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Gigabyte 890FXA-UD7 AM3 Motherboard Review

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MAC

Associate Review Editor
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Earlier this year, in coordination with the launch of the new Phenom II X6 six-core processors, AMD unveiled the enthusiast-oriented 890FX chipset. This chipset's claim to fame is the fact that it has 32 PCI-E lanes dedicated to solely to graphics use, which is a healthy boost over the mainstream 890GX's 16 PCI-E lanes. What this allows for on is proper x16/x16 dual graphics card configurations, x16/x8/x8 triple graphics card configurations, and even x8/x8/x8/x8 quad graphics card configurations on properly equipped motherboards. The motherboard that we are reviewing today is one such motherboard.

The GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD7 comes packed with six mechanical PCI-E x16 slots, and it's not just for show, this motherboard is one of the few to support 4-way CrossFireX. Because of all these expansion slots, GIGABYTE have had to lengthen the PCB by 0.8 inches past the 12 inch ATX specification. As result, this model is deemed to have a non-standard XL-ATX form factor. What this means is that the 890FXA-UD7 is not compatible with many of the popular ATX cases on the market right now.

It is not all bad news though. With that extra space, GIGABYTE have outfitted this model with
six USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, two SATA 3Gb/s ports, six SATA 6Gb/s ports, two eSATA ports, two FireWire ports, and dual GbE LAN ports. They even found room for legacy IDE and floppy ports. Speaking of unusual additions, this motherboard has been outfitted with a small removable water block, and thankfully GIGABYTE have redesigned the heatsink upon which this water block rests, so we are hoping to see some improved cooling performance. For air cooling enthusiasts, the new and improved Hybrid Silent-Pipe 2 module has been included in the bundle. This is a supplementary large fin array that can be attached to the northbridge cooler in order to maximize air cooling.

The GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD7 is by definition an enthusiast-oriented motherboard, and before
the recent arrival of the eye-watering ASUS Crosshair IV Extreme, it was the most expensive AM3 motherboard on the market. Can it justify its $250 CDN price tag? Let's find out!

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MAC

Associate Review Editor
Joined
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Location
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Specifications

Specifications



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The 890FX/SB850 chipset combo featured on the GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD7 is AMD's most advanced and most expensive northbridge/southbridge pair. It is part of the newly introduced "Leo" platform, and it natively supports CrossFireX technology through its 38 PCI-E 2.0 lanes. AMD has given sole discretion to motherboard manufacturers to choose how to distribute the lanes. Theoretically, the 890FX can support up to four 8x PCI-E 2.0 slots for quad-CrossfireX technology. However, fitting four dual-slot video cards onto the motherboard essentially requires space for eight PCI slots, resulting in a very long motherboard outside of ATX size specifications. The GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD7 is a prime example of such a motherboard. For users who are satisfied with running only two video cards, the PCI-E slots will automatically switch to a 16x/16x format, ensuring that the PCI-E lane is not the bottleneck in data transfer between the video card and the 890FX.

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In terms of connectivity, the new SB850 southbridge provides the 890FXA-UD7 with SATA 6.0Gbps support. While the SB850 does not support the new USB3.0 specification, all manufacturers have implemented this new technology by utilizing a third party USB3.0 controller connected to the 890FX through a PCI-E 1x lane. The PCI-E 1x lane has a theoretical bandwidth of 500MB/s, which is more than enough to support this new technology.

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890FX Northbridge on the left, SB850 Southbridge on the right - Click on image to enlarge

To be honest, the differences between AMD’s previous flagship chipset, the 790FX, and the 890FX are not great. Both are manufactured under the 65nm process, and the main noticeable difference between the two platforms is the lack of support for DDR2. In other words, you won’t be able to find an 890FX/SB850 motherboard supporting DDR2 on the market. Furthermore, the TDP of the 890FX was raised to 19.6W versus 10W for the 790FX. This is due the implementation of IOMMU into the 890FX which benefits virtualization. As a result, for users who never use virtualization, the TDP between the chipsets remains relatively the same.

