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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  • Lolimaster - Tuesday, April 27, 2010 - link

    Other reviews that are worth to see.

    Seems that only anand put Thubies as so so cpu.
  • Calin - Tuesday, April 27, 2010 - link

    From Bit-tech review:
    Despite being an astonishing £600 cheaper than the exorbitantly-priced Intel Core i7-980X Extreme Edition, the X6 1090T BE still isn’t a very good buy
  • sciwizam - Tuesday, April 27, 2010 - link

    TigerDirect seems to have $50 rebate on the 1055T.

    If Bing Cashback is applicable, there's another 12% off.
  • sciwizam - Tuesday, April 27, 2010 - link

    Correction: Bing Cashback site says 8-10% for TigerDirect.
  • Roland00 - Tuesday, April 27, 2010 - link

    There are two ways you can get cashback with Tiger direct

    1) If you look under cashback stores you get a lower cashback.
    2) If you use the search bar and type in a key term you will get a different cashback, with TD the key term is "Tigerdirect" with this trick you will get 12.3% cashback
  • Roland00 - Tuesday, April 27, 2010 - link

    Tigerdirect now has a $50 dollar mail in rebate on the 1090T BE, making the total 249 After Rebate

    If you do bing cashback and actually search for tigerdirect you get 12.3% bing cash back.
    $299.99-$36.89 (12.3% Bing Cash Back)-$50.00 (Mail in Rebate)=$213.10 after rebates and bing cash back
  • max347 - Tuesday, April 27, 2010 - link

    Usually AT is my go to hw reviews, but I have to say the overclocking section doesnt even look like any effort was put into it. Its a BE part, and you dont review how well it tweaks? Other reviews on the net have this at 4ghz+, and do all the charts with the oc and non oc included.

    I think most people who by the BE part will not keep the stock cooler. I use a TRUE cu, though I realize mainstream might be something a little less. At least throw a zalman 9xxx on there and see what it can do with that. Benched at 4ghz, the 1090T is competitive right up to the 980x (stock), which I think gives people a little more info on how high they can "reach" with this cpu.

    I am in no way an AMD fanboy, but the $300 price tag for this performance seems like a leap for AMD. It has always been in my mind price/performance rather than work/clock cycle or the like.

    Anyway, Thanks for the review!
  • pjconoso - Tuesday, April 27, 2010 - link

    In addition to the price, keeping the processor in the same socket is another plus to this processor.
  • ViRGE - Tuesday, April 27, 2010 - link

    Are those other reviews using a 32bit OS or a 64bit OS? The last time I checked, the Phenom/Athlon II series was still poorly overclocking in 64bit mode. If it's still happening then any overclocking results would vary wildly depending on the OS used.
  • yankeeDDL - Tuesday, April 27, 2010 - link

    I understand (and substantially agree with) the comments and conclusions regarding how the 6-cores Phenom compares against 2 and 4 core CPUs from Intel.
    I wonder though if these benchmarks are capturing the real benefits of 6 cores.
    In my 'daily' use I have several programs running in background: virus-scan, instant messaging, music players, email clients, browsers (that regularly update RSS feeds) and sometimes also torrent clients. These all consume some CPU cycles, obviously.
    With all these running in background, I wonder if the difference between a 2-core and a 6-core CPU will be more pronounced.
    In other words: does it make sense to compare two multi-core CPU by running a single application at the time (albeit, possibly, a multi-threaded one)?

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