After testing the latest Phenom II X6 CPUs, it's time to check the new underlying chipset, in this case with integrated graphics-core called Radeon 4290.
This is an upgraded 785G still with DX10.1 support, which by now isn't a big deal, and with the UVD2 stream engine. This will allow the 890GX to stream Blu-ray content with picture in picture functionality. They upped the the clock from 500MHz to 700MHz while AMD tweaked the chip to be more energy-efficient. The most important new chip is the Southbridge called SB850. This is the first chipset that includes 6Gbps functionallity, which will come handy when using SSDs. For this review we have skipped this test, but we will test this shortly. Let's take a look at the diagram AMD sent us:
As you can see, it's still pretty straight forward. The 890GX is capable of providing 22 PCIe 2.0 lanes, which results in one x16 and six x1 lanes. The PCIe x16 can be split to two x8 to use two ATI Radeon graphics-cards in Crossfire mode. While the picture states the SB850 has a PATA controller, it's worth noting that board manufacturers use an add-on chip to provide such functionality. We do not really care if such a port is present, because nowadays anything is SATA and optical drives are cheap as chips. The link between IGP and Southbride has been doubled, so 2GB/s is healthy for possible RAID 0 SATA 6Gbps.
MSI 890GXM-G65 (provided by MSI)
ASRock 890GX Extreme 3 (provided byASRock)
MSI P55-GD65 (provided by MSI)
ASRock H55M Pro (provided by ASRock)
Intel DX58SO "Smackover" (provided byIntel)
Intel Pentium G6950, Core i3-530 (provided by Mindfactory)
Intel Core i5-750, i7-975 (provided by Intel)
AMD Athlon II X2 240e/245 (provided by AMD)
AMD Phenom II X4 620/X6 1090T (provided by AMD)
Scythe Grand Kama Cross (provided by Scythe-Europe) for AMD and Intel 1156
Thermalright Ultra 120 eXtreme 1366 (provided by Thermalright) for Intel 1366
G.Skill Eco 4GB Kit PC3-12800 (provided by G.Skill)
1067MHz CL7-7-7-20 CR1T 1.35V for Athlon II X2, Pentium G6950, i7-975
1333MHz CL7-7-7-20 CR1T 1.35V for Athlon II X4, Phenom II X4/X6, i3-530, i5-750
MSI R4850-2D1G-OC (provided byMSI)
PC Power & Cooling Silencer 500W (provided by PC Power & Cooling)
Samsung F1 1000GB RAID-Edition (provided by Ditech)
SilenX iXtrema Pro 14dB(A) (provided by PC-Cooling.at)
Cooler Master Stacker 831 Lite (provided by Cooler Master)
All tests are performed with XP SP3. As 64-bit software is still not very common, we used the 32-bit version.