For a more in-depth look at the 890FX/SB850 chipset combo, venture over to "AMD’s 890FX Chipset: An Evolution for the AM3 Platform" where we discuss the finer details of the combo and its capabilities.

Now that we have examined some of this new chipset's specifications, let's see what kind of motherboard Gigabyte have built around the 890FX/SB850 combo, starting with the specifications:

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Next up we shall take a look at this motherboard's packaging and accessories bundle.
 

MAC

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Joined
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Packaging & Accessories

Package & Accessories



Now that we have examined the 890FXA-UD7's chipset and laid out its specifications, it is time to take a look at the packaging and the included accessories. At $250CDN+, this model is among the most expensive AMD motherboard's on the market (eclipsed only by the recently unveiled ASUS Crosshair IV Extreme), so we expect to be impressed by the presentation and included goodies. Let's check it out:

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Here we have the now familiar double-sized packaging that GIGABYTE reserves for its high-end model. This packaging gave us some Deja Vu, since it is effectively identical to the one used with the X58A-UD7 LGA1366 motherboard that we reviewed back in January. As mentioned above this is a sizeable package, measuring a full 12.5 inches tall, 14.5 inches wide, and a 5.5 inches thick.

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Once you open the packaging you are greeted with an inner box with a handle, which itself contains two seperate section. The top tray houses the motherboard, which is well-secured in its protective cardboard and plastic enclosure, so you definitely don’t have to worry about this motherboard getting damaged while in transit.

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The bottom half contains the accessories, the numerous instruction manuals, and the installation CD. Here is a break down of the included items:

  • Floppy Cable
  • IDE Cable
  • 4 SATA Cables
  • 2-port eSATA PCI Expansion Bracket (with accompanying eSATA cables)
  • 2 CrossFire bridge connectors
  • I/O Panel
  • Manuals & Installation guides
  • Installation CD
  • Gigabyte Sticker

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As we have come to expect from Gigabyte, the bundled cables are of a high quality. In particular, we like the fact that all four of the cables come with handy 90 degree connectors, and all cables have one connector with a metal clip that ensures that they remain securely fastened to your HDD/ODD/SSD. GIGABYTE actually listened to our recommendation in the X58A-UD7 review and ditched the yellow cables in favour of sleeker blue ones. Kudos GB! The two-port eSATA bracket further enhances this motherboard's already impressive connectivity options, and comes with a very handy external molex connection, which could be used to power external radiator fans for a water cooling system or simply a hard drive. Highlighting this model's 4-Way CrossFireX capabilities, there are two CrossFire bridge connectors included in the bundle.


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Last but not least is the new Hybrid Silent-Pipe 2 module. This is an additional heatsink unit that can be attached to the northbridge cooler in order to maximize air cooling, but only once you remove the default water block. We have had a contentious relationship with the Hybrid Silent-Pipe design in the past, but the 890FXA-UD7's northbridge cooler has been designed in a such a way that the H.S.P.2 might actually help improve temps this time around. We will be checking that out in a later page.
 

MAC

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A Closer Look at the 890FX-UD7

A Closer Look at the 890FXA-UD7



Without further ado, here is the 890FXA-UD7 in all its blue and white glory:


Although it may not look it, the 890FXA-UD7 is slightly larger than the standard ATX form factor. This motherboard measures 12.8" long by 9.6" wide, just outside the 12" x 9.6" ATX spec, and thus gets slapped with the new and unofficial XL-ATX label. This is noteworthy because obviously many cases don't have that extra 1 inch of clearance needed to accommodate this motherboard, so definitely do your homework before buying one.

Layout-wise, GIGABYTE have done a great job with this model. The 8-pin CPU power connector, 24-pin ATX power connector, SATA ports, USB and FireWire headers are located on the edge of the motherboard, which is both convenient and functional. The power-on and reset buttons are not quite on the edge, but they are still very easy to reach. The IDE and floppy connectors are situated in an unfortunate location, but when you consider that few people use these legacy interfaces, and there is no where else on the PCB for them, we can excuse this design choice.

