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  • jonup - Tuesday, August 31, 2010 - link

    Very impressed to see this approach to your testing. I hete when reading an MB reveiw and reach the benchmark section. Same chipsets tend to perform the same. A guess this would be an one-off since in the next review it will be redundant. Reply
  • vol7ron - Tuesday, August 31, 2010 - link

    agreed, nice review. Reply
  • Finally - Tuesday, August 31, 2010 - link

    I must say that this review was nice to have, I'm much more interested in the 870 Chipset.
    It's almost identical, except the support of Crossfire, which I have no use for.
  • RequiemsAllure - Wednesday, September 01, 2010 - link

    ahh, but on the ASRock 870 extreme 3 Crossfire is supported. Reply
  • SpaceRanger - Tuesday, August 31, 2010 - link

    In the article:
    USB 3.0 Performance

    We use Acronis TrueImage Home (v. 10) to make a backup of our installation drive to an external SATA 3.0 Gbps drive via USB 3.0 and compare it with USB 2.0 and SATA 3.0 Gbps transfers. The total data backed up is approximately 20 GB. We could not complete the backup on the 890GTD Pro/USB3 in a consistent manner.

    My Question:

    Why were you not able to complete the backup on the 890GTD Pro/USB3? At the conclusion you state :
    Is it worth $180 when ASUS 890GTD Pro/USB3 is $30 less? We think the difference largely comes down to the board’s selection of components.

    I would call not being able to do a simple backup with the 890GTD enough of a showstopper to not even consider the board. Am I missing something here?
  • semo - Tuesday, August 31, 2010 - link

    I'm also wondering about the SATA3 performance. An issue was identified here on AT with the new 8xx chipset earlier which slowed down SSDs considerably compared to ICH10 controllers. Has this been fixed yet? Reply
  • Kane Y. Jeong - Tuesday, August 31, 2010 - link


    Please check Raja's ASUS M4A89GTD Pro/USB3 review here.

    We purchased another retail M4A89GTD Pro/USB3 off the shelf, and still ran into inconsistent USB 3.0 performance. Sometimes the drives lost connections, and Acronis reported error in the middle of backup process. Success ratio to complete the backup was about 30~40%. An alternative would be to purchase M4A89GTD Pro (not Pro/USB3) for $10 less and go with an add-in card. We did not experience this issue on ASRock 890FX Deluxe 4.
  • SpaceRanger - Tuesday, August 31, 2010 - link

    Thank you for the response. So you're advising getting the Pro (not Pro/USB3) instead of the 890FX? Cause Raja's findings would be enough for me to not want to get it. Reply
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  • optarix12 - Tuesday, August 31, 2010 - link

    This is a very nice writeup and relevant to my interests to boot. Thank you for the concise article Kane. Oh, and if you ever figure out why you saw the inexplicable results you should do a part 2! Reply
  • HangFire - Tuesday, August 31, 2010 - link

    It is good to see a USB 3.0 performance test in there. I would like to see another or more, especially something simultaneous- for example, run backup on one port (say, USB 3.0) and stream video from a webcam in another (probably USB 2.0). This test makes a lot of sense in that a user would engage in Social Media while running a backup in the background.

    It would also tell us if the system can maintain a steady webcam image while doing other work, something we would expect a 6-core system to do (if not hobbled by poor USB implementation). The test could be repeated for a port on each USB 2.0 controller on the M/B to make sure each USB port set is as able as the rest.
  • Kane Y. Jeong - Tuesday, August 31, 2010 - link

    I appreciate your constructive comment. I will keep it in mind. Reply
  • Stuka87 - Tuesday, August 31, 2010 - link

    Really a great review. I almost wish I would have held out building a new system until these 890's came out with USB3 and such (I built last Janurary). But I have no real complaints about my 790GX. Reply
  • Ratman6161 - Tuesday, August 31, 2010 - link

    Asrock has Asus as it's parent company and I thought that Asrock was supposed to be the low priced/budget branch of Asus. By taking Asrock upscale, isn't Asus just competing against itself? Reply
  • mino - Tuesday, August 31, 2010 - link

    Not anymore. ASUS spun off it OEM arm (Pegatron) last year.

