MSI's 890FX-GD70 motherboard brings next-gen SATA, USB and six PCIe x16 slots

By on December 11, 2009, 3:04 PM
The folks at Collaler.com have scored some pictures of MSI's 890FX-GD70 motherboard. Shot from various angles, the images reveal a remarkable six PCI-Express x16 slots, leaving room for only one legacy PCI slot. As its name indicates, the board uses AMD's 890FX chipset which brings native SATA 6Gb/s support, and there appears to be six (white) next-generation SATA ports along with one (blue) port that is presumably SATA 3Gb/s.

MSI's new motherboard sticks with the company's often used black and blue color scheme. Other visible features include four DDR3 DIMM slots, a five-phase digital DrMOS, various on-board overclocking functions, and a NEC controller chip which, at the very least, handles a pair of USB 3.0 ports on the rear I/O panel.


The 890FX-GD70 is based on AMD's upcoming high-end Leo platform, which will be headlined by the company's six-core Thuban processor and consist of an 890FX or 890GX northbridge with SB850 southbridge, and Radeon HD 5000-series graphics. An exact release date for the 890FX chipset is not available, but the Thuban chips are expected to arrive in the second quarter of next year. More details will likely emerge during next month's Consumer Electronics Show (CES).




User Comments: 33

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Richy2k9 said:

hello...

this is A.W.E.S.O.M.E ... where & when can i buy?

cheers!

BMfan BMfan said:

The chipset looks promising,what i don't understand is why MSI put covers over the heatsinks.

Timonius Timonius said:

Umm, called me silly or something, but what would you need SIX PCIe x16 slots for? Hex-SLI (Hex-el-eye, Hex-sly) Video? or do other cards use PCIe x16 other than video?

Guest said:

lol good luck running SLI on an AMD chipset...

spydercanopus spydercanopus said:

Going to be very niche. Not necessary with other GPU techs, unless you want to go... 64 monitor.

Guest said:

All I can think right now is how much folding@home you can do with this mobo. 6 core cpu, and ~5 gpu's. Danng.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

MSI

Why is it that MSI mobo's look great but never seem to live up to the billing?

Puiu Puiu said:

Put 6 dual gpu cards (12 way CF) and maybe you'll be able to play crysis at full details on 6 30" lcd's using amd's eyefinity (if drivers support it). I wonder what PSU you will need for that (maybe a second PSU for video cards) and how many watts it will draw.

deadmongol deadmongol said:

f*ing awesome! six undeniably remarkable pciex16slots! you can do a what..? 3x SLI/Crossfire? or a quadsli and a crossfire?haha thats nuts.. like that'll work. wait will it?

Guest said:

It's very nice looking. Too bad it's an AMD motherboard.

BMfan BMfan said:

It's very nice looking. Too bad it's an AMD motherboard.

I so agree,they should put the 890FX chipset on a i5 board

KG363 KG363 said:

New stuff like this makes me want to buy stuff I don't need. I'm good for a while with my Phenom II x3 720 and 790FX mobo, but now I want to buy a 890fx mobo and a new CPU

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I wonder if that means AMD will support 6-way crossfire. But really I think it's more for flexibility, as it allows a combination of 3 cards with decent spacing or 4 dual slot cards.

Guest said:

great mobo, everyone must have that, carefully unpack, take hammer and nail it up to the wall

Deso said:

I wonder what speed they the slots will be limited to in a 6 card configuration...

1 card = 16x

2 cards = 8x

3 cards = 4x

4 cards = ????

will it follow the trend? 16 > 8 > 4 > 2 > 1 > 0.5

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

Deso said:

I wonder what speed they the slots will be limited to in a 6 card configuration...

1 card = 16x

2 cards = 8x

3 cards = 4x

4 cards = ????

will it follow the trend? 16 > 8 > 4 > 2 > 1 > 0.5

1) why would you run a six card setup? you can only have 4 gpu's running in SLI/Crossfire.

2) You do not lose any performance running in PCIE V2 X8 mode....you lose only minimal running in X4 for that matter.

3) the superfluous PCIE slots are for flexibility in choosing to run single slot cooling or dual slot cooling solutions.

Technochicken Technochicken, TechSpot Paladin, said:

This is why you would run a 6 or more video card setup- though gaming performance is not the idea:

[link]

Also, people do not seem to realize that PCIe slots are not restricted to use for graphics cards. Nowadays, almost every type of expansion card can be found in some form of PCIe. Having them all as full sized slots simply gives you flexibility.