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This particular motherboard is outfitted with an 8+2 phase power design. This means that there are 8 phases powering the CPU cores and 2 phases dedicated to the integrated memory controller. This might not seem like a lot compared to 16-24-32 phase Intel motherboards, but AMD processors have simply don't have as high a maximum power load as contemporary Intel chips do.

The aluminium finned MOSFET heatsinks are attached to the northbridge cooler via a thick heatpipe. There is also a flattened heatpipe connecting the northbridge cooler to the small southbridge heatsink, but we'll take a look at that later. Under the MOSFET heatsink is a newer generation of MOSFET ICs, which run cooler and have a much lower profile.

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The baby blue & white memory slots have minimal spacing, but unless your memory sticks have truly outrageous heatspreaders, there shouldn't be an issue filling up all four channels. Having said, the memory slots are quite close to the CPU socket, and this will cause clearance issues between the CPU cooler and tall memory modules.

On the power front, the memory slots are being fed by perfectly respectable 2-phase power design. Right next to the memory VRM are the power-on and reset buttons, a must on any self-respecting enthusiast motherboard.

This model has been outfitted with both IDE and floppy ports, which should make legacy lovers happy but we're hoping that this is the last generation of motherboard that features these long antiquated interfaces.

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As you can see, the southbridge cooler on this motherboard is very small, but then again it is cooling a chip that is just 50 x 70 mm in size and which draws less than one watt at idle.

The six blue SATA 6Gb/s ports come from the SB850 southbridge and support RAID 0/1/5/10/JBOD. GIGABYTE's proprietary SATA2 RAID controller feeds the white SATA ports, which are SATA 3Gb/s only and support RAID 0/1/JBOD.

This motherboard has a clear CMOS button, which is actually covered with a little plastic cap to prevent accidentally triggering it, right next to the SATA ports. It can be quite handy if things go horribly wrong, but we would still prefer to have it located on the rear I/O panel. The onboard debug/post code LED display is a welcome addition as well.

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The orange USB is GIGABYTE's new On/Off Charge USB header, which allows users to charge their iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch even when the system is powered off. Click here to read our article on this new technology.

A Gigabyte trademark, the 890FXA-UD7 features two physical BIOS chips ensuring instant recovery in the case of an improper BIOS update or a nasty virus.
 

MAC

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Messages
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A Closer Look at the 890FX-UD7 pt.2

A Closer Look at the X58A-UD7 pt.2



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The 890FXA-UD7's greatest selling point is its ability to handle four dual-slot graphics cards. In order to accomplish this feat GIGABYTE's engineers had to make the PCB a little larger than usual, hence the XL-ATX form factor, but it is a worthwhile trade-off.

As mentioned previously, the 890FX has 38 PCI-E 2.0 lanes, 32 of which are dedicated towards graphics card bandwidth. In a dual graphics card configuration, the first and fifth PCI-E x16 slots will operate at the full x16 speed (x16/x16). When three graphics cards are installed, the top PCI-E x16 slot will be running at x16, while the third and fifth slots will operate at x8 (x16/x8/x8). If four graphics cards are installed, the first, third, fifth and sixth PCI-E x16 slots will operate at x8 (x8/x8/x8/x8).


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The northbridge heatsink is definitely the most impressive part of the cooling system, but it is far from perfect. The inclusion of a water block is nice, but how much of the chipset's heat output is being routed to the little overhang that the water block sits on is questionable. Northbridge cooling is fairly important on 890FX-based motherboards since the tiny 890FX chipset has an elevated 20W TDP.

At least this northbridge heatsink has exposed fins. The prior version of this heatsink featured on the X58A-UD7 had miniscule fins that were sandwhiched between two metal base plates, and thus were totally useless.


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For those wanting the best possible air-cooling, GIGABYTE have included the new and improved Hybrid Silent-Pipe 2 module. However, as mentioned above, given the way the Silent Pipe unit makes contact with the heatsink we can't imagine that the bulk of the chipset's heat output is being routed to the little overhang that the hybrid cooler attaches to. It does have some effect though, as you will see in our Temperature Testing section.

