Next month at the end of April AMD will be releasing their most important products for their processor division in 2010 - their enthusiast 890FX motherboard chipset and Phenom II X6 processor. AMD’s 890FX chipset, codenamed RD890 will come with four PCI-E 2.0 x16 slots one PCI-E 2.0 x4 slot which gives a total of 42 Lanes in the Northbridge itself. This will be accompanied by HyperTransport 3.0 and AMD’s SB850, which provides native support for SATA 6.0 Gbps. The chipset will only be available for Socket AM3, which means the demise of Socket AM2+ is near. At CeBIT this year, motherboard manufacturers have been showing off their latest offer and what will be available next month:
Republic of Gamers Crosshair IV Extreme
This will be ASUS’ top-of-the-line AMD motherboard. It will contain a few electrical enhancements such as Super ML capacitors, PWM circuitry, voltage measure points and PCI-Express electrical control switches to make sure that overclockers can get the most stable overclock out of this motherboard. A few extra BIOS chips will be added as well – just in case anything goes wrong and Bluetooth iROG overclocking is available as well, so you can overclock externally (although I’m sure that most overclockers will use and prefer the BIOS). The motherboard is much larger than a standard ATX one so it is advised to have a tower chassis as this motherboard is closer to being EATX. What’s interesting to note is that this motherboard will also have an open ended PCI 1.1 x4 slot.
Republic of Gamers Crosshair IV Formula
This motherboard will be smaller than the Extreme and will lack the extra electrical features that it has. It will come with a 10+2 Phase VRM design - 10 Phase VRM for the CPU and 2 Phase for the memory. It will come with standard array of Inputs and Outputs, such as a gigabit Ethernet, FireWire, eSATA, two USB 3.0 ports and six USB 2.0 ports and 8+2 channel audio.
This will be ASUS’ mainstream motherboard, based on the 890FX chipset. This motherboard comes with everything that is offered with the 890FX chipset, along with two USB 3.0 ports, 10+2 Phase power design (like the Crosshair). The expansion slots are a little bit more plentiful than the Crosshairs, although they do differ in what is offered; two PCI-Express 2.0 x16 full-bandwidth slots, an open-ended PCI-E 1.1 x4, a PCI-E x1 and two PCI slots. There will also be a physical switch on the motherboard to allow the unlocking of disabled cores in some of AMD’s processors – this is probably implemented due to lack of ACC in the 890FX chipset and to potentially boost sales.
This BIOSTAR motherboard will be AMD’s budget 890FX motherboard, as it comes stripped of features and only has the bare minimum on it. It will have a 5+1 Phase VRM, four PCI-E 2.0 x16 slots, two PCI slots and 7.1 channel HD audio, a gigabit Ethernet, and a FireWire port. There will be no USB 3.0 on this motherboard.
GIGABYTE’s offering isn’t anything special either coming with the usual two PCI-E 2.0 x16 slots, along with two PCI-E x1 and one PCI slots. There will also be two USB 3.0 ports and other connectivity options such as two gigabit Ethernet interfaces, FireWire and 8+2 channel audio. There will also be a 10+2 Phase VRM.
Not much is known about MSI’s offering yet, except that it will come with a whopping five PCI-E 2.0 x16 slots, a PCI-E x1 slot and a legacy PCI slot. MSI will also be throwing in their DrMOS, OC Genie, and APS technologies. Expected retail price is £140. That’s all we know so far.