Multi-videocard Crossfire gaming systems are what the
AMD 890FX is built for. The six physical PCI Express 2.0 x16 slots can be run
in a variety of configurations depending on the number of
videocards installed. Dual Crossfire runs at (x16/x16), triple Crossfire runs at (x16/x16/x8) and quad Crossfire runs at (x16/x16/x8/x8)
In this corner of the Gigabyte GA-890FXA-UD7 motherboard are the six
6Gb/s SATA III ports and the Port 80 card for debugging.
Gigabyte GA-890FXA-UD7 motherboard comes with this water block attached.
We'll talk about this waterblock and the other passive Silent-Pipe heatsink shown below
that can be used instead in more detail on the next page.
DDR3 memory slots and physical power
and reset buttons which are illuminated. Socket AM3 CPU socket below.
Gigabyte have another interesting feature that plays
off the rear I/O USB ports - it's called USB3x Power Boost.
USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports natively supply electricity to power external
peripherals, but if too many devices or power intensive devices are attached
this can cause the USB bus to shut down. Standard USB 2.0 ports are
limited to 500mA maximum load, and the USB 3.0 specification increases this to 900mA. On the Gigabyte GA-890FXA-UD7
motherboard both of these voltage potentials are increased, so more
devices or things like external hard drives can be powered by the USB ports
USB2.0 power levels increase from 500mA to 1500mA, and USB 3.0 power
levels are bumped up from 900mA to a maximum 2700mA. This isn't going
to change the performance of any USB device, but it will stop some especially
power hungry things like external 2.5 inch hard drive enclosures from conking
out unexpectedly and increase overall system stability if you use a lot of USB
devices (and who doesn't?).
Now, lets go in for a closer look at that northbridge
waterblock and the large passive northbridge heatsink also included with this