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Starting clockwise from top-left, we have the ITE IT8720F chip is an I/O controller which is responsible for hardware monitoring along with fan speed management. It also supplies the legacy floppy and PS/2 port support. Next is one of the two Realtek 8111D Gigabit LAN PCI-Express controllers. The onboard audio is provided by a venerable Realtek ALC889A, an eight-channel high definition audio codec. The JMicron JMB362 supplies the two eSATA/USB Combo ports on the rear I/O panel. A taste of the future is courtesy of the NEC D720200 chip, which is a USB 3.0 controller that supplies the two USB 3.0 ports on the rear I/O panel. Last but not least is the Core Boost IC, which can unlock additional cores depending on certain AMD processors. AMD have successfully disabled this feature in their southbridges, so a proprietary solution was required.

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On the rear I/O panel, there are two black USB 2.0 ports, one combo mouse/keyboard PS/2 port, optical and coaxial S/PDIF connectors, two types of FireWire ports, two yellow USB 2.0 ports, two yellow USB 2.0/eSATA Combo ports, two Gigabit LAN ports, two more black USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, and the six audio jacks. Keep in mind that the USB ports support GIGABYTE's proprietary 3x USB Power Boost feature.

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Unlike on the ASUS Crosshair IV Formula there are no MOSFET components on the back of this motherboard.

We are glad to see that GIGABYTE have foregone all pushpins on this model in favour of
springs, screws and washers to secure all points of the cooling system.
 

MAC

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Joined
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Messages
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Location
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Hardware Installation

Hardware Installation



In the Hardware Installation section we examine how major components fit on the motherboard, and whether there are any serious issues that may affect installation and general functionality. Specifically, we are interested in determining whether there is adequate clearance in all critical areas.


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With the little water block on top of the northbridge heatsink assembly, the overall height of chipset cooler is fairly high. We encountered no issues with our Thermalright Ultra-120 eXtreme, even though we used Thermalright's 120MM fan holder, which sits quite a bit lower than the actual heatsink.


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Adding the Hybrid Silent-Pipe 2 module doesn't create any additional clearance issues with respect to the CPU socket area. The heatsink module also doesn't interfere with the first PCI-E x16 slot.


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Since the DIMM slots are so close to the CPU socket installing memory modules with tall heatspreaders and a large CPU cooler will cause clearances issues on this motherboard. While reference height memory modules are fine, anything much taller cannot be inserted into the first two memory slots without making contact with the CPU heatsink. This is obviously a significant con for those planning to use four enthusiast memory modules.

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While the 24-pin ATX power connector is ideally placed, the 8-pin CPU power connector can be a little difficult to access as your fingers are jammed in between the heatpipe and the back of an I/O module. Those with larger hands/fingers will find the procedure particularly problematic.

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Thanks to the expansion slot layout, there is a nice gap between the memory clips and the back of the graphics card, so there are no problems there. Once again, the Hybrid Silent-Pipe 2 module doesn't interfere with the first PCI-E x16 slot, as long as your chosen graphics card doesn't have any protruding elements on its back side.


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This motherboard was designed with multiple graphics card configurations in mind, so there are no space issues...

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...having said that, if you use the fifth PCI-E x16 slot using the various headers at the bottom of motherboard obviously becomes a little more complicated, no impossible though. By the way, obviously keep in mind that a dual-slot graphics cards installed in the last PCI-E x16 slot will overhang the motherboard, so keep that in mind if you have a shorter case.


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The eight 90-degree SATA ports are obviously accessible no matter how many graphics cards are installed.

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There is really nothing on the back of the motherboard that would give us cause for concern regarding clearance issues with an aftermarket CPU cooler mounting bracket.
 

MAC

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BIOS Rundown

BIOS Rundown



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Here we have full screen logo that appears everytime the system is powered on. Thankfully, it can be disabled for those who want to shave some seconds from the bootup time.

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The initial selection screen should be broadly familiar to anyone who has used an Award-based motherboard in the past, and it conveniently lists the GIGABYTE-specific MB Intelligent Tweaker (M.I.T.) section as the first menu. This is where enthusiasts should expect to spend 99% of their BIOS time.

