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AMD Pulls Catalyst 14.4 WHQL, Reposts it with a Cautionary Note

Over the weekend enthusiasts couldn't find AMD's Catalyst software suite 14.4 WHQL on the company's Game portal. The company reposted it a little later, with a cautionary note about why they had to pull the download. Apparently, the AMD motherboard chipset drivers included in the suite were later found to be unstable on some systems, particularly the southbridge AHCI driver. The issue seems to affect only certain southbridges, the SB700, SB710, and SB750. There's no word on newer generations of southbridges with SATA 6 Gb/s controllers and FIS switches, such as SB850, SB950, and A-series FCH chipsets, being affected. Our SB950-based motherboard isn't showing any signs of instability. AMD rebuilt the suite without the affected driver when it re-posted the suite later on Monday.

Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD7 Top-Tier Socket AM3+ Motherboard Pictured

After displays of socket AM3+ motherboards based on AMD 990FX chipset, by ASUS, and MSI were pictured by various tech sites, it's quite expected of Gigabyte's offering to somehow make it to the web. Gigabyte is going full guns with its top AM3+ motherboard, with the GA-990FXA-UD7. Based on the same Black+Graphite+Gold color scheme as the socket LGA1155 "UD7" models based on Intel P67 and Z68, the GA-990FXA-UD7 comes with zesty dimensions that almost make it an EATX form-factor board, although it's not. The AM3+ socket is powered by a 10-phase VRM that is cooled by a long heatsink that appears to be contiguous with the northbridge heatsink, which in turn shares heat with the southbridge over a heat pipe. The socket is wired to four DDR3 DIMM slots supporting DDR3 frequencies in excess of 1866 MHz.

Gigabyte utilized each of the seven expansion slots, packing in six PCI-Express 2.0 x16 neatly spaced out to support NVIDIA 4-way SLI and AMD 4-way CrossFireX; two out of six slots two are electrical x4, wired to the southbridge. A legacy PCI slot is thrown in, just in case you hate to throw away that expensive PCI sound card that still sounds great. Storage connectivity includes eight internal SATA 6 Gb/s ports, six from the SB850 southbridge, and two from a third-party controller. There are two eSATA ports, of which one appears to be power-eSATA.

G.Skill Displays Phoenix II SATA 6 Gbps SSD with Blazing 550 MB/s Speeds

G.Skill showed off its fastest SATA solid state drive (SSD) at CeBIT, the Phoenix II series. Based on the SandForce SF-2000 series controller, Phoenix II pushes the limits of SF-2000 series in terms of throughput, and advertises some of the highest transfer rates for the chipset: 550 MB/s read, and 500 MB/s write. The company even validated these speeds using a session of ATTO disk benchmark. The 120 GB Phoenix II SSD was connected to an AMD SB850 SATA 6 Gb/s controller, on a system headed by Phenom II X6 processor. G.Skill said that the 120 GB model would be priced at €299.

ASRock Readies AM3+ 890FX Deluxe5 Motherboard

ASRock seems to be in a hurry to be out with the first socket AM3+ motherboard that supports AMD's next-generation "Zambezi" Fusion Black processors, and so again put its creativity to use. The company designing a new motherboard based on the AMD 890FX + SB850 chipset instead, called the ASRock 890FX Deluxe5. The selling point with this board is the ability to have an AM3+ as early as possible, with capability to accommodate AM3+ processors as they come. For now, ASRock's idea in the public domain is only in the form of a layout drawing.

The typically-sized ATX motherboard from ASRock makes use of AMD's 890FX + SB850 chipset. The CPU socket is compatible with existing socket AM3 Phenom II and Athlon II processors, and future Fusion Black processors. This isn't particularly an advantage, because every AM3+ motherboard in the future based on 990FX will retain support for AM3 processors. On the other hand, 990FX motherboards could also embrace UEFI, something this board seems to lack prima facie.

ZOTAC Unleashes Duo of AMD 800 Series Mini-ITX Platforms

ZOTAC International, a leading innovator and the world's largest channel manufacturer of graphics cards, motherboards and mini-PCs, today unleashes a duo of mini-ITX platforms designed for optimal energy-efficiency, home theatre PC and powered by AMD 800 series chipsets - including the world's first AMD mobile-on-desktop platform - the new ZOTAC M880G-ITX WiFi - and the socket AM3 compatible 880G-ITX WiFi.

