MSI WAS SHOWING off its 890FX board at CeBIT a couple of weeks ago, but we’ve now managed to score the first official pictures of the 890FXA-GD70 board. All we can say is that it looks like MSI has a winner on its hands and this should be worth a look for anyone that’s considering getting one of AMD’s upcoming Phenom II X6 processors.
We doubt that many people are running quad CrossFireX out there, but this is one of the few boards that would allow you to do so. This would of course require a case with eight rear slots if you use dual slot cards, but more and more cases with space for eight slots are starting to appear in the market. MSI has even managed to squeeze in a fifth x16 slot, but it only has four PCI Express lanes connected to it. The board also offers a single PCI Express x1 and a single PCI slot.
We’re not sure if MSI has implemented any kind of core unlocking feature on this board, as the SB850 lacks the ability to unlock extra CPU cores. The new Southbridge brings with it support for SATA 6Gbit/s just like on the 890GX chipset, but otherwise there’s little new in terms of features. MSI has kitted out the board with an extra SATA controller that adds an internal port as well as a single eSATA connector.
Apart from the eSATA connector, the rear of the board houses a pair of PS/2 ports, a clear CMOS button, five USB ports, although the eSATA port is of the powered combo type, so it doubles up as a USB port as well, two USB 3.0 ports, a pair of Gigabit Ethernet ports, 7.1-channel analog audio jacks with coaxial and optical S/PDIF out. The board also has headers for an additional six USB 2.0 ports and what appears to be two FireWire ports. Finally MSI has added touch sensitive buttons and an overclocking dial as well as a debug LED display to the board.
What is interesting to note is that this board has gone through quite a few changes since early pictures appeared on the Coolaler forums in Taiwan way back in December of last year. Then the board had no less than six x16 slots and the rear I/O looked quite different, as not only did it incorporate a FireWire port, but in lieu of the second Ethernet port was a small Bluetooth dongle. Some changes have even been made since CeBIT, but these appear to be more cosmetic than functional.S|A
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