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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  • Viditor - Thursday, May 6, 2010 - link

    There appears to be a disparity...
    In the forums, the guys who have the 1055Ts are getting 4.1GHz on 1.42v, and are doing a lot of very stable benching. It appears to be more of the rule than the exception...could you have gotten either a bad board or a bad chip?
  • mapesdhs - Tuesday, May 11, 2010 - link

    Has anyone here bought a 1090T? How did you find it? Particularly interested in those using
    their systems for video encoding and/or animation rendering.

  • xXChronoXx - Sunday, June 20, 2010 - link

    I have been jumping back and forth on this issue while trying to decide if I should go with AMD or Intel for a gaming machine. Until the point where I read this article I was almost completely swayed to the side of Intel however when reading the specs of gaming performance I was somewhat surprised by just how close AMDs chip actually came on most points. I understand that the 1090T got the tar kicked out of it a lot during this comparison. However, I have to consider the fact that upgrading to a Quad Core now will almost certainly result in me having to change motherboards down the road when ( not if ) Intel decides that they no longer want to support their chipset. It makes the idea of buying a second gen chip seem like a bad choice even if it has a slightly higher performance.

    The only comparison that made me cringe was Dawn of War II and possibly Dragon Age: Origins (but only because the core i7 980x had an impressive 170fps). With the exception of Dawn of War II these framerates seem so high (and in most cases close together ) that I can't really imagine there being a noticeable difference. So my question would be this: If you're running two or more high end graphics cards in CrossfireX on the 1090T are you really going to notice any difference on a consistent basis compared to a Quad Core or are we just splitting hairs at this point?
  • lisk - Monday, July 5, 2010 - link

    I'm a chess player. I use deep rybka 4 SSE42/SSE4A based engine.
    And I find 1090T is faster than i7-930\920\870\860. And i7-965/975/980 is too expensive, so 1090T is my best choice here.
  • jsimonetti - Wednesday, July 7, 2010 - link

    Do you know if the AMD Phenom II X6 1090T will fit in my m3n-ht deluxe?
  • papalazaru - Wednesday, July 14, 2010 - link

    Price of a 1055T platform : £350
    Price of a i7 860 platform : £550
    Price of a i5 750 platform : £450

    Also there is talk of the AM3 support for the new AMD processors (Bulldozer, 8 core 28nm).

    Personally, I have no complain against my 1055T. Runs very cool and quiet (Corsair H-50), and I have good perforamnce coupled with a HD5850, copes with anything. It's a decent mid-high spec system.

    The Intel / Nvidia board is also an excellent gaming platform, especially with the arrival of the new GTX 460, that can compete directly with the HD5850 at a lower price point (which will no doubt be reduced at some point).
  • kznny - Thursday, August 19, 2010 - link

    I was think about updating my E6850 so I could play better games. Looking at your review, I clearly see the chip is not the bottleneck but the video cards are, I can go with a new SLI configuration and really rock. Saved me a lot of money - thank you!
  • pacmankiller - Monday, September 13, 2010 - link

    get your i5 or i7 to 4.5 hahahahaha put your 3d mark up the amd 1090t is the second best cpu hands down..................................................................................
  • Alaskagram - Thursday, November 11, 2010 - link

    I purchased an ASUS CG1330 with a Phenom II X6 1035T/2.6 GHZ.No where do they mention the turbo function.Is this something I can turn on or is an automatic feature?I bought this after having a Gateway 6840 which over 10 days died.When it requested that I insert the restore disk I realized that the optical drive did not have a physical eject button,consequently I could not insert the restore disc,can you say"catch 22".I bought it at cosco who does not offer on site tech help,so I had to return it,the last one of course ,and go to Best Buy.Lessons learned,support,support!
  • kenupcmac - Wednesday, December 1, 2010 - link

    should i get amd X6 1055T or intel i7 9XX for 3dmax and CAD
    i do alot of vray and lighting effect

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