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Roundup: Asus' latest AMD 8-series motherboards

Posted on 3rd May 2010 at 09:37 by Richard Swinburne with 13 comments

Asus invited us to a launch event for its latest AMD 8-series motherboards, and as you'd expect from a single motherboard range based on similar chipsets; it's all very much the same, but if you're in the market for something new AMD and Asus, but don't know what you want, here's a run down of all the latest kit for you to have a gander:

Roundup: Asus' latest AMD 8-series motherboards Asus' latest AMD 8-series motherboards Roundup: Asus' latest AMD 8-series motherboards Asus' latest AMD 8-series motherboards
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Above is the new AMD 870 chipset on the M4A87TD and its EVO'd brother. Both feature the SB850 southbridge with SATA 6Gbps, which might not be uniform across the 870 market - some companies are tempted to go back to the SB750 or 710 to save a few pennies. The EVO is upgraded with "8+2" (still 4+1 but with 2x components) and a second x16 slot (although it's electrically still x4). USB 3 also makes the cut, despite the name not expressly stating so.

Roundup: Asus' latest AMD 8-series motherboards Asus' latest AMD 8-series motherboards Roundup: Asus' latest AMD 8-series motherboards Asus' latest AMD 8-series motherboards
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At the two ends of the spectrum there's the Asus 880G: M4A88TD-V EVO/USB3, the latest integrated graphics board that replaces the popular 785G. As an EVO model it gets the same 8+2 (4+1 x2) and second PCI-E x16 slot that's again x4 electrically. The board still includes the SB850 southbridge for SATA 6Gbps, although one is moved to permanent eSATA duty. As the name suggests USB3 is also a feature.

On the right, the M4A89TD-Pro/USB3 is Asus' 890FX - the non-USB3 version we reviewed last week. It follows the MSI GD70 mentality of moving the northbridge under the power hardware and includes a basic two PCI-E x16 lanes, an x4 and the usual 6 SATA ports as well as two USB 3.

Roundup: Asus' latest AMD 8-series motherboards Asus' latest AMD 8-series motherboards
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Finally there's the micro-ATX M4A88TD-M EVO/USB3 - the shortened version of the ATX M4A88TD above, but with the USB 3 ports on a separate 1x PCI-E daughterboard instead. Confusingly, despite the EVO name, the power hardware is the usual 4+1 too.
Tags 870x, 880g, 890fx

13 Comments

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dackroyd 3rd May 2010, 09:43 Quote
for a second it looked like a return of the ISA port with the brown PCI-E on the pictures on the right
[USRF]Obiwan 3rd May 2010, 11:03 Quote
Why does asus still use ide ports (and in such weird places) and why does asus not use 90dgr. sata ports on amd motherboards.
cgthomas 3rd May 2010, 11:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by [USRF
Obiwan]Why does asus still use ide ports (and in such weird places) and why does asus not use 90dgr. sata ports on amd motherboards.
I agree on that, although in this case it's not a problem not having those 90 degree ports. Because the card won't obstruct them.
Unlike my P6T deluxe, amazing motherboard but really bad sata port layout, now I can't run SLI because I'm using all 6 ports :(
Picarro 3rd May 2010, 12:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by [USRF]Obiwan
Why does asus still use ide ports (and in such weird places) and why does asus not use 90dgr. sata ports on amd motherboards.

I still use an IDE port for an old HDD of mine. The HDD still works so no reason to bin it. I just use it to store .torrent files and backup my music and store a complete folder with all the programs I would need for a fresh install.
javaman 3rd May 2010, 12:16 Quote
Good Job so far it seems ;) Now for Gigabyte and MSI's offerings.
Zurechial 3rd May 2010, 14:05 Quote
Is it the lighting in the photos or is there really that much brown? :|
It's like playing Quake!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Picarro
I still use an IDE port for an old HDD of mine. The HDD still works so no reason to bin it. I just use it to store .torrent files and backup my music and store a complete folder with all the programs I would need for a fresh install.

I really don't think the few-and-far-between examples of situations where an IDE port are useful in this day and age justify its inclusion in modern motherboards.

They could free up so much space on the board both in terms of traces and the socket itself and thus improve layouts with the extra space.
Why oh why do companies insist on including IDE? :(

On low-end motherboards, fine - But if I pay a few hundred for a high-end motherboard it's a safe bet I'll be pairing it with high-end components, not decades-old IDE drives!
Farfalho 3rd May 2010, 16:35 Quote
I thought that the C4F would also be part of this article. In AMD's motherboards, only the high-end get the 90º sata ports. The IDE is completely unecessary for such mobo - medium to high-end. Someone who invests on such parts has the money and desire to buy something new and fast, not a slouch.

One question that has been annoying me: Is it possible to use a x1 PCI-E card on a PCI-E x16 slot?
TSR2 3rd May 2010, 20:49 Quote
@farfalho: Yes, in fact Bit sometimes does it (like for the USB3 cards review) so that they can be sure there's the maximum bandwidth available.
I seriously hope the PCB isn't that awful shade, I thought that went out of fashion about 5 years ago (I think my old board with ISA slots was a kind of beige/khaki)
SuicideNeil 4th May 2010, 01:37 Quote
For ~80 squid the matx board looks like pretty good value, shame Im not in the market really as my current build is only a year old roughly. I agree on the IDE being redundant these days- if you really have to use an IDE HDD or optical drive you can buy IDE-USB2/ Sata adaptors for a fiver; no more origami IDE cable folding required...
Nikols 4th May 2010, 17:00 Quote
So out of all the 890fx boards which is best? Was gonna get the m4a89dt pro but it looks badly layed out so I just went for the crosshair iv instead which is pretty much the same price and looks like someone really thought about the layout
Initialised 4th May 2010, 21:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikols
So out of all the 890fx boards which is best?
Crosshair 4 Extreme
flibblesan 4th May 2010, 22:18 Quote
Asus really need to make some mATX AMD gaming boards.
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