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  • rachotilko - Thursday, March 25, 2010 - link

    What about RAID offered on desktop boards ? What's the point in providing us with 6x6Gb SATA, when NB-to-SB link is capable of delivering a mediocre 2Gb/s ? I would be more than happy with soft/fake RAIDs that comes with desktop boards, had there not been this absurd bottleneck. In that case I would be able to build a decent RAID10 or RAID5 (with writeback cache enabled) delivering mindblowing disk performances. Now I have to buy overpriced Adaptec/3ware/Areca... or witch to Intel. Shame on you, nVidia and AMD. Reply
  • stuhad - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    Thanks for the article Anand, I really appreciate all the work you do in helping the layman understand new technology.

    So anyway, after reading your article on AMD's Radeon HD 5450, I was just wondering whether hybrid graphics could perhaps improve the 5450's deinterlacing ability? And would dx11 still run if you had the igp and discrete card in hybrid mode or would you need to run dx10.1?

    Hopefully an updated BIOS will eventually allow you to actually get hybrid graphics working and answer all these questions.

    Thanks again
    Reply
  • Alouette Radeon - Wednesday, March 10, 2010 - link

    You know, in the last few years I've realized something and I have to admit I was a complete moron. I used to be your typical, stupid, "Intel and nVidia ONLY" computer user. Sure, I had good reason. I'd used Intel CPUs exclusively from the 8088 all the way to the Core 2 Duo. Then when I was working at tigerdirect I saw a HUGE difference in price and I wondered "Could AMD really be that bad?". Well after doing a TON of market research I came to discover that in fact, most of the bad things I'd heard about AMD had been put out by Intel themselves. This was all a part of why the EU and Korea fined them and the USFTC is now charging them. I also had been reading things about ATi's resurgence. Now, understand that ATi was nothing new to me. I'd owned an ATi EGA and then VGA wonder card in the past. ATi used to RULE graphics and they were expensive but they were also the best. Things started to fall apart because management got stupid and they made some bad products. This was when nVidia grabbed the market by being less expensive and competitive at the same time. Now, the situation has changed. I was interested in a Core 2 Quad Q8200 and a GeForce GTX 260. After doing that research I decided to risk it and go with the AMD side of things. I figured they couldn't be THAT bad or they'd be out of business. Well, in the end I bought a Phenom II X4 940 and a Radeon HD 4870. I couldn't be more satisfied with my purchase because not only did I save over $300 on the cost of my rig, now that I've found out about the dishonesty that Intel and nVidia have been involved in, I'm so glad I didn't hand over my dollars to them. Intel and nVidia are a cancer on this industry and until they clean themselves up (which won't happen until AMD is big enough to force them to) those two corporations won't get a PENNY from me. Remember, when the HD 4870 came out, nVidia dropped the prices of the GTX 260 and GTX 280 by a whopping 62%! If they could do that and still make a decent profit, they must have been RAPING the public before that. Sorry mVidia and Intel, you blew it with me and anyone else who has a brain (or at least gives a shit about this industry.) Reply
  • Mr Bill - Saturday, March 06, 2010 - link

    I wonder if the poor performance is simply a matter of driver signaling protocol? Maybe a driver rewrite will increase SSD performance. Reply
  • juampavalverde - Thursday, March 04, 2010 - link

    Looking at the specification of this two chips, and the previous name path which amd choose, with the 790fx, then 790x, then 770, then 780g, and later 790gx (780g at 700 mhz with sideport and crossfire), and recently 785g, it is clear that todays new northbridge shall be called "795GX" (785g at 700 mhz with sideport and crossfire), because imho the southbridge change doesnt justify the addition of 105 to the model number. As long as i remember, when 790fx dropped sb600 in favor of sb700 an later of sb750, there was no change in his name. Reply
  • elerick - Thursday, March 04, 2010 - link

    Any talk whether or not 890 platform will support mini itx? Last I heard until we get integrated chipsets on cpu it would be next to impossible to get am3 on mini-itx.

