Gigabyte has gone all out with a full range of AMD 790 boards that are being launched today, catering to the needs of everyone from the high-end to the more casual users looking at getting their hands on a CrossFire board for AMD's new Phenom processors.
The GA-MA790FX-DQ6 won't be news to anyone that's a regular reader of news on the Web, as Gigabyte has been showing off this board at a wide range of events and trade shows since Computex in June. The board features four x16 PCIe 2.0 slots, although Gigabyte decided to put them all next to each other. So, if you want to use four cards, they will all have to be single slot cooling models.
It also has two PCI slots, a x1 PCIe slot, six SATA, two eSATA with the option of turning two of the internal SATA connectors into eSATA with the help of a bracket, dual Gigabit Ethernet, 7.1-channel HD audio with optical and coaxial S/PDIF, FireWire, six rear USB 2.0 ports and a serial port. It also has some fancy heatpipe cooling and Gigabyte's quad double phase power regulation.
The GA-MA790FX-DS5 is a slightly cut-down version, as it only has two x16 PCIe 2.0 slots, but it also has three x1 PCIe slots, two PCI slots and just about everything that the DQ6 has, apart from the extra bracket for extra eSATA connectors and a slightly less intricate heatpipe cooler. It also lacks one Gigabit Ethernet port, but in its stead is a four-pin FireWire connector.
Finally the GA-MA790X-DS4 loses the heatpipe cooling altogether, but it retains the same slot layout as the DS5, although it has two less SATA connectors and no eSATA. It's also based on the 790X rather than the 790FX chipset, which means that in CrossFireX mode this board only supports dual x8 PCIe 2.0 slots, rather than dual x16. It still has good potential for those that are looking at a more affordable solution without cutting too many corners.
You can find Gigabyte's AM2+ motherboard product page here