Powered by AMD 800 series chipsets, the ZOTAC M880G-ITX WiFi and 880G-ITX WiFi platforms deliver a premium AMD experience in a mini-ITX form factor with USB 3.0, SATA 6.0 Gb/s and 802.11n WiFi technologies. High-performance integrated ATI Radeon HD 4200 series graphics processor enables stunning visuals with Microsoft DirectX 10.1 technology.

ASUS Finally Releases ROG Crosshair IV Extreme Motherboard

When we first saw the ASUS ROG Crosshair IV Extreme back in March, it seemed like just a beefier version of the Crosshair IV Formula with four well spaced out PCI-E x16 expansion slots, a stronger VRM, and a few more ASUS-exclusive goodies thrown in. Later in May, we learned that the Crosshair IV Extreme is different from its smaller, more popular sibling, in featuring the LucidLogix Hydra Engine chip that lets the users pair graphics cards across the lineups and GPU vendors, whichever way they want to upscale performance or add features. After quite some wait which led some of us to fear that ASUS shelved the product as Crosshair IV Formula seems to have been well received, the company surprised us by finally releasing the beast to the market.

The Crosshair IV Extreme that we see today is slightly different from the older iterations in featuring a different heatsink assembly design. It features bulkier, more groovy-looking heatsinks over the north-west cluster that houses the CPU VRM and AMD 890FX IOMMU, while the south-east cluster has a sleeker heatsink that cools the Lucid Hydra chip and the AMD SB850 southbridge. Most other features remain the same: expansion slots that include five PCI-E x16, one PCI; support for dual-channel DDR3-2000 MHz memory; a six-port SATA 6 Gb/s RAID controller, 2 SATA 3 Gb/s ports, two eSATA 3 Gb/s; connectivity that includes gigabit Ethernet, Bluetooth, 8-channel SupremeFX X-Fi audio, USB 3.0; and a boat-load of OC-friendly features including ROG Connect, redundant BIOS, on-board voltage-measure, PCI-E gating and OC controls, etc. It is priced around 300 EUR.

MSI Readies New 870A Fuzion Power Edition

MSI is readying yet another socket AM3 motherboard that features the Lucid Hydra chip, called the 870A Fuzion Power Edition. MSI had earlier launched a motherboard with nearly the same features called the 870A Fuzion. The 'new' motherboard from MSI uses the AMD 770 northbridge with the SB850 southbridge, a confusing name. The Lucid Hydra LT22102 chip that lets you pair two different ATI or NVIDIA graphics cards in ATI+ATI, NVIDIA+NVIDIA, and ATI+NVIDIA configurations. What's new with this board, however, is that a few components have been relocated, and the CPU VRM has been upgraded to 10+1 phases with high-C capacitors.

Expansion slots include two PCI-Express 2.0 x16 (full-bandwidth), three PCI-E x1, and one PCI. Connectivity includes 8-channel HD audio with optical and coaxial SPDIF connectors, USB 3.0 (one on the rear panel, one internal port), gigabit Ethernet, FireWire, and a number of USB 2.0 ports. With the SB850 southbridge the motherboard has six internal SATA 6 Gb/s ports. The pricing of this board is expected to be around the 170 EUR mark, which is about 45 EUR more than that of the 870A Fuzion.

ASRock Designs 890FX and 890GX Based Deluxe4 Motherboards with More USB 3.0 Ports

Closely trailing last week's news of ASRock designing the P55 Extreme4 motherboard that has two sets of 2-port USB 3.0 and SATA 6 Gb/s controllers, comes that of the 890FX-Deluxe4 and 890GX-Extreme4. As the names suggest, these motherboards will be based on the AMD 890FX and AMD 890GX chipsets, respectively, supporting socket AM3 processors. Unlike its P55-based counterpart, these boards feature two 2-port USB 3.0 controllers of which one gives out USB 3.0 front-panel header instead of two additional rear panel ports, and since the AMD SB850 southbridge already has a 6-port SATA 6 Gb/s RAID controller, there is only one additional 2-port SATA 6 Gb/s controller, upping the total number of 6 Gb/s ports to eight.