    Thanks,

    Jason
    Reply
  • amalinov - Wednesday, March 03, 2010 - link

    Anand,
    I greatly appreciate the work you do (recently the SSD articles are great). But in this case I find some inconsistencies/ommissions that shouldn't be there IMHO (or I totaly misunderstand something):
    1. In the table comparing SB750 with SB850 the "PATA" line shows "2 channels" for both. But SB750 has only 1 channel (of course for 2 devices: master+slave).
    2. About SB850 PATA - from what I see every mainboard with SB850 uses ANOTHER chip for the PATA channel and this leads me to the conclusion that the AMD powerpoint slides are partialy copy-paste from SB750 and the "Parallel ATA" is a wrong left-over (do you have explicit confirmation for PATA in SB850? Is there a single mainboard using PATA from SB850?).
    3. SidePort DDR3 - what is the width of the interface (8bit - 128bit)? supported speeds? (appearently DDR1333). Is it used as Frame buffer or otherwise? Could UMA/Shared memory be disabled and the IGP be forced to use SidePort memory only?
    4. Manufacturing technology, die area, transistor count, chip power consumption. Some of these are listed for AMD890GX (but not all), but the SB850 is totaly in the dark. (I ask for these assuming that AMD donsn't hesitate to share this with the general public)
    5. Other SB850 features. If I remember correctly the leaked roadmaps this southbridge was to have integrated clock generator(s), DASH 8051 controllers, improved power management and hardware monitoring features - what happened to these? Also, there it was stated that SB850 would have 4 PCIe x1 ports (in addition to the A-Link III). Now we see only 2. Is this realy the total count or only the initial wave of mainboards does not use the other 2?
    6. SATA/600 - I hope when you get back a SSD with over-300MB/s speeds that you will do a test SB850 vs. Marvell-on-AMD vs. Marvell-on-Intel (in addition to the SB850/300 vs. SB850/600 and the AHCI/MS/etc. driver issues)

    Here start the not so important things:
    7. IGP audio - does the 890GX DisplayPort support audio? (and what about mainboards routing to the DisplayPort one of the USBs? The other of the pair could go to a combo eSATA/USB port... but I start wishfull thinking here :))
    8. Gigabit ethernet MAC - I don't see any mainboards using it, but don't assume it is missing (like the PATA), because of most mainboards not using Intel MAC too - but do you have any info if EVER this is going to be used (eg. what PHYs are compatible with SB850, etc. - maybe some of the nF590 times?)

    And here some could be considered off-topic:
    9. SLI support - after Nvidia starting selling "license" to mainboard manufacturers for SLI support - are there any announcements for AMD-chipset boards with SLI support?
    10. You mentioned briefly Hybrid Crossfire IGP+GPU and it seems like a "beta", but when it is ready would it support IGP+GPU+GPU (two HD5450 with 890GX) and IGP+GPU+GPU+GPU (this seems very theoretical, but maybe for some people if the IGP can increase performance even by 1fps it is better to use it than waste it... development/testing/certification costs-for-zero-benefit aside)?
    11. USB 3.0 (this is a general note on USB3.0, not regarding this particular review) - most articles state that USB3.0 is "10 times USB 2.0" or "like PCIe 2.0" or "4.8" or "5" GT/s (resulting in speeds between 480MB/s for 4.8GT/s with 8/10 - and up to - 625MB/s for 5GT/s without appling 8/10 in the calculation). Then we have other overheads, etc. Additionaly, it is clear that the 3.0 is bi-directional (4 wires) in contrast to 2-wire USB2.0. I remember vaugely that in some USB.org file I have readed something that implied that the 4.8 or 5 number applies to the sum of both directions, thus in a single direction USB 3.0 is half that speed. But maybe I misunderstanded something here... Anyway, I haven't found a good description of USB 3.0 speed - starting from the raw link speed in one direction, going trough 8/10, etc., reaching pre-protocol overhead speed (equivalent of USB2.0 480Mbps-60MB/s), explicitely stating where they double to take into account bi-direction full duplex capability. So that in the end we know that the USB 3.0 theoretical maximum is xxx MB/s per direction, 2*xxx MB/s total (to make assumptions for the influence of NEC chip-to-southbridge and north/CPU-to-south link limitations). It would be good to have this single direction/bi-directional and 8/10 issues sorted out in a nice table with the versions of UATA, SATA, PCI, PCIe, USB2.0, USB3.0, QPI, HT - where some will have only single-direction and other bi-directional. In addition to shared (like PCI and UATA)/not shared types. Hmm, and what about SATA controllers in the southbridges? Do we have 6x600MB/s in SB850, or 3x600MB/s where there are pairs (primary+secondary ports with masters only) sharing the same 600MB/s link between a internal SATA two-port controller and chipset "backbone"? What about transfers between SATA ports on the same controller (eg. 1st primary-to-1st secondary) or on different controllers (eg. 1st primary-to 2nd primary) - do they pass trough main memory/shared SATA controller link/north-to-south link - or does the SB850 have something like the direct PCIe-to-PCIe switch logic for SLI/CrossFire? But, again I am going off-topic here.

