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MSI 890FXA-GD70 AMD 890FX Motherboard Review
MSI 890FXA-GD70 AMD 890FX Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
With this enthusiast class motherboard from MSI, the maker has dedicated 32 lanes from the 890FX total available PCI Express 2.0 bandwidth for videocards, spreading it over four PCI Express 2.0 x16 slots.
 80% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: MSI Apr 27 2010   J. Apong  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > MSI 890FXA-GD70

Overclocking MSI's 890FX Motherboard

Overclocking Results:
stock max. oc
motherboard speed: 200 mhz 240 mhz
if you're new to Overclocking and not sure what to do, check out these two excellent Guides for some pointers:
Overclocking the CPU and Memory
Overclocking the Videocard

PCSTATS started off the MSI 890FXA-GD70 overclocking tests by dropping the multiplier on the AMD Phenom II X6 1090T CPU from 16x to 8x, and disabling features like Cool'n'quiet and CPU C1E power states.

A set of DDR3-1600MHz memory modules from Corsair were installed into the MSI 890FXA-GD70 motherboard and set to run at DDR3-800 mode with the 1:2 divider.

The bus speed of the motherboard was increased from the stock setting of 200MHz and raised in increments of 15MHz. It was possible to hit 215MHz and 230MHz without any issues, but speeds of 245MHz and 250MHz caused the system to crash in Windows 7 or fail to POST. A final stable bus frequency speed of 240MHz was reached after some testing, with no voltage adjustments above the default levels.

LED lights are all over the MSI 890FXA-GD70 motherboard, indicating overall system status and letting you know at a glance if any hardware isn't connected properly.

A 240MHz system bus overclock is about average for AMD chipsets, and with more voltage tweaking it could be possible to overclock even further. As always results may vary from system to system.

The system control buttons are touch sensitive, so all you need to do is swipe them with your finger to activate them. Just be careful around the reset and power buttons if you're reaching into your computer while the system is still running.

Next up, power draw measurements and PCSTATS test system specs... then it's on to benchmarks!

Measuring Energy Efficiency

Energy efficient computers are a good thing, so it helps to know how power efficient, or power hungry different parts of a computer are when stressed with different tasks. Since it is very difficult to isolate a videocard or CPU and measure power draw separately, PCSTATS measures total system power draw with the aid of an Extech 380803 AC Power Analyzer and A-PFC compliant PC Power and Cooling 750W power supply. The meter is placed between the 120V AC outlet and the PC power supply. By stressing the test platform's graphics solution or processor, it's then possible to measure power draw relative to the PC at an idle state.

The test system is measured at Idle (Windows desktop), Graphics Loaded (3Dmark06) and CPU Loaded (Prime 95) states.

Total System Power Draw

Graphics Solution

Idle Graphics Loaded CPU Loaded

nVidia Geforce GTS250
(Discrete Graphics)

130w 276w 231w
(At desktop) (via 3Dmark 06) (via Prime95)

The AMD 890FX chipset has a very modest TDP of only 19.6W, so even in a CPU-loaded state the total system power draw is only around 231W. When paired with a modest discrete graphics card you could even put the MSI 890FXA-GD70 into a low-power, passively cooled system.

Prelude to Benchmarks

The details of how the MSI 890FXA-GD70 motherboard test system was configured for benchmarking; the specific hardware, software drivers, operating system and benchmark versions is indicated below. In the second column are the general specs for the reference platforms this AMD 890FX based motherboard is to be compared against.

Please take a moment to look over PCSTATS test system configurations before moving on to the individual benchmark results on the next page.

PCSTATS Test System Configurations
test system reference system #1 reference system #2 reference system #3
processor: amd phenom ii x6 1090t amd Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition

Intel Core i5 750

Intel Core i7 920
CPU Process Technology: 45nm 45nm 45nm 45nm
Socket: Socket AM3 Socket AM3 Socket LGA1156 Socket LGA1366
Clock Speed: 16x 200MHz = 3.2 GHz, Turbo Core @ 3.6GHz (1090T)

16 x 200 MHz = 3.2 GHz

20x 133MHz = 2.66 GHz 20x 133MHz = 2.67 GHz
Motherboard: MSI 890FXA-GD70 (AMD 890FX)
Gigabyte GA890FXA-UD7 (AMD 890FX)

Biostar TA890GXE (AMD 890GXE)
Gigabyte GA-MA790FXT-UD5P (AMD 790FX)
MSI 785GM-E65 (AMD 785G)
ASUS M4A785TD-V Evo (AMD 785G
Gigabyte GA-MA785GMT-UD2H (AMD 785G)
Gigabyte GA-MA785G-UD3H (AMD 785G)

Gigabyte GA-P55A-UD6 (P55 Express)
GA-P55-UD6 (P55 Express)
GA-P55-UD5 (P55 Express)
Gigabyte GA-P55A-UD4P (P55 Express)
GA-P55-UD3R (P55 Express)
ASUS P7P55D-E Pro (P55 Express)
ASUS P7P55D Premium (P55 Express)
P7P55D Deluxe (P55 Express)

MSI Eclipse Plus (X58 Express)
MSI X58 Platinum (X58 Express)


(Geforce GTS250)


2x2GB Corsair XMS3-1600C9 DDR3

2x 2GB Corsair XMS3-1600C9

3x2GB Corsair TR3X6G1600C8D DDR3
Hard Drive:

74GB Western Digital Raptor WD740

Optical Drive:


Power Supply:

PC Power & Cooling TurboCool 750W


Athlon64 Reference Heatsink

Intel Reference 1156 Heatsink Intel Reference 1366 Heatsink
Operating System:

Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate (32-bit)


Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate
AMD Catalyst 10.3b
nVIDIA Forceware 195.62

Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate
AMD Catalyst 9.12
nVIDIA Forceware 195.62

Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate
nVIDIA Forceware 190.62

Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate
Intel INF
nVIDIA Forceware 182.08

System Benchmarks:
SYSmark 2007
PCMark Vantage
SiSoft Sandra 2009

Calculation B/M:
Super Pi 1.5
wPrime 2.0
ScienceMark 2.3
Bibble 5

Rendering B/M:
Cinebench R10
POV-Ray 3.7

Gaming B/M:
3DMark Vantage

< Previous Page © 2023 PCSTATS.com Next Page >


Contents of Article: MSI 890FXA-GD70
 Pg 1.  MSI 890FXA-GD70 AMD 890FX Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  Introducing AMD 890FX and SB850 Chipsets
 Pg 3.  Motherboard Highlights Photo Gallery
 Pg 4.  Inside the BIOS Options
 Pg 5.  — Overclocking MSI's 890FX Motherboard
 Pg 6.  Motherboard Benchmarks: Sysmark 2007
 Pg 7.  Motherboard Benchmarks: Sandra 2009
 Pg 8.  Motherboard Benchmarks: PCMark Vantage
 Pg 9.  Motherboard Benchmarks: 3DMark06, 3DMark Vantage
 Pg 10.  Motherboard Benchmarks: FEAR
 Pg 11.  MSI Back in the Game?

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