This apart, the 890FX-Deluxe4 and 890GX-Deluxe4 bear some resemblance to the 890FX-Deluxe3 and 890GX-Extreme3, respectively, in terms of board layout. The boards feature a 10-phase CPU VRM design, support ASRock Turbo UCC (gives Turbo boost to more than 3 cores on Phenom II X6), ASRock UCC (unlocks disabled cores on some X3, X2 processors), and memory ratio supported up to DDR3-1866 MHz by overclocking. The boards also support 3-way and 2-way ATI CrossFireX, and connectivity which includes 8+2 channel HD audio, gigabit Ethernet, and Firewire. Expect the new Extreme4 motherboards to reach stores in the coming few weeks.

MSI Introduces Lucid Hydra Based 870A Fuzion and P55A Fuzion Motherboards

MSI rolled out two of its performance Lucid Hydra based motherboards it's been working on, the socket LGA1156 P55A Fuzion and socket AM3 870A Fuzion. The P55A Fuzion uses a 10-phase CPU VRM that makes use of high-C capacitors, Lotes-made socket, two-phase VRM for the memory, and expansion slots which include two PCI-E 2.0 x16 (full-bandwidth), two PCI-E x1, and two PCI. The PCI-E x16 slots are wired to the Lucid Hydra 200 chip that gives each graphics card full interface bandwidth, and offers vendor-neutral multi-GPU pairing. Users can pair NVIDIA graphics cards with ATI, and can also mix and match different GPUs. Connectivity features include two SATA 6 Gb/s ports, six SATA 3 Gb/s, USB 3.0, 8-channel audio, and gigabit Ethernet.

The 870A Fuzion is based on the AMD 870 chipset with SB850 southbridge. It supports socket AM3 CPUs, including six-core Phenom II X6. The CPU is powered by a 4+1 phase VRM. Expansion slots include two PCI-E 2.0 x16, two PCI-E x1, and one PCI. Apart from the CPU architecture, this board has all the features of P55A Fuzion, except that it has eight SATA 6 Gb/s ports. Connectivity here, too, includes USB 3.0, 8-channel audio, Lucid Hydra multi-GPU technology, and gigabit Ethernet. The 870A Fuzion is expected to be priced around US $160, while the P55A Fuzion is expected to go for $190.

Sapphire Readies Pure CrossfireX 890GX Motherboard

Sapphire is back to its vocation of being a motherboard vendor, the popular ATI Radeon board partner designed a new socket AM3 motherboard based on the new AMD 890GX + SB850 chipset, dubbed the Sapphire Pure CrossfireX 890GX. The board is built on the ATX form-factor, though comes with only four expansion slots spaced out. The AM3 CPU is powered by a 10-phase VRM, it is wired to four DDR3 DIMM slots for dual-channel memory. The AMD 890GX northbridge is cooled by a large heatsink which shares its heat with one of the VRM heatsinks. The ATI Radeon HD 4290 IGP is assisted by 128 MB of SidePort memory apart from sharing the system memory.

Out of the four expansion slots, two are PCI-Express 2.0 x16 (electrical x8 when both are populated) with some sort of manual PCI-E lane switching, and one each of PCI-E x1 and PCI. The SB850 southbridge gives out six SATA 6 Gb/s internal ports, while an additional controller provides an IDE connector (for two IDE devices). The eSATA port is driven by manually connecting it with one of the internal ports. Connectivity includes 8 channel audio with optical and coaxial SPDIF, USB 3.0, and display connectivity, which includes DVI, D-Sub, and HDMI with 7.1 channel audio. Available soon, Sapphire is yet to disclose its price.

Biostar Releases TA890FXE Motherboard with BIO-unlocKING

BIOSTAR MICROTECH INT'L CORP., a professional manufacturer of motherboards today reveals its new "TA890FXE" motherboard with "BIO-unlocKING" utility that makes it possible to turn a budget quad-core version of a CPU into full six-cores for significant computing gains.