    Pffeu. It got a long post. Thank you for reading it and best regards!
    Reply
  • lplatypus - Wednesday, March 03, 2010 - link

    The 790GX basically does have UVD2 capabilities, contrary to the table on the first page of this article.

    See this forum post from an AMD employee who supports their linux video driver:
    http://www.phoronix.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1056...">http://www.phoronix.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1056...
    Reply
  • vol7ron - Tuesday, March 02, 2010 - link

    Great post, but can you overclock these IGPs? Reply
  • Paladin1211 - Wednesday, March 03, 2010 - link

    It's the same IGP as in the 785G, so it can be overclocked as well as the HD 4200. Reply
  • Paladin1211 - Tuesday, March 02, 2010 - link

    TechReport has pointed out the 890GX has very good overclock capabilities. I want to know if it can really get the Athlon II X4 630 to over 4Ghz. You have been praising the overclocking potential of the Core i3/i5 + H55/57 all lately. How about the same test with a few sensible AMD CPUs?

    Thank you.

    Reference link:
    http://techreport.com/articles.x/18539/10">http://techreport.com/articles.x/18539/10
    Reply
  • Rajinder Gill - Wednesday, March 03, 2010 - link

    Hi,

    From the looks of it, those were simply bus frequency tests made possible by a low CPU multiplier. I doubt that CPU's are hitting higher overall core frequencies (at normal CPU multiplier ratios) just by a change of Southbridge.

    regards
    Raja
    Reply
  • Paladin1211 - Wednesday, March 03, 2010 - link

    Wasn't it a change of southbridge that "Enabled higher Phenom overclocks?"

    http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?...">http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?...
    Reply
  • Rajinder Gill - Wednesday, March 03, 2010 - link

    I'd have thought once you get to 4GHz or so most people are limited by cooling because the AMD substrate seems to favour lower temperatures for outright CPU frequency.

    We can test it against 790 at some point (assuming both boards have been 'engineered' to the same level).

    later
    Raja
    Reply
  • Paladin1211 - Wednesday, March 03, 2010 - link

    Waiting for boards, BIOSes, drivers to be more mature is always a good idea. I do care about 24/7 stable overclocking at stock voltage and highest possible core speed on air.

    Thank you, I'll stay tuned :)
    Reply
  • Rajinder Gill - Wednesday, March 03, 2010 - link

    Hi,

    Waiting for things to mature would be a good idea based upon what I'm seeing with the Sharkoon Drive Port..

    regards
    Raja
    Reply
  • chucky2 - Tuesday, March 02, 2010 - link

    What was the point of this release, other than to come out with a "new" product to increase sales from the Gotta Have It crowd...?

    1. STILL no 8 channel over HDMI???? It's something that should have been done in 780G, then 790GX, then 785G, and now 890GX does not support it?!?!?! I don't need to buy an add-in card AMD, I can just buy an Intel box. Insanity.

    2. Would it seriously have been so hard to put in a 5000 series core to one-up Intel and actually have SOME reason to buy this over cheaper - and essentially just as good - mature 790GX alternatives (which can also still do core unlocking btw)? Exactly why buy this over a cheaper, more stable 790GX, or competing Intel product?

    They should have called this 795GX and saved themselves the embarrassment. <- 690G and 790GX user, not an Intel fanboi.

