AMD 790FX 4-Way Motherboard Roundup


Introduction

AMD 790FX Roundup

In November last year, AMD officially launched their Spider platform, consisting of the AMD Phenom processor, 790FX core logic chipset and the ATI Radeon HD 3800 series graphics cards. In our launch article , we focused on the technology that was put into the 790FX chipset, and the introduction of the Phenom's new AM2+ socket type. However, you'd probably have noticed that things have still been relatively quiet on the AMD front, even after the high-profile Spider launch worldwide.

We've actually had samples of AMD 790FX motherboards sitting in our labs since then, but a proper review has been long coming due to circumstantial delays in getting all the necessary components to run, such as a working Phenom processor. As more motherboards arrived, and still no processor in sight, it was obvious that we now had enough boards for a comparative roundup instead, effectively killing four birds with one stone. So, when AMD graciously sent us an AMD Phenom 9900 processor, gears were set in motion for some intensive testing of four major AMD 790FX enthusiast motherboards. Our contenders: the ASUS M3A32-MVP Deluxe, DFI LANParty DK 790FX-M2RS, Gigabyte GA-MA790FX-DQ6 and MSI K9A2 Platinum.

AMD 790FX Motherboard Technical Specifications and Comparison
  ASUS M3A32-MVP Deluxe DFI LANParty DK 790FX-M2RS Gigabyte GA-MA790FX-DQ6 MSI K9A2 Platinum
Chipset
  • AMD 790FX
  • AMD SB600
  • AMD 790FX
  • AMD SB600
  • AMD 790FX
  • AMD SB600
  • AMD 790FX
  • AMD SB600
DDR2 DIMM Slots 4 4 4 4
PCI Express 2.0 Slots
  • 4 (x16)
  • 3 (x16)
  • 4 (x16)
  • 1 (x1)
  • 4 (x16)
  • 1 (x1)
PCI Slots 2 3 2 2
ATA-133 Ports (chipset) 1 1 1 1
SATA 3.0Gbps Ports (chipset) 4 4 4 4
Other SATA 3.0Gbps
  • 2-port Marvell 88SE6121
  • 1-port Marvell 88SE6111
-
  • 2 x 2-port Gigabyte SATA 2
  • 4-port Promise PDC42819
USB 2.0 Ports (header) 6(4) 6(4) 6(4) 4(6)
FireWire 2-port agere L-FW3227-100 - 3-port T.I. TSB43AB23 2-port VIA VT6308P
Gigabit Ethernet 1 x Marvell 88E8056 1 x Marvell 88E8053 2 x RTL8111B 1 x Realtek RTL8111B
WiFi 802.11g - - -
Audio Chipset ADI AD1988B Realtek ALC885 Realtek ALC889A Realtek ALC888
S/PDIF Optical/Coaxial Optical/Coaxial Optical/Coaxial Optical
Form Factor ATX ATX ATX ATX
Special Features
  • Cool Mempipe
  • 8+2 Phase PWM
  • Genie BIOS Overclocking
  • 6-Quad Design
  • Ultra Durable 2
  • Circu-Pipe
  • Serial Attached SCSI