AMD new Phenom II X6 processor with 890FX chipset combination, a high-powered computing platform designed to meet the demand of today's gaming enthusiasts. The AMD Phenom II X6 processor can switch between utilizing two or three cores for functions such as running productivity software to six cores for content creation and immersive 3D applications.

MSI Launches 890FXA-GD70 Motherboard

Extreme audio & video performance and intelligent overclocking are among the most critical demands of power users. Globally-renowned mainboard and graphics card manufacturer MSI have unveiled their all-new 890FXA-GD70 and AMD 800 series mainboards. Featuring ultimate stability, easy overclocking and extreme performance, these boards targets advanced users who demand ultimate performance and beyond with overclocking.

The 890FXA-GD70 features AMD's latest SB850 southbridge chipset support and server-grade, Military Class specifications for the ultimate performance platform. Also included is the OC Genie intelligent overclocking utility, designed by MSI especially for the AMD platform. With the Unlock CPU Core function, consumers can enjoy ultimate performance at a reasonable price by taking their tri-core processor and making it into a quad-core. The 890FXA-GD70 also fully supports the latest generation USB 3.0 & SATA 6Gb/s transfer technologies that boost high capacity file transfer speed and quality to future standards. In addition, the environmentally conscious and economical DrMOS design is also included (on select models only) making this mainboard a must buy for the enthusiast.

ASRock Unveils 890FX Extreme3 Motherboard

ASRock introduced its newest high-end motherboard for the AMD platform, the 890FX Extreme3. This socket AM3 motherboard is based on AMD's 890FX + SB850 chipset, and is geared for high-end discrete graphics setups. The CPU is powered by an 8+2 phase VRM that is cooled by an elaborate active heatsink that also draws heat from the 890FX chip. The board BIOS carries memory multipliers to support DDR3 1800 MHz with ease. Expansion slots include three PCI-Express x16, of which the blue slots are PCI-E 2.0 x16, while the third white slot is PCI-E 1.1 x4; and two each of PCI-E x1 and PCI. All six SATA 6 Gb/s ports from the SB850 are internal, while an additional VIA storage controller handles eSATA and IDE. Connectivity includes gigabit Ethernet, USB 3.0, eSATA, and 8-channel audio with SPDIF connectors. The ASRock 890FX-Extreme3 should reach stores in a few weeks.

MSI Unveils 870A-G54 Value AM3 Motherboard

MSI unveiled the 870A-G54, a value socket AM3 motherboard based on the AMD 870 + SB850 chipset. The 870 is AMD's value discrete graphics chipset, which supports one graphics card over a PCI-Express 2.0 x16 link, or two cards over two electrical x8 links, as implemented on this board. The CPU is powered by a 5+1 phase VRM which uses high-C capacitors. Expansion slots include two PCI-Express 2.0 x16 (electrical x8 when both are populated), supporting ATI CrossfireX; three PCI and one PCI-E x1. The SB850 southbridge gives out six internal SATA 6 Gb/s ports, an additional controller drives the IDE. Connectivity includes 8-channel audio with optical SPDIF, two USB 3.0 ports, a number of USB 2.0 ports, and gigabit Ethernet. The MSI 870A-G54 will be released in the coming weeks. This is the second board from the company based on this chipset, the other being the Lucid Hydra-equipped 870A-GD60 Hydra.

ECS Readies Low Cost AMD 880G ATX Motherboard

ECS is ready with a low-cost ATX motherboard based on the upcoming AMD 880G chipset, the ECS A880GM-A2. The board uses a PCB nearly identical to that of the ECS IC890GXM-A, except for the skimpier heatsinks. The board features a simple 3+1 phase VRM which can power AM3 processors, including the Phenom II X6, with TDPs of up to 125W. Solid-state capacitors are used only for some important circuits. The 880G chipset embeds an ATI Radeon HD 4250 IGP, with 128 MB of DDR3 SidePort Memory. It supports dual-channel DDR3 memory, with speeds of up to 1600 MHz.

Expansion slots include one PCI-Express 2.0 x16, one PCI-E x16 (electrical x4), two PCI-E x1, and two PCI. The SB850 southbridge gives out six SATA 6 Gb/s ports, of which five are internal, and one eSATA. Connectivity options include 8-channel audio, gigabit Ethernet, eSATA and USB 2.0. Display connectivity includes DVI and D-Sub. It is expected to be released next week, at an affordable price.