    Chuck
    Reply
  • leexgx - Wednesday, March 03, 2010 - link

    the audio is very good point, it still can unlock cores and do ACC Reply
  • geok1ng - Tuesday, March 02, 2010 - link

    I once again request a side by side image quality comparison.

    AT is almost making me concede that Intel graphics are good enough, now all the matter is to proof once and for all that Intel is not cheating ( again, i would kindly remember)on image quality, as it did on the past.
    Reply
  • swaaye - Tuesday, March 02, 2010 - link

    I'm guessing that one big reason for the IGP being the same is that the bandwidth to RAM, across the HT bus, is unchanged since Phenom came out. The peak bandwidth is a measly 8.8GB/s assuming you have a CPU with a 2.2GHz HT clock, and that is shared with the rest of data going across HT. Reply
  • GullLars - Tuesday, March 02, 2010 - link

    Since the SB850 also supports RAID, it would be nice to see what the bandwidth and IOPS roof is when RAIDing SSDs. The pictures say 2 GB/s bandwidth, but i'm sceptical. That would put it on par with LSI 9211-4i, only with more ports, so it's possible to reach higher bandwidth with a cheap SATA 3Gbps RAID.
    Dependent on scaling, you could get about 1200MB/s with x25-V's or 1500+ MB/s with x25-M's, but would the IOPS scale?

    I also have a request for a re-run of your 4KB random read numbers for SB750/850 vs ICH10R, as testing at low QD on an vertex LE makes no sense when comparing avalible performance (only accesstime overhead, wich would be better meassured at QD 1). If you redo the test at QD 32, you will see numbers roughly around 150MB/s and then maybe there will be more of a difference than at ~40MB/s, especially when you consider in the additional management overhead of NCQ at higher queue depths. Even indilinx barefoot drives can do 60MB/s 4KB random read at QD 5 (wich according to your traces is within average QD in some scenarios).
    Reply
  • sbrown23 - Tuesday, March 02, 2010 - link

    I had hoped to see the Cheese Slices thing make another appearance here. Is video playback performance improved at all, or just the same as 790GX?

    On a side not, does anyone know how the Core i3 HD graphics does with Cheese Slices? Does it look like crap? Wondering if i3 is suitable for a Media Center/streaming media PC.
    Reply
  • Tek92010 - Tuesday, March 02, 2010 - link

    Hi, ever since the ATI purchase I've been hearing less and less about new nVidia chipsets for the AMD platform. I can understand the issues that they are having competing on the Intel side of the fence however, it really irks me to see them give up on something that they have bein doing so well for so long. In my opinion nVidia still has the best solution on the AMD side - even more so if you're running nVidia graphics.

    Their USB 2.0 performance, disk performance and AHCI support is up there with Intel's. Their inter-chipset communications speed is up to mark and their IGP performance is acceptable. Not to mention the general stability and maturity of their chipsets and drivers, so why then have they been so quiet on the desktop chipset side for so long?

    Why haven't they updated their AMD IGP's to be on par with the excellent Geforce 9300/9400 solutions that they produced for Intel solutions? They had announced upcoming ACC support shortly after AMD started showing off what new tricks it could do with their then new SB750. How long again do we have to wait for that to be implemented?

    Can someone who knows please tell me the truth about what nVidia's future chipset plans are on both the AMD and Intel fronts. I am feeling as if I will be forced to make a platform change sooner or later and I really don't want to go with AMD's current solutions until they address their relatively sub-par disk and AHCI performance.
    Reply
  • Tek92010 - Wednesday, March 03, 2010 - link

    After doing some reading last night I learned that nVidia does have an answer to AMD's ACC out called NCC (nVidia Core Calibration). Apparantly it allows for the same core unlocking and better overclocking on Phenom as AMD's ACC.

    http://blog.the-odyssey.co.cc/?p=179">http://blog.the-odyssey.co.cc/?p=179
    Reply
  • Tek92010 - Wednesday, March 03, 2010 - link

    After doing some research last night I discovered that nVidia had in fact released it's own version of AMD's ACC which it calls NCC (nVidia Core Calibration). It's supposed to enable better overclocking as well as core unlocking on Phenom.

    Reply
  • Paladin1211 - Wednesday, March 03, 2010 - link

    Quoted:

    "until they address their relatively sub-par disk and AHCI performance."

