MSI details its 790FX Phenom/Quad CF board

October 10, 2007 // 9:46 p.m.

Tags: #agena #am2 #amd #barcelona #crossfire #fx #k9a2 #mainboard #motherboard #msi #phenom #platinum #quad #x

No doubt you're probably bored of the glut of Intel news that has filled the tubes over the last few months, and you'll therefore be pleased to hear that MSI has finally given AMD fans something to harp about: its K9A2 Platinum.

Based the latest AMD 790FX chipset, which offers 32 PCI-Express 2.0 lanes spread over either two x16 or four x8 slots. This is AMD's equivalent to the Intel X38 chipset which also offers some of the same features.

The K9A2 Platinum supports both new AM2+ and AM2 processors: either Phenom, Athlon or Sempron, and has four PCI-Express x16, two PCI and one PCI-Express x1 slot. AMD still uses DDR2 memory but with socket AM2+ and Phenom, 1,066MHz will be considered fairly 'standard.'

Other on-board features include a Realtek Gigabit Ethernet port, Realtek High-Definition audio, ten USB 2.0, two VIA 6308P Firewire and six SATA 3Gbps ports - two of which are from a PCI Promise controller. Powering most all of this is the antiquated ATI SB600 chipset, which fortunately has a single IDE channel but only four native SATA 3Gbps ports.

An orientation change to the CircuPipe heatpipe array featured on the P35 and X38 MSI boards is included on top of the 790FX chipset now instead. The design change is described as providing a 20 percent performance increase over 'the others'. However, I don't really see how claiming you're more power efficient than Nicole Kidman can help though.

Finally there's five phase power, but the four-pin 12V and Molex power sockets are nestled between the rear I/O and heatpipes. Software features provided include Dual CoreCell and D.O.T. Express on the fly overclocking as well. From the looks of the board, the K9A2 Diamond should have a second Gigabit Ethernet and perhaps offer the SkyTel card we saw with the P35 Diamond.

If you're still interested in Phenom, is this the kind of board for you? Or is it lacking in certain features? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.


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