ASRock Intros 870 Extreme3 Motherboard with CrossFire Support

ASRock is ready with its premium motherboard based on the AMD 870 + SB850 chipset, the ASRock 870 Extreme3. Either the company seems to have jumped the specifications of the 870 by adding external PCI-Express lane switching that gives it proper CrossFire capability, or that the 870 will indeed support 2-way CrossFire with its lone PCI-Express 2.0 x16 link split into two x8 links between the two cards, leaving no room for a "890X" chipset. The 870 Extreme3 supports socket AM3 processors with a 4+1 phase VRM that can take 140W TDP processors. It will support upcoming Phenom II X6 and Phenom II X4 T series processors. It integrates ASRock's proprietary UCC chip that unlocks disabled cores on certain processors.

The board is advertised to support DDR3-1800 MHz memory by overclocking. Expansion slots include two each of PCI-Express 2.0 x16 (electrical x8, when both are populated), PCI-E x1, and PCI. The SB850 southbridge gives out five internal SATA 6 Gb/s ports, with one eSATA. Other connectivity features include 8 channel HD audio, a 2-port USB 3.0 controller, a number of USB 2.0 ports, FireWire, and gigabit Ethernet. Diagnostic LED display and onboard power and reset switches make for the rest of it. The ASRock 870 Extreme3 will retail a little later this month.

Gigabyte Readies GA-890FXA-UD7 High-End AMD Motherboard

Gigabyte is looking to share some of its latest innovations in motherboard design with its AMD platform lineup, with a new enthusiast-grade motherboard in the works that rivals up with some of the company's highest-end products from its Intel platform lineup. The GA-890FXA-UD7 is the newest in the league. The model stays above the recently revealed GA-890FXA-UD5. It is a socket AM3 motherboard geared up for AMD's newest six-core processors, based on AMD 890FX + SB850 chipset. It has six PCI-Express slots (electrical: x16/x8, x4, x8, x4, x16/x8, x8), and supports 4-way ATI CrossFireX. The CPU is powered by a 10-phase VRM, with 2-phase memory VRM.

For the first time on the AMD platform, Gigabyte uses its Hybrid Silent-Pipe cooler. The cooler connects the CPU VRM, 890FX northbridge, and SB850 southbridge using a heatpipe, and the heatsink over the northbridge has provision for a water-block (included), or a large and complex aluminum heatsink that fits into the top expansion slot. The SB850 natively supports six SATA 6 Gb/s ports complete with RAID 0,1,5,10 support. An additional GSATA2 controller gives out two SATA 3 Gb/s ports and the IDE connector. Connectivity includes 8+2 channel HD audio with optical and coaxial SPDIF connectors, two gigabit Ethernet controllers, two USB 3.0 ports, a number of USB 2.0 ports, and FireWire. It is expected to be out in a month.

Foxconn Intros AMD 890GX-based Digital Life Series Motherboards

OEM major Foxconn made additions to its own channel brand of motherboards with two Digital Lifes series models based on the AMD 890GX chipset, supporting socket AM3 processors. The nearly identical Foxconn Digital Life A9DA-S and A9DA (pictured in the same order below), are ATX boards building on the features the chipset provides. The CPU is powered by an 8-phase VRM. The AMD 890GX embeds an ATI Radeon HD 4290 class IGP with 128 MB (+UMA) SidePort memory and connectivity which includes DVI, D-Sub, and HDMI.

Expansion slots include two each of PCI-Express 2.0 x16 (electrical x8 when both are populated), PCI-E x1, and PCI. The SB850 southbridge gives out six SATA 6 Gb/s ports. Other standard features include 8-channel HD audio, gigabit Ethernet, and a number of USB 2.0 ports. The A9DA-S is the more premium variant, it has a heatsink over the CPU VRM, and a VIA 2-port FireWire controller. The two should be available in stores soon.

