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MSI and ASRock 890GX tested

by on08 September 2010


3DMark 2003 & 2006:

Of course the 890GX provides only basic graphics functions so only old games will work properly. But with 128MB sideband-memory, Aero in Windows 7 will work smoothly. So just for your information here are the scores for 3DMark2003 and 3DMark2006.




Both boards performed well. Although MSI's board is a tad faster and also more efficient in idle power usage, ASRock is the better choice. Not only is it a full ATX board, it features even Firewire and also has the better accessory pack. Apart from that, ASRock suprised us with a better VRM design under load. Taking into account that it has more functions, it's nice to see an improvement here. MSI is known for better manufacturing quality, which got rid of the push-pins, but the successor of the 785GM-E65 is disproportionately more expensive while featuring inferior VRM design and just one SATA cable in the box. While the new board gained USB 3.0, it lost Firewire and it's questionable if many users will like to use two graphics-cards on a µATX board, which will render all other slots useless. At a price about €110,- we expected incredible VRM and overclocking options but MSI failed do fulfil our expectations. Of course with a full ATX board, ASRock's board has more options. Generally we would suggest to all manufactures to get rid of the VGA port. A DVI to VGA Adapter would do fine and some more USB 2.0 ports would not hurt either.Of course legacy ports on the board such as COM1, LPT1 and Floppy are nowadays very useless.

The MSI 890GXM-E65 board is on sale for about €109,97 while ASRock 890GX Extreme 3 will set you back €99,44. If you want to spare some bucks you can go for the ASRock 880G Extreme 3 board with a 880G Chipset, which clocks 140MHz slower at 560MHz but has the same feature set and costs just 90,41. Because most 880G boards will only ship with the SB710 Southbridge, take a close look at the specis if you need the 6Gbps SATA feature, otherwise you will be stuck with 3GBps. AMD870 Chipset will offer the same feature-set without the graphics-core and is targeted to the low midrange price-range. This pretty much means you should expect fewer features and worse overclocking options.

ASRock offers the better package and if you're looking for a new board which offers onboard graphics you can't go wrong with our today's sample.


Last modified on 08 September 2010
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