Guest said:

^^^ Agreed.

Even 1X PCIe can be use in the 16X PCIe Slot. Not limited to GPU card only.

Guest said:

PCIe is everywhere for everything, this board makes a lot of sense, especially if it had a HyperTransport slot for a stick of GDDR5 for that IGP, or just to act as a general purpose dual-ported "L4" type of cache.

ASUS is selling PCIe (x4?) cards with two USB 3.0 and two SATA6G on them for $66. Nothing slower can handle the combined data speed of those ports, which is (12+9.6) over 20gbps theoretically.

Some SSD company with Steve Wozniak involved is selling dual-PCIe x16 SSDs that of course plug directly into such motherboards as this. They claim a throughput per unit so high that it saturates both of the slots. They brag about this as part of a one terabyte/second transfer solution they have dreamed up.

Networking is moving to dual/teamed gigabit LAN and it makes a lot of sense to put 2 to four gigabit LAN connectors on the same card as the SATA6G, USB3 or SSD storage, so you can support iSCSI RAIDs over your multi-gigabit LAN, in other words, a storage area network (SAN). If you don't you will need two PCIe x16 slots just for your 100Gb ethernet connection, which is being standardized already. Makes a lot more sense to stick the drive and ethernet controllers all one one card and let it behave like hardware RAID - can you imagine ordinary users setting up a SAN or teamed heterogeneous connections any other way?

If you want to run six monitors you need only four slots with ATI 5970/80/90. Two gamers with their own UIs running on the same box (not an unreasonable configuration for some) might want that. Most however would want to run only three, which you can do with two slots. Saving four for everything else.

Extra GPUs (and ATI's equivalent to Hybrid SLI is called ATI Hybrid Graphics) are useful in general now that OpenCL is supported everywhere. The real reason to use it however is not the extra IGP GPU you get to keep using, but to run (one or two) monitors off the IGP ports on the motherboard and leave the extra GPUs off when not in use - saving 30 to 90 watts.

So here's a use for all six PCIe slots:

Two slots for a PCIe SSD like Woz is selling.

Two slots for EyeFinity (three monitor) graphics, six GPUs total (three per eye, two per monitor)

Two slots for a four-port 10GLAN, one-port 100GLAN, dual USB 3.0, dual SATA6G internal.SAN+RAID card that supports any combination of internal and external drives using iSCSI in any array configuration, and supports any other drives that the OS supports likewise (including the PCIe SSD that can pretend to be dozens of drives if it wants to be for RAID purposes). All of which is about balances that two-slot SSD.

Four DDR3 slots means in practice 16GB, which is just about right to buffer transfers between a couple of hundred gig of SSD and a couple of thousand gig of spinning platters, and one or two gig of GDDR5 (ATI uses this on its high end cards).

AMD's chipset (785 and 800 series) only does about 4000MHz now and at 16-bit that's not fast enough to keep up with those slots loaded. That is, assuming it can actually run all six slots at the full x16. If so the real bottleneck on this configuration is going to be the lack of 32-bit transfer on the HyperTransport bus that AMD uses to connect the processor (the standard bus that replaced the proprietary FSB BS) and a lack of L3 cache on some AMD processors. Configurations like this really need two CPU sockets.

Why not ? Everything else on the box is going to be teamed/paired/mirrored.

Wikipedia has the specs on the 800 series and all other AMD chipsets, at least as far as announced... you should look there before speculating on what *might* be the case about its PCIe combinations. I really doubt more than two slots are there for cooling only.

As for intel it's toast in the high end desktop market: Apple is rejecting its in-core GPU, the FTC is after it for monopolies, it had to cancel both QuickPath Interconnect and Larrabee (graphics card), it won't put USB3.0 support into its chipsets for a year, it thinks PCIe 3.0 (only twice the speed of 2.0) is competitive with HyperTransport (it isn't, especially not with vendors like Broadcom supporting it fully), and it doesn't have any way to exploit the trend to GPGPU (general purpose GPU computing using things like OpenCL) while AMD+ATI is perfectly positioned for this. The danger is that AMD+ATI is going to end up as a near monopoly on high end desktops where all the innovation gets stress tested, leaving intel playing around in niche markets like optical processing and massively parallel supercomputers and NAS appliances/routers (where ASUS will eat its lunch). nVidia also is falling far behind ATI on DX11, on 3-monitor, and on speed.