Gigabyte GA-890FXA-UD5 Pictured

At the ongoing CeBIT event, Gigabyte showed off its latest offer of motherboards including an interesting one based on AMD's upcoming 890FX chipset. Made for socket AM3 processors from AMD, the GA-890FXA-UD5 is based on the AMD 890FX chipset with SB850 southbridge. It expands a little on the chipset's features. The CPU is powered by a 10-phase VRM. It is wired to four DDR3 memory slots that are powered by a 2-phase VRM. The AMD 890FX drives four PCI-Express 2.0 x16 slots (electrical x8 when all are populated, x16 on alternate slots otherwise). There are two PCI-E x1 and one PCI. All six of the SATA 6 Gb/s ports from the southbridge are internal, while an additional GSATA2 controller gives out two SATA 3 Gb/s ports, and drives the IDE connector. Connectivity options include 8+2 channel audio with Dolby Home Theater, two gigabit Ethernet interfaces, FireWire, and two USB 3.0 ports, apart from a number of USB 2.0 ports. The board is expected to release later next month.

AMD Platform Meets Lucid Hydra on MSI 870A-GD60 Hydra

MSI has undertaken a very interesting project: to use the Lucid Hydra chip on an AMD platform motherboard, its second design with Lucid Hydra. The 870A-GD60 Hydra is a socket AM3 motherboard based on the AMD 870 + SB850 chipset. The AMD 870 chipset succeeds the AMD 770, in being suited for single discrete-graphics setups. The chipset packs no PCI-Express external switching, and hence there is only one PCI-Express 2.0 x16 link it can give to a graphics card. MSI connected this link to a Hydra Engine chip, to give out two full-bandwidth PCI-Express 2.0 x16 links. "Why not simply use the 890FX?" could be a question for many, but its answer lies in Hydra's advantage over it: it allows you to pair two NVIDIA graphics cards, two ATI graphics cards, or even mix an NVIDIA and an ATI card in a mixed multi-GPU array, as has been demonstrated with MSI's P55 Big Bang Fuzion motherboard.

The AM3 socket is powered by a 10-phase DrMOS based VRM. The CPU connects to four DDR3 DIMM slots for dual-channel memory. It connects to the AMD 870 northbridge over the HyperTransport 3.0 interface. Its lone PCI-E 2.0 x16 port is taken up by the Hydra Engine chip located between the two PCI-E 2.0 x16 slots. Other expansion slots include three PCI-E x1, and one PCI. The SB850 southbridge gives out six internal SATA 6 Gb/s ports. Connectivity includes 8 channel HD audio with SPDIF connections, eSATA by an additional controller, FireWire, two USB 3.0 ports, and a number of USB 2.0 ports. The 870A-GD60 Hydra could be released late next month.

ASUS Readies M4A89TD PRO Motherboard

At its displays at the ongoing CeBIT event, ASUS surprised many with a pair of Crosshair IV Series motherboards showing a renewed interest at the very high-end of the AMD platform. Incidentally, the company is also preparing a mid-range motherboard based on the AMD 890FX chipset, the M4A89TD PRO. The new board builds entirely on what the chipset has to offer with a slight addition of a two-port USB 3.0 controller. The AM3 socket is powered by a 10-phase VRM, supporting 140W CPUs. It is wired to four DDR3 DIMM slots with its own 2-phase VRM.

The 890FX chipset gives out two PCI-Express 2.0 x16 full-bandwidth slots, other expansion slots include an open-ended PCI-E 1.1 x4, a PCI-E x1, and two PCI slots. All six SATA 6 Gb/s ports the SB850 southbridge gives out are internal, an additional JMicron controller gives out IDE and eSATA. The board boasts of ASUS' "Core Unlocker" switch which simplifies unlocking disabled physical cores on some dual, triple, and quad-core chips. Other features include 7.1 channel audio, gigabit Ethernet, and USB 3.0 for connectivity. The M4A89TD PRO should be released around the time when AMD unveils its latest processors.

