication to gamers on a budget. AMD, on the other hand, is only able to extend CrossFire compatibility.

One might argue that AMD is using chipset features to win over CPU customers, but even that argument results in a win for gamers. Many of our tests have shown that AMD processors are “only” capable of matching Intel’s in certain applications—applications that include most games.

It appears that anyone who wants the best high-end gaming experience must look to AMD for platform value, but which firm makes the best high-end AMD platform? Let’s take a closer look.

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