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Wednesday, 08 September 2010 11:58

MSI and ASRock 890GX tested

Written by Eliot Kucharik

asrock_extrreme3_front_smallImage

Review: Upgraded 785G with 6Gbps SATA support



After testing
the latest Phenom II X6 CPUs, it's time to check the new underlying chipset, in this case with integrated graphics-core called Radeon 4290.

This is an upgraded 785G still with DX10.1 support, which by now isn't a big deal, and with the UVD2 stream engine. This will allow the 890GX to stream Blu-ray content with picture in picture functionality. They upped the the clock from 500MHz to 700MHz while AMD tweaked the chip to be more energy-efficient. The most important new chip is the Southbridge called SB850. This is the first chipset that includes 6Gbps functionallity, which will come handy when using SSDs. For this review we have skipped this test, but we will test this shortly. Let's take a look at the diagram AMD sent us:
amd_890gx_chart_normal

As you can see, it's still pretty straight forward. The 890GX is capable of providing 22 PCIe 2.0 lanes, which results in one x16 and six x1 lanes. The PCIe x16 can be split to two x8 to use two ATI Radeon graphics-cards in Crossfire mode. While the picture states the SB850 has a PATA controller, it's worth noting that board manufacturers use an add-on chip to provide such functionality. We do not really care if such a port is present, because nowadays anything is SATA and optical drives are cheap as chips. The link between IGP and Southbride has been doubled, so 2GB/s is healthy for possible RAID 0 SATA 6Gbps. 


Testbed:
Motherboard:
MSI 890GXM-G65 (provided by MSI)
AMD 890GX/SB850
ASRock 890GX Extreme 3 (provided byASRock)
AMD 890GX/SB850
MSI P55-GD65 (provided by MSI)
Intel P55
ASRock H55M Pro (provided by ASRock)
Intel H55
Intel DX58SO "Smackover" (provided byIntel)
Intel X58/iCH10R

CPU:
Intel Pentium G6950, Core i3-530 (provided by Mindfactory)
Intel Core i5-750, i7-975 (provided by Intel)

AMD Athlon II X2 240e/245 (provided by AMD)
AMD Phenom II X4 620/X6 1090T (provided by AMD)


CPU-Cooler:
Scythe Grand Kama Cross (provided by Scythe-Europe) for AMD and Intel 1156
Thermalright Ultra 120 eXtreme 1366 (provided by Thermalright) for Intel 1366

Memory:
G.Skill Eco 4GB Kit PC3-12800 (provided by G.Skill)
1067MHz CL7-7-7-20 CR1T 1.35V for Athlon II X2, Pentium G6950, i7-975
1333MHz CL7-7-7-20 CR1T 1.35V for Athlon II X4, Phenom II X4/X6, i3-530, i5-750

Graphics Card:
MSI R4850-2D1G-OC (provided byMSI)

Power supply:
PC Power & Cooling Silencer 500W (provided by PC Power & Cooling)

Hard disk:
Samsung F1 1000GB RAID-Edition (provided by Ditech)

Case fans:
SilenX iXtrema Pro 14dB(A) (provided by PC-Cooling.at)
Scythe DFS122512LS

Case:
Cooler Master Stacker 831 Lite (provided by Cooler Master)

OS:
All tests are performed with XP SP3. As 64-bit software is still not very common, we used the 32-bit version.
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Last modified on Wednesday, 08 September 2010 12:32
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Comments  

 
+6 #1 BernardP 2010-09-08 13:34
Nice review, Eliot,

There have been reports that the latest AMD chipset (SB 850) is unable to deliver the promised SATA 6Gbps bandwidth and is still performing at SATA II level. Have you been able to check for this?

A more general comment: I find the benchmark graphs in Fudzilla's reviews hard to read: each item description should appear next to its line, not underneath the graph; results should be grouped for each board and in the same order in each graph.
 
 
0 #2 eliot 2010-09-09 09:32
Quoting BernardP:
Nice review, Eliot,


thx a lot :-)

Quoting BernardP:
There have been reports that the latest AMD chipset (SB 850) is unable to deliver the promised SATA 6Gbps bandwidth and is still performing at SATA II level. Have you been able to check for this?


I don't have a 6Gbps drive yet, the latest SSD I test right now has issues, but only with write speeds. The read speeds are only minimal off compared to a P55. I'm in contact with the manufacture to sort things out.

Quoting BernardP:
A more general comment: I find the benchmark graphs in Fudzilla's reviews hard to read: each item description should appear next to its line, not underneath the graph; results should be grouped for each board and in the same order in each graph.


That is a matter of personal taste. The colors are grouped by manufacturer. CPUs are always in the same order on both boards :) Due to time constraints I'll rework them sometime in the future, meanwhile I have to stick with it. Besides, the benches are not really important nowadways as the performance is always inside of 2% of each other.

best,

Eliot
 

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