AMD’s 890FX Chipset

The Phenom II X6 will work in all existing Socket-AM2+ and AM3 motherboards that can 1) support the 125W TDP of the processors, and 2) have BIOS support (apparently over 160 boards at launch). Despite this impressive showing of backwards compatibility, we also get a new chipset today for those of you looking to build a new system instead of upgrade.

The 890FX is a mildly updated version of AMD’s 790FX chipset, mostly adding AMD’s SB850 South Bridge with 6Gbps SATA support. The number of PCIe 2.0 lanes and other major features remains unchanged.

  AMD 890FX AMD 890GX AMD 790FX
CPU AMD Socket-AM3 AMD Socket-AM3 AMD Socket-AM3/AM2+
Manufacturing Process 65nm 55nm 65nm
PCI Express 44 PCIe 2.0 lanes 24 PCIe 2.0 lanes 44 PCIe 2.0 lanes
Graphics N/A Radeon HD 4290 (DirectX 10.1) N/A
South Bridge SB850 SB850 SB750
USB 14 USB 2.0 ports 14 USB 2.0 ports 12 USB 2.0 ports
SATA 6 SATA 6Gbps ports 6 SATA 6Gbps ports 6 SATA 3Gbps ports
Max TDP 19.6W 25W 19.6W

You get IOMMU support (an advantage over 790FX) and despite the chipset being built on TSMC's 65nm process, it pulls less power than the 890GX as it lacks any integrated graphics.

The Test

To keep the review length manageable we're presenting a subset of our results here. For all benchmark results and even more comparisons be sure to use our performance comparison tool: Bench.

Motherboard: ASUS P7H57DV- EVO (Intel H57)
Intel DP55KG (Intel P55)
Intel DX58SO (Intel X58)
Intel DX48BT2 (Intel X48)
Gigabyte GA-MA790FX-UD5P (AMD 790FX)
MSI 890FXA-GD70 (AMD 890FX)
Chipset Drivers: Intel (Intel)
AMD Catalyst 8.12
Hard Disk: Intel X25-M SSD (80GB)
Memory: Corsair DDR3-1333 4 x 1GB (7-7-7-20)
Corsair DDR3-1333 2 x 2GB (7-7-7-20)
Video Card: eVGA GeForce GTX 280 (Vista 64)
ATI Radeon HD 5870 (Windows 7)
Video Drivers: ATI Catalyst 9.12 (Windows 7)
NVIDIA ForceWare 180.43 (Vista64)
NVIDIA ForceWare 178.24 (Vista32)
Desktop Resolution: 1920 x 1200
OS: Windows Vista Ultimate 32-bit (for SYSMark)
Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit
Windows 7 x64
The Performance Summary SYSMark & Photoshop Performance
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  • SRivera - Wednesday, April 28, 2010 - link

    Applications that will use that much memory and memory bandwidth. Off the top of my head, I can only think of moderate-heavy database use. Too many people tend to look over the 1156 platform over to 1366 because of triple channel memory when in reality, even more heavy gamers, you're just never going to fully utilize that much memory or bandwidth.

    I run a 4GB system, running games and oodles of apps at the same time, I've never seen my memory jump past 3GB or far past it.

    So it really comes down to what your use for a system like the i7 9xx & X58 would be if you will really need the triple channel bandwidth and extra memory.
  • mapesdhs - Wednesday, April 28, 2010 - link

    Uncompressed HD editing easily uses more than 4GB RAM. Anyone using an X58 with a
    Quadro card for professional work should definitely have 6GB minimum.

  • LoneWolf15 - Tuesday, April 27, 2010 - link

    Zero. That's the amount you have contributed to this thread.
  • chrnochime - Tuesday, April 27, 2010 - link

    Water closet? Haven't heard that term in YEARS.
  • Peroxyde - Tuesday, April 27, 2010 - link

    For a machine used as a light VM Server, is AMD Thuban better than i5 750 ?
  • Taft12 - Wednesday, April 28, 2010 - link

    A light VM server should probably use your old PC in the corner gathering dust.
  • ant_ - Tuesday, April 27, 2010 - link

    I was hoping to see some benchmarks in Battlefield Bad Company 2. I thought Anandtech had added it to the gaming tests. We know the game scales well using a quad core vs a dual. I was curious to see the difference between 4 vs 6 cores.
  • toolonglyf - Tuesday, April 27, 2010 - link

    ya I'm a bit disappointed not seeing it there... I think it would have shown something interesting
  • KranZ - Tuesday, April 27, 2010 - link

    I'd be curious to see how this stands up in the VM tests you did earlier this year. At face value, it seems VMs = more threads and this proc would be of value.
  • Crypticone - Tuesday, April 27, 2010 - link

    I noticed the WOW benchmarks are missing from this CPU. Any chance of getting them added to the gaming page?

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