When you open the M.I.T. section you are greeted with all the essential system clock control options that a serious overclocker needs: CPU multiplier, northbridge multiplier, bus speed, PCI-E clock, HT Link frequency, etc. When you scroll to the bottom of the page you are presented with all the essential system voltages.


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When you enter the DRAM Configuration sub-menu, you are presented with the bus speed again, and then the memory multiplier and all the memory timings you could ever want.

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The Standard CMOS Features section displays all the connected storage devices some basic system memory information, and of course the date and time.

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The Advanced BIOS Features sub-menu is where you can enable or disable the various CPU-specific settings like C1E, Cool&Quiet, CPU Unlock, CPU Core Clock control, etc. This is also where you can disable IOMMU support, which you don't really need unless you're doing virtualization.

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The Integrated Peripherals and Onboard PCIE Devices sections are where you can enable or disable all of the various onboard devices (RAID & SATA 6Gb/s controllers, audio, USB 2.0, USB 3.0, FireWire, eSATA, GbE LAN, etc).

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The Power Management Setup section contains the power management settings linked to the power-saving sleep modes, it also allows you to enable/disable the new EuP standard.

As on most motherboards, the PC Health Status section is a slight disappointment since there is insufficient voltages and temperatures readouts. On a motherboard of this caliber there is no reason not to have all vital voltages available for scrutiny in the bios.


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This last screenshot is of the Q-Flash utility which is accessed via the F8 key. Since Q-Flash is built right into the BIOS and it can read files directly from a USB flash drive, BIOS flashing is now a simple and quick procedure. We have never experienced an issue with this well implemented tool, and it has certainly made the flashing process a little less stressful.
 

MAC

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Included Software

Included Software



Now that we have the motherboard unpacked and installed, it is time to take a look at some of the numerous software utilities that Gigabyte have bundled with the 890FXA-UD7.

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Here we have the familiar setup screens for the included software CD. It contains all the drivers and the unique Gigabyte utilities that you will need to get your system up & running. Obviously, we still recommend that you visit Gigabyte's website to get the very latest BIOS, drivers, and software revisions.


EasyTune6

EasyTune6 is a system management utility that displays system clock speeds, voltages, temperatures, and fan rotation but more importantly it allows users to overclock from within Windows. Anyone familiar with past EasyTune iterations knows that although this utility has always contained a fair bit of functionality, its ease of use left much to be desired. Thankfully Gigabyte went back to the drawing board and created a brand new EasyTune version from scratch. Let's check it out.

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The CPU and Memory tabs provide basic component information and are somewhat reminiscent of the widely used CPU-Z utility.

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The Tuner section is really the only one that's important. When you click on Advanced mode, the voltage tab is unlocked and three additional sliders appear: CPU ratio, memory frequency, and voltage.

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Not exactly an abundance of voltage options, right? We would have at least liked to see vDIMM and CPU/NB voltage presents. Without them ET6's overclocking utility is severely lessened.

Core Boost is the feature that can aid you in trying to unlock cores on certain dual and triple-core processors.

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The Graphics tab can be used to manipulate your graphics card’s core/memory/shader clock speeds. Unlike past versions of ET6, this section no longer allows you to control the GPU fan, nor monitor the GPU temperature.

The Smart tab gives users access to the Smart Fan feature which allows for finely-tuned control over the CPU fan speed.

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Lastly, we have HW Monitor which displays the bare minimum system voltages and voltage rails.

This is a high-end motherboard...comprehensive tweaking and monitoring should be standard. I think GIGABYTE might be relying a little bit too much on the AMD OverDrive Utility (AOD), they need to redesign ET6 a bit and cater it to their AMD motherboards.


Easy Energy Saver

Now let's have a look at the Easy Energy Saver energy saving solution.


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While not as advanced as their Dynamic Energy Saver (DES) 2 technology, Easy Energy Saver (EES) serves the same function, which is dynamically adjust CPU voltage and frequency in order to reduce power consumption. EES is solely focused on optimizing the CPU, whereas DES is a system-wide approach at power savings.


