WE’VE BEEN GIVEN a sneak peak at Gigabyte’s upcoming AMD 890G board, the GA-890GPA-UD3H and although it’s not that different from the Asus board that Charlie spotted at CES, it does have a few extra features that makes it standout from the so far very small crowd.
For starters it features Gigabyte’s 333 technology. This means that it comes with SATA 6Gbps, although this time courtesy of the AMD 850 southbridge so you get six rather than the usual two ports. USB 3.0 is supported via the typical NEC controller and it also offers three times the USB power of regular motherboards across all of the USB ports. This is quickly becoming the norm on several motherboards from Gigabyte above a certain price level.
As this board features integrated DirectX 10.1 graphics you get a D-sub, DVI and HDMI output around the back, alongside a single PS/2 port, four USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, a single FireWire port, Gigabit Ethernet and 7.1-channel audio with optical S/PDIF output.
What isn’t so easy to notice is the fact that this board has a new Realtek audio controller, specifically the ALC892R. This new solution from Realtek adds not only support for all the latest and greatest HD audio solutions but also bit streaming and Blu-ray audio copy protection. The latter might not be such a great feature, but we can see this becoming a popular solution for anyone interested in building an HTPC that can play all the latest Blu-ray discs with full audio support.
There’s of course support for CrossFireX as well, although this isn’t intended as a board for high-end gaming systems. However, the board does have some headroom despite its fairly basic 4+1 phase power regulation design and it supports DDR3 memory with speeds of at least 1866MHz. If the price is right this could well prove to be a popular solution for anyone considering building an AMD rig based on the new AMD chipset, well, at least as soon as AMD decides to launch the 890-series of chipsets, which is still a little while away.S|A
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