    It's not sub-par, mate. USB 3.0 performance is as good as Intel. And with a midrange SSD you'd have the same speed as Intel AHCI, too. Only when you slap in a high end SSD, then it would start to differ.

    Given the mass majority of people don't even use a single low-end SSD let alone high-end SSD, the SB850 performs more than good enough. Enthusiasts will at least go for the i7 920 or 860, they don't deal with Phenom II 955 or SB850 either.

    Sub-par disk and AHCI performance? You must be joking!
    Reply
  • Tek92010 - Wednesday, March 03, 2010 - link

    Quoted:

    "sub·par (sb-pär)
    adj.
    1. Not measuring up to traditional standards of performance, value, or production.
    2. Below par in a hole, round, or game of golf."

    The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

    It's sub-par to me compared to nVidia and Intel chipsets which won't limit my nor my customer's high-end SSD performance. I was never talking about USB 3.0 performance. What qualifies you to make such a broad, generalizing statement about the processor choices of enthusiasts? Why wouldn't an enthusiast build a system with an AMD Phenom II 955 and instead opt for at least the i7 920 or 860, because you said so? The onset of SSD's have shown many people a better way to spend their system budget. Some may now opt for a cheaper and lower performing, "just good enough" processor in order to afford a good performing SSD and might end up with a better overall experience than one with an unbalanced and "mechanical hard disk drive bottlenecked" system.

    It is quite posibble to build an excellent gaming system for example, based on the AMD Phenom II 955 and any of the midrange to high end GPU options available today. At high image quality settings the Phenom II 955 will surely be able to provide an acceptable and playable frame rate to many compared to it's i7 920 or 860 counterparts.

    Don't forget the whole point of my post. It was really about what is going on at the nVidia camp. If nVidia were to stop making chipsets for AMD then we would all be stuck with something that is not on the same level as Intel in terms of AHCI and general disk performance. If that were to happen then it might push many system builders towards opting for Intel. Not that anything's wrong with that though.
    Reply
  • strikeback03 - Wednesday, March 03, 2010 - link

    Remember though, AMD isn't looking for just budget shoppers but ideally would like to market to the small number of big spenders too. And those big spenders won't be spending with AMD if the expensive SSD they have bought doesn't work as well. Reply
  • Ryun - Tuesday, March 02, 2010 - link

    nVidia isn't making a LGA 1155/1366 board because they don't have a license for the QPI from Intel. Intel is legally blocking them from making chipsets for their new Core i processors (and the new Atom as well), but last I heard there was pending litigation.

    I don't have a concrete reason for nVidia not making AMD boards anymore, but my guess would be because a) AMD doesn't have a very good product lineup in the mobile segment and that's the one seeing the most growth at the moment. I don't think nVidia wants to invest in a platform that doesn't bring in the dough; and b) nVidia is still upset about AMD buying ATI and creating it's own in-house chipset.

    That said, I agree. If I had to choose between ATI and nVidia chipsets I would choose nVidia.
    Reply
  • Tek92010 - Tuesday, March 02, 2010 - link

    Can you find out nVidia's official position on and reasoning for their lack of AMD chipset innovation and competition Anand?

    There was a time when the chipset market was very exciting. Are we ever going to return to the glory days of VIA vs SiS vs AMD vs nVidia vs Intel?

    Also why haven't you used nVidia chipsets in your testing of AMD platforms for so long? nVidia platforms might actually make them look little better on the benchmarks than their own in-house designs, or are the AMD chipsets better than nVidia's now in your opinion?
    Reply
  • Taft12 - Tuesday, March 02, 2010 - link

    Fully agreed here, the lack of chipset competition has led to stagnation on both the AMD and Intel sides of the fence.