    And even when they had the same parent company, the design teams were separate since ASRock inception 7yrs ago.
  • blacksun1234 - Tuesday, August 31, 2010 - link

    ASRock works well on the budget M/B market and try to offer more with lower price for high-end market. If you would like to get "Valued product" at mainstream segment, ASRock is a good choice. Reply
  • mapesdhs - Thursday, November 25, 2010 - link

    Very true! I've ended up buying several Asrock P55 Deluxe boards because this
    performs so well (i7 870 @ 4.1GHz), costs very little (less than 70 UKP) and it
    has excellent slot spacing (as with this review board, I really like the 3-slot
    spacing between the 1st and 2nd PCIe slots; I use the 3rd slot for a SAS RAID
    card. At least ASUS has done the same thing aswell). See:

    I'm a tad out of touch with AMD boards atm, but if I was buying an X58, I'd go
    with Asrock's Extreme6; it won't give the best overclocks, but the slot spacing
    again wins it for me. And if I was looking for an AMD board, again I like the
    890FX-Deluxe's slot spacing *and* the fact that it does have a 3rd PCIe slot
    (I notice the ASUS board doesn't). Oh for a board like this with onboard SAS...

  • PCR - Tuesday, August 31, 2010 - link

    Don't you mean M4A89GTD PRO/USB3? Reply
  • Kane Y. Jeong - Tuesday, August 31, 2010 - link

    Yes, thank you. Will fix it ASAP. Reply
  • poohbear - Tuesday, August 31, 2010 - link

    Kane Jeong why didnt you mention in this article how AMD's AHCI driver doesnt support trim even w/ the newest 890FX chipset? Its supposed to be an enthusiast chipset but doesnt even provide a working AHCI driver?? For everyone that owns an SSD, we're completely left in the dark w/ any AMD chipset and SSD combo. Its august 2010, latest 890FX chipset, and on an SSD AMD doesnt even support TRIM w/ their latest drivers. This is unacceptable!!!! You guys need to address this in ANY AMD chipset review, what enthusiast wants a system that doesnt provide SSDs w/ TRIM support??? We're all stuck using MS default AHCI drivers lest we lose TRIM support, its pathetic and way overdue for AMD to provide a working AHCI driver. Please mention this in your reviews cause the vast majority of enthusiasts have SSDs, and an enthusiast chipset geared towards us without TRIM support is a joke. Reply
  • Kane Y. Jeong - Tuesday, August 31, 2010 - link

    Anand has already covered SB850 in depth, so I linked to the article.

    Said that, I will get back to you after contacting ASRock as to your question. Thank you.
  • poohbear - Wednesday, September 01, 2010 - link

    that article doesnt address how TRIM is disabled w/ the AMD drivers. It might increase performance, but with TRIM disabled it makes the SSD have terrible performance in the long term. Please bring this up in AMD chipset reviews as AMD is just ignoring the issue. its a mess. Reply
  • Slaimus - Wednesday, September 01, 2010 - link

    Are you talking about the RAID driver passing TRIM to the individual drives in the array? TRIM in general is working AFAIK. Reply
  • stuartrue - Tuesday, August 31, 2010 - link

    Do the AMD AHCI drivers support the TRIM command? Reply
  • DWeber - Tuesday, August 31, 2010 - link

    Love the extent of your articles. Clean written, good facts, interesting NB-Frequency benches.

    But what the f* is a Radeon HD 5780?
  • Egap19 - Tuesday, August 31, 2010 - link

    Thank you for the throw review, but if it's first 890fx review why not asus or gigabyte? Heck MSI there too. Do a round up or something. AMD gets no love around here. Reply
  • BestBuyJock2 - Tuesday, August 31, 2010 - link

    I love the StarCraft 2 bench. It was an eye opener. I only have an Athlon X4 but I may test the same thing. Very informative review rarely seen these days. Thank you Anandtech! Reply
  • cousin2003 - Tuesday, August 31, 2010 - link

    cousin2003; Very impressive article. Is the Motherboard available yet. I really learned about more about Thuben CPU's. Thank you. Reply
  • najames - Tuesday, August 31, 2010 - link

    It is rumored that AMD 890FX boards will allow passthrough hardware in virtual machines like Intel VT-d with some "updated BIOS", meaning a graphics card or video capture card and USB devices could be assigned in a VM. It would be nice if someone can verify this.

    I have briefly tried this with my Gigabyte X58-UD4P BIOS 13 and i7920 setup. It shows a virtualization option in the BIOS but Vsphere (ESXi 4.1) still shows it as unavailable. There is however a Beta BIOS I have not tried yet.