In 2010 and 2011 you're going to need very good reasons not to buy AMD+ATI, given boards like this one.

Guest said:

Wow, what an eloquent response full of detailed rebuttal! Did intel pay you for that two-word post?

If they can't even find credible shills to push their dying brand, you know they're in a lot of trouble.

We all know freaks who spend five grand plus on their primary gaming computer every two years. In two years, five grand will buy you that all-six-PCIe-slots-full monster. People will buy it just to say they have maxed the box out and impress girl geeks. Same ideology as putting five grand into a crap car like a Mustang.

Guest said:

The reason is simple, even if the chipset can't provide a full 16x data path for all the 16x physical ports the way pcie is designed you can put a 1x, 4x or 8x card in the slot and it will work just fine, if they had just stuck in PCIe1x slots then they would possibly lose sales to people looking to go trifire and install say a hardware raid card, a pcie SSD card and a dual 1080p capable HDTV tuner card or any of the dozens of other addon cards that are out there, most consumer cards are only 1x yes, but workstation and server cards are usually at least 4x cards.

You can play with this yourself and tape over the pins on a 16x card to make it run at a lower speed, some games will be effected, some wont.

Guest said:

Intel made a few billion this quarter and paid out $1.25 billion to AMD as well, so both companies have the money to develop whatever they can think of, that's actually within reach of their manufacturing capabilities.

http://www.intel.com/pressroom/archive/releases/2010/2010011
corp.htm

Should be an interesting couple of years. The box described above might be a mainboard by 2016 or so. ;-)

Like, instead of a BIOS, there'll be a 30 gig SSD onboard. ;-)

Or, intel might be on a track like Microsoft, just squeezing customers, paying out the R&D budget to shareholders and doing a few high-profile projects like optical computing just to keep the analysts happy, but surrendering market after market and counting on monopoly inertia and ***** buyers to keep them in business. Just like Microsoft.

Guest said:

Just to clarify for people that do not understand. You can plug in any PCI Express x1, x4, x8 & x16 expansion cards etc. in any PCIE x 16 slot. They are not limited to just PCIE x16 graphics cards. You can easily use a PCIE x1 SATA600 or WIFI card in a PCIE x16 slot or a PCIE x4 card in a PCIE x16 slot.

Guest said:

You are wrong it is a true gen2 board with 4- 16x slots.....

Guest said:

But Musting not crap

Guest said:

Where's the NB chip?

Guest said:

I wonder what speed they the slots will be limited to in a 6 card configuration...

1 card = 16x

2 cards = 8x

3 cards = 4x

4 cards = ????

will it follow the trend? 16 > 8 > 4 > 2 > 1 > 0.5

Alot of people making uneducated statements like the one above. If people would educate themselves before making statements such as above, they would know that the MSI 790FX motherboard with 4 slots, the 790FX-GD70, runs Dual CrossFire at 16X+16X and Quad CrossFire at 8X+8X+8X+8X. All they had to do was look at what the previous generation chipset, the 790FX, did and have a bit of common sense to extrapolate that this will at the very least have dual crossfire of 16X+16X on two of the slots and know that no motherboard with 16X PCI-E slots that run less than 4, much less at the ridiculous suggestion of 0.5. Must be alot of Intel fans here.

Guest said:

PCIe is everywhere for everything, this board makes a lot of sense, especially if it had a HyperTransport slot for a stick of GDDR5 for that IGP, or just to act as a general purpose dual-ported "L4" type of cache.

This is a great post and shows how AMD fans are more aware of technology than many mind-numbed Intel fans are. All Intel has is a CPU technology but no compelling technology to support it.

Meanwhile, AMD+ATI has very effective CPU technology, not necessarily the fastest, but far and away above just enough, and are developing great platforms to complement it.

Guest said:

Its supposed to support 16x/16x/16x, 16x/16x/8x/8x, ?16x/8x/8x/8x/8x?, and ?8x/8x/8x/8x/8x/8x?. (?xxxxxx? means in theory)

Guest said:

i need that MSI as u-ATX. Else i just as well go with http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-review
/29767-asus-crosshair-iv-formula-am3-890fx-motherboard-sne
k-peak.html

Guest said:

will be using crossfire fool

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