    Especially Intel, Anand admitted in the H55 coverage that Intel did not reduce chipset pricing even though removal of the IGP reduced their costs significantly. This horseshit would not occur if Nvidia and others weren't being blocked from creating their own offerings.
    Reply
  • Penti - Tuesday, March 02, 2010 - link

    They don't have licenses to produce chipsets any more. I fully disagree that it has led to stagnation though. Removing the memory controller on AMDs didn't lower the cost either. Both AMD and Intel finally has some enterprise (business) features such DASH and vpro too. Others simply couldn't keep up, nVidia killed ULI when they bought them, SiS and VIA has dropped out since a long time ago. Gaming components like nVidia 980a won't do a dent regardless of price. Reply
  • MadMan007 - Tuesday, March 02, 2010 - link

    Hey Anand, thanks for including a modern low-end card for reference. I do have a request for what might be a useful article wrt IGPs for you. I'd like to know not how poor IGPs are compared to modern cards but rather to which *older* graphics card they are equivalent. Personally I haven't gotten many new games in a while and with Steam sales have been picking up some older ones too, there may be others in the same boat. Now when a game says it requires a much older card like a GF3 or Radeon 9000 or what have you I am pretty sure a modern IGP is better but once things start getting in to DX9 cards I'm not so sure. Would an IGP be equivalent to a 6600GT, or a Radeon 850?

    If you were to have someone do an article looking at this with older games that would be awesome and a great service to those who just play older games at this point. Finding IGP performance on older games is not easy.
    Reply
  • nice123 - Tuesday, March 02, 2010 - link

    Remember, GlobalFoundries is new. AMD are still using TSMC's 55nm process for this chipset. This is most probably because their 40nm process is absolutely crap. (as seen with the Radeon 5xxx yields and lack of Fermi)

    When AMD move to GlobalFoundries I think their hardware will pick up more, we won't have TSMC screwing up every single process they do.
    Reply
  • Penti - Tuesday, March 02, 2010 - link

    Still? What are you talking about, practically nobody uses the latest node for chipsets and many other none bleeding edge speed ASICs. At least they moved from 65nm. Intel chipsets are manufactured at 65nm.

    They won't move to GlobalFoundries for fabbing chipset/GPU logic till Liano APUs I guess they will design chipsets for GF then too.
    Reply
  • Foxi - Tuesday, March 02, 2010 - link

    AMD should ban Anand from testing theirs stuffs. It's a shame and pathetic as well. :s Reply
  • strikeback03 - Tuesday, March 02, 2010 - link

    lol, which part of this article offended you, fanboi? Reply
  • Penti - Tuesday, March 02, 2010 - link

    How about the IOMMU (AMD-Vi) support in the SB850 chipset? It's supported right? I want to know if the chipset and bios combo has it working. Reply
  • semo - Tuesday, March 02, 2010 - link

    Wondering about that too. I've seen articles here test for virtualization performance but only in the server space. Would be good to see more info about these sort of things around here Reply
  • Penti - Tuesday, March 02, 2010 - link

    Yeah it works for SR5650-70-90/SP5100 server chipset, but it's not identical even if it's the chip it's based of. So I was wondering if there's really support in the silicon and perhaps more important if it's supported in the BIOS. Otherwise it's not really interesting for me. I will still only consider the Opteron platform for an AMD machine then and it makes choosing a Intel machine so much easier. But I guess not since AMD don't mention it. Might not matter for desktops, but it do for workstations and Intel desktops supports it (IOMMU). AMD-V is of course there but that's a whole other matter. Reply
  • semo - Tuesday, March 02, 2010 - link

    Hi Anand,

    I noticed something strange with my Sharkoon ( http://www.sharkoon.com/html/produkte/docking_stat...">http://www.sharkoon.com/html/produkte/d...tations/... )device recently and I thought you might find it interesting. I had a 3.5" SATA drive connected to it and I just switched off my PC. When it turned off, the case fans kept spinning (CPU fan spinning up/down constantly) and the card reader/temp sensor turned red and started beeping. It kept doing after I took off the power cord. After 10 mins of looking around and head scratching I remembered that the Sharkoon has power going to it. Unplugged that and the PC shut down. I don’t think I’ve seen this anywhere else but the Sharkoon’s USB power is actually bidirectional (the DriveLink at least). That doesn’t happen usually I think and maybe different motherboards won’t like this.

    That’s unfortunate that your C300 died. I wonder why if a non essential device like drive fails, the system doesn’t POST. There shouldn’t be such a condition ever (I actually have one SATA drive that does that actually). Something as simple as removing the DVD drive belt can cause the system to POST or at least take much longer to do so. Why, the thing is not essential?
    Also do you have an explanation why the Vertex LE has such good write performance compared to read. I’ve assumed that you expect the opposite from NAND flash.