    This seems to be a voodoo hit or miss on desktop computers although support goes back to the Q35 era desktop boards and servers.
  • beretta2013 - Tuesday, August 31, 2010 - link

    You mentioned reaching 4.1Ghz on the 1090T, was that at idle in CPU-z validator or was that under full load in prime95? My $95 GA-770TA-UD3 can validate at 4.4GHz but 3.9 is the max stable clock speed. As far as wattage being pulled, my 1090T @3.8 & 1.42v draws 177watts itself under peak load in prime95; as quoted by the Gigabyte Energy Saver app. Cheers. Reply
  • Kane Y. Jeong - Wednesday, September 01, 2010 - link

    We disabled Turbo Core for maximum overclocking. vCore was measured by a DMM. Reply
  • softdrinkviking - Wednesday, September 01, 2010 - link

    nice review, good read.

    one thing I noticed, in your chart comparing the 890FX and 790FX, it says "TMSC 65nm," i am thinking that should be "TMSC 45nm."

    or maybe i'm crazy, or maybe both are true?
  • softdrinkviking - Wednesday, September 01, 2010 - link

    or is that the AMD890 chipset manufacturing process that's at 65nm? Reply
  • pkc - Wednesday, September 01, 2010 - link

    I believe that it should be compared with ASUS M4A89TD Pro/USB3 and Gigabyte GA-890FXA-UD5 which are using the same chipset i.e. 890FX Reply
  • MacLeod1592 - Wednesday, September 01, 2010 - link

    I currently run an ASRock 780G motherboard and was hoping theyd stepped it up a notch. My board also overvolts the CPU when I overclock. Its always a notch or two higher in CPU-Z than what I set it to in the BIOS.

    Mines also not a great overclocker. I cant get my Athlon X3 435 over 3.4 but all the reviews Im seeing have it at 3.6 and better!

    Looks like Asus will be getting my money in the near future when I upgrade mobos.
  • siniranji - Thursday, September 02, 2010 - link

    my question is , which thuban processor will perform well with this board, i have 1055T model Reply
  • MrSpadge - Saturday, September 04, 2010 - link

    Can I comment now? Reply
  • MrSpadge - Saturday, September 04, 2010 - link

    Ups, that was unexpected. On to my actual comment regarding:

    "We have no conclusive theory to explain this phenomenon at this time. Originally our suspicion was limited to CPU-NB’s frequencies and memory frequencies/timings, but now we wonder whether the size of L3, which is meager 1MB per core for the X6’s, comes into play as well. We are looking to further examine this subject in the future."

    Naturally modern games have very complex scenes so the CPU has to deal with a lot of data. Which data is not entirely predictable & prefetchable, so the CPU absolutely needs large caches. In fact, the caches can hardly be large enough - so main memory bandwidth and latency matters.

    The encoding on all 6 cores on the other hand is a very regular task and the memory requests are quite predictable. The programmer or and / the cpu prefetchers are working to keep all the data in the caches before they are needed.

    Or put empirically: If the app is programmed so well that it scales well from 4 to 6 cores [your encoding does], memory access can not be a problem here. And thus faster memory doesn't help much.

    Regards, MrS
  • geok1ng - Monday, September 06, 2010 - link

    There we have it again, a seminal article that will be quoted around the web for months to come.

    This easy to read article is the most complete and compreensive guide to AM3 plataform overcloking, and deserves to join the now famous "why we were wrong about the P45 chipset" article on C2D memory overcloking and the SSDs series.

    To give you guys an example of the importance of NB overcloking on these AMDs hexacores, Tom Hardware´s has an article on the system builders marathon today that shows a 1055T system with SLI 480s. Th build fails to impress by about 20% agains a similar priced $2000 Intel system, and guess what? TH makes no mention of NB overclock!
  • RealTheXev - Friday, September 10, 2010 - link

    I've run into several people who have had a 8xx series AMD chipset but have run into an issue of having an SB750 southbridge instead of the SB850. for my write up.

    My question is, will Asus be addressing this issue by adding the SB750 to their chipset drivers? Also, will this board possible be substituted for an SB750 southbridge as well? If so, I want to know the performance difference!

    Asus isn't the only manufacture substituting the southbridge. I'm curious about the difference between the SB850 and SB750 variants of these boards and how likely it is a user will end up with one of these boards "substituted" boards.
  • Cuartz7o - Monday, September 13, 2010 - link

    Does anyone else here own this board? I picked this up from newegg last week and I'm having the hardest time overclocking my CPU.. (Phenom II X3 720) via BIOS, no UCC, and i can't get it past 3.4 stable.

    My previous biostar board got up to 3.6-3.8 (stable at 3.6) and nothing else has changed with regards to components.

    I've read how the Deluxe3's could be tricky to overclock, just wondering if anyone has experience with the new Deluxe4..
  • realneil - Wednesday, September 15, 2010 - link

    NewEgg has this for $145.00 now, a month after this review came out. It looks to me to be a good price.
    Another thing, isn't ASRock owned by ASUS?

    Thanks for the good writeup too.

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