Biostar Readies TA890FXE Motherboard

Biostar is readying a mid-range motherboard in its T-Series lineup based on AMD's upcoming 890FX + SB850 chipset. The T-Series TA890FXE was pictured at the ongoing CeBIT event without its cooling assembly. It supports existing and upcoming socket AM3 processors, including Phenom II X6. The CPU is powered by a 5+1 phase VRM, supporting 140W processors. The 890FX chipset gives out four PCI-Express 2.0 x16 slots supporting ATI CrossFireX technology, apart from two legacy PCI slots. The SB850 southbridge gives out six SATA 6 Gb/s ports, of which five are internal, probably one external. An additional storage controller by VIA drives the lone IDE connector. 7.1 channel HD audio, gigabit Ethernet, and FireWire make for the rest of it. The TA890FXE is expected to be out later in April, when AMD unveils its latest processors.

MSI Ready with 890FXA-GD70 Motherboard

MSI seems to have finalized design of its first motherboard based on the AMD 890FX chipset, the 890FXA-GD70. A possible prototype of this, then called the 890FX-GD70, was pictured back in early December, 2009. The 890FXA-GD70 has five PCI-Express 2.0 x16 slots in all. Their electrical configuration, when all are populated, could be x8, x8, x8, x8, 1.1 x4, or x16, NC, x16, NC, 1.1 x4, supporting ATI CrossFireX. A PCI-E x1 and PCI make for the other two expansion slots. A large rectangular heatsink cools both the AMD 890FX chipset, and the 8-phase VRM, while a heat pipe connects this to the heatsink over the SB850 southbridge chip. The CPU is connected to four DDR3 memory slots with one-sided retention clips that don't come in the way of graphics cards in the first slot.

The SB850 gives out six SATA 6 Gb/s ports with RAID 0, 1, 0+1, 5, 10, JBOD support, while a JMicron made controller gives out an additional SATA 3 Gb/s port, an IDE connector, and possibly an eSATA connector. Connectivity options include 8+2 channel HD audio with optical and coaxial SPDIF connections, two gigabit Ethernet interfaces, two USB 3.0 ports (and a number of USB 2.0 ports), FireWire, and eSATA. This motherboard is ready for upcoming Phenom II X6 and Phenom II X4 processors, apart from existing processors in the AM3 package. It should be released in time for the six-core chips, late April.

Gigabyte Announces GA-890GPA-UD3H Motherboard, Packs AMD 890GX Chipset

GIGABYTE TECHNOLOGY Co., Ltd, a leading manufacturer of motherboards, graphics cards and other computing hardware solutions today proudly launched their latest AMD AM3 Socket GA-890GPA-UD3H motherboard, delivering loads of performance enhancing bandwidth for applications such as high end gaming and high speed data transfer on systems featuring new AMD 6 core CPUs.

The first motherboard featuring the AMD 890GX chipset paired with the all new SB850 South Bridge, the GIGABYTE GA-890GPA-UD3H offers the industry's first native support for Serial ATA 6Gbps for up to 6 devices. The AMD SB850 also offers the industry's first Serial ATA 6 Gbps RAID support, allowing users to configure RAID 0,1,5 and 10 for maximum data performance or enhanced data backup. Also equipped with GIGABYTE 3x USB Power Boost and USB 3.0 support by utilizing the industry-leading NEC controller, the GIGABYTE GA-890GPA-UD3H ensures users are ready to take advantage the next wave of high speed data transfer and storage technologies.

Gigabyte GA-890GPA-UD3H Motherboard Gets Listed

American retailer has started listing Gigabyte's GA-890GPA-UD3H motherboard, one of the first motherboards based on the AMD 890GX + SB850 chipset. This socket AM3 motherboard boasts of native SATA 6 Gb/s support, USB 3.0, Radeon HD 4250 integrated graphics, at a price of $139.99. The GA-890GPA-UD3H supports socket AM3 AMD Athlon II and Phenom II series processors, including support for the upcoming Phenom II X6 six-core processors. It also supports dual-channel DDR3 memory at speeds of over 1866 MHz by overclocking. Expansion slots include two PCI-Express 2.0 x16 (electrical x8/x8 when both are populated), three PCI-E x1, and two PCI, bringing CrossfireX support. The SB850 gives out six SATA 6 Gb/s ports with RAID 0, 1, 0+1, 5, 10, and JBOD modes. An NEC-made USB 3.0 controller also provides two USB 3.0 ports. The IGP connects to displays over D-Sub, DVI, and HDMI. Presumably, this could be the starting point for more AMD 890GX based motherboards to reach stores world over.
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