    Looking to full review of the 890FX, hopefully it will be more polished!
    Reply
  • SunLord - Tuesday, March 02, 2010 - link

    that has to be a defect... There is no way anyone would design something to send power into a computer via a usb port it would cause all kinda of bad voodoo for the system Reply
  • SunLord - Tuesday, March 02, 2010 - link

    Why does the index indicates that the 890GX is DirectX 10.1 and has UVD2 while the 790GX is DX10 and UVD1 if they are exactly the same? Is the index wrong or do these changes require no hardware tweaks? Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Tuesday, March 02, 2010 - link

    I've updated the article a bit. The move from DX10 to 10.1 in AMD's case didn't require much of a change. Technically the 890GX is more like a 785G/790GX hybrid. Either way, performance is identical between all of the cores clocked at 700MHz.

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • SunLord - Wednesday, March 03, 2010 - link

    Put some active cooling on it and overclock it! Reply
  • psychobriggsy - Tuesday, March 02, 2010 - link

    At least the southbridge is better featured, with SATA3 and GigE, even if the former wasn't really tested in this review, and the latter wasn't utilised.

    Shame that AMD didn't bump the shader count to (e.g.,) 60, it would have made a massive difference since Intel actually put some effort in on their recent attempts. Then again, Cedar 5450 should have had 160 shaders in my opinion to make it a reasonable low-end purchase.

    Clearly it's a tide-over chipset until Llano changes everything.
    Reply
  • nice123 - Tuesday, March 02, 2010 - link

    They can't boost it to 60 sadly because they are arranged in blocks of 40 - the next step up is 80, which is of course Radeon 5450 territory since they decided not to add any more shaders to that and kept it exactly the same performance as the 4550. Reply
  • fiki959 - Tuesday, March 02, 2010 - link

    I am little disappointed with the new chipset. But there is a reason that AMD didn't improve IGP performance because doing so will probably hurt radeon 5450 sales. An improvement of 30-50% will bring the IGP very close to low end dedicated cards so maybe that is the main reason or staying with 55nm process have something to with the decision I don't know..

    By the way I see some Athlon 2 laptops in my country, some review for these CPUs please.
    Reply
  • shrihara - Tuesday, March 02, 2010 - link

    If it has USB 3.0 which is backward compatible, then what is the need of having USB 2.0 along with that? I was hoping that AMD 890 will come up with only USB 3.0 on board like SATA 6GBps. Reply
  • strikeback03 - Tuesday, March 02, 2010 - link

    because for whatever reason AMD didn't include USB3 and they didn't want to spend the money/PCIe lanes on a bunch of external USB3 controllers? Reply
  • semo - Tuesday, March 02, 2010 - link

    I'm not aware if the motherboard header pin configurations for USB 3.0 have been standardized yet. I'm sure there will be a period when every maker will come up with their own design until we settle on a single one Reply
  • glockjs - Tuesday, March 02, 2010 - link

    i don't feel so bad in being impatient and buying one of the gigabyte 333's...790xta to be exact. looks like i didnt miss much :D Reply
  • semilobster - Tuesday, March 02, 2010 - link

    Great review Anand! When can we expect a review of the new Hybrid-Crossfire with the 5450? How did they make this work? So far Hybrid-Crossfire has only worked with other RV610 based GPUs (the RV620 was just a slightly modified RV610) Reply
  • Spoelie - Tuesday, March 02, 2010 - link

    Extremely disappointed. Still the uncompetitive SATA performance, no USB3, no ACC and the same integrated graphics performance we had back in 2007, 2 and a half years ago.

    For a company that's behind on cpu performance and tries (tried?) to push the platform "advantage", this is one lackluster platform. It's like they've given up altogether.

    I've had AMD systems for the past years, but 2010 seems to be time to switch, and it pains me :(
    Reply
  • Alouette Radeon - Wednesday, March 10, 2010 - link

    Let me see if I understand this correctly. You're going to switch to the criminal organization known as Intel because AMD hasn't upgraded their SATA? You're kidding right? No spinning hard drive today can keep up with the SATA speeds as they are except for SSDs and you're whining about that? Don't even get me started on the fact that the Radeon HD 4290 is still the top performing IGP with DX10.1 added. Do you really think you'd prefer an Intel GMA??? My god, what rock do you live under? Just for ideological purposes alone, I won't touch Intel or nVidia until they clean themselves up. Dishonesty in a corporation pisses me off more than anything and if you've seen the way Intel has conducted itself in the last 10 years you wouldn't be so quick to switch. Sure, switch to Intel, increase their market share, let AMD die and then we'll all be happy with Intel having a monopoly and dictating to us what we get as they slow technological advancement down and raise prices on everything all because you felt inadequate without SATA performance numbers that are meaningless because there's no hard drives that can take advantage of them! With knuckleheads like you in the world, it's no wonder we're where we are today! Reply
  • AznBoi36 - Tuesday, March 02, 2010 - link

    I don't really see a problem with AMD's platform. Sure their SATA performance isn't as great as Intels; but like Anand said - as long as you aren't running the latest SSDs then the SATA performance difference between AMD/Intel is negligible.

    And yeah, these guys are sitting on their asses as far as chipsets go. How long has ICH/r10 been out? A long time now. I'm still waiting for 8 SATA ports with RAID6. That's probably a long time coming though.

    If you want ACC, then you can still pick up an older 790/785 board. Even my old Gigabyte MA785GM-US2H has it. The only benefit I see with the new 890GX is if you need native SATA3 RAID and more than 2 ports (all other boards use the marvel controller and have only 2 SATA3 ports with RAID 0/1/0+1)
    Reply
  • Mr Perfect - Wednesday, March 03, 2010 - link

    The problem is that native SATA 6gbps for SSDs is exactly why I was interested in the 8 series. It's back to 3rd party controllers now, which gives AMD no advantage. Reply
  • leexgx - Wednesday, March 03, 2010 - link

    but it does support ACC and core unlocker they had an page Just for it (did any one read all of this pre-review before posting)

    all that amd have done is hid the option now but it still can be done
    Reply
  • Griswold - Tuesday, March 02, 2010 - link

    Oh yea switch to where the grass has the same color because there are no more significant upgrades between platforms either...

    They have now all been equally lazy. And lets not talk about nvidia with their endless nfarce rebadging of chipsets from a decade gone by...

    Its clear that there is no pressure in the platform business anymore. Nvidia is a joke and AMD / Intel just throw old bones at us. Get used to it. Also because "platform" is becoming more and more meaningless, except for southbridges...
    Reply
  • Spoelie - Tuesday, March 02, 2010 - link

    I'm not saying Intel has a better platform feature wise, but it has more performance (SATA, CPU) and lower power consumption. AMD used to have a platform advantage, but the last year that was erased. There is absolutely no reason anymore, except for price, to pick AMD at this moment. And you do not want to be in that position in this industry. Reply
  • Calin - Tuesday, March 02, 2010 - link

    Intel has a much better platform than what it had two years ago - they crossed a huge chasm (from totally unplayable games and games running at 2 frames per second, to what seems like a decent enough integrated solution). Reply
  • StevoLincolnite - Tuesday, March 02, 2010 - link

    I agree.

    However been burned once by Intels Decelerators, and never again shall I touch them with a 40 foot pole.

    Also I noticed a few mistakes in the review... It states that the Radeon 4290 is exactly the same as the 790GX (Radeon 3300) - However Anandtech, your missing a key point, and that's Direct X 10.1 vs Direct X 10.

    And not to mention you forgot to add that the Radeon 4200 also supports Direct X 10.1 which is stated as Direct X 10.0 in the review.
    Reply
  • piroroadkill - Tuesday, March 02, 2010 - link

    The fact ASUS added a damn switch on the board called CORE_UNLOCKER made me laugh out loud in the office, goddamn Reply
  • vol7ron - Tuesday, March 02, 2010 - link

    lol. Reply
  • san1s - Tuesday, March 02, 2010 - link

    I REALLY hope other motherboard manufacturers provide some way to unlock cores like this motherboard here.
    Reply

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