AutoGreen


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In effect, the AutoGreen utility can help reduce energy consumption when you are away from your computer by putting the system into a low power state when it doesn't sense your bluetooth-enabled cell phone in the vicinity. Once again, since there is no bluetooth receiver included, we didn't get a chance to test out this feature.


@BIOS


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This is GIGABYTE's Windows-based BIOS flashing utility. While we strongly recommend that you use the BIOS-based Q-Flash utility to do your flashing, @BIOS has never let us down yet.
 

MAC

Associate Review Editor
Joined
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Messages
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Location
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Test Setup & Methodology

Test Setup & Methodology



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Testing will occur on a Dimastech Test Bench Table Easy V2.5 and not in a traditional case. This allows easier access to the motherboard for the constant poking and prodding that is required during the reviewing process. The setup remained as pictured during the duration of the benchmarking and stability overclocking process.


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Overclocking Methodology


The overclocking section is definitely the part of our reviews that we take the most pride in, and we spend an excruciating numbers of hours testing, tweaking, failing, and succeeding in order to give you the best possible insight into each motherboard’s overclocking capabilities. After all, if you are anything like us, the overclocking section is the first (and often last!) part that you read when checking out a motherboard review.

For the purposes of this review, our overclocking efforts will primarily focus on three main areas: highest stable Bus Speed Clock (ie: bus speed) overclock, highest stable CPU overclock, and highest stable memory overclock. In these overclocking tests we put an emphasis on stability. While the question “What is stable?” could be debated endlessly, we have devised a methodology that combines a wide range of programs that test the stability of the entire system.

Here are some of the applications that will be run in order to validate each of the overclocks:

  • Six 32MB instances of SuperPi Mod 1.5 (via HyperPI 0.99b)
  • 1+ hours of Prime 95 v25.9 using the Stress Testing Blend
  • LinX 0.6.4 - 10 runs - use all memory
  • Multiple loops of 3DMark 06 (30 minutes of looping the full tests each)
  • 1 hour of game play in Left 4 Dead & Crysis @ 1680x1050

Altogether, the above suite should provide enough stress testing to ensure a completely stable overclock, however we are always up for new suggestions. As always, no two systems are ever alike, so your results may vary. Also, overclock at your own risk! If you aren’t fully confident in what you are doing, feel free to stop by our forums and our helpful community will be glad to offer some assistance.

Benchmark Methodology



For this review, we have compared the GIGABYTE GA-890FXA-UD7 to the
GIGABYTE GA-890GA-UD3H, ASUS M4A89GTD PRO, ASUS M4A78T-E, and ASUS M4A785TD-V EVO.


890FXAUD7_127.jpg

We have outlined the five setups in the sample graph above. The orange results are from GA-890FXA-UD7, the purple results are from the M4A89GTD PRO, the green results are from the GA-890GA-UD3H, the blue results are from the M4A78T-E, and the red results are from the M4A785TD-V EVO.

For all of the benchmarks, appropriate lengths are taken to ensure an equal comparison through methodical setup, installation, and testing. The following outlines our testing methodology:

A) Windows is installed using a full format.

B) Intel Chipset drivers and accessory hardware drivers (audio, network, GPU) are installed followed by a defragment and a reboot.

C) Programs and games are then installed followed by another defragment.

D) Windows updates are then completed installing all available updates followed by a defragment.

E) Benchmarks are each ran three times after a clean reboot for every iteration of the benchmark unless otherwise stated, the results are then averaged.

We have listed the benchmark versions above each graph as results can vary between updates. That should about cover everything so let's see what kind of numbers this motherboard puts up in the overclocking section and in our chosen suite of benchmarks.
 

MAC

Associate Review Editor
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Overclocking Results

Overclocking Results



Highest Stable Bus Speed Clock


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Using our self-imposed 1.45V Core and 1.35V CPU-NB voltage limits, we were able achieve a 327Mhz stable bus speed on the 890FXA-UD7. This is a solid result, but it's not as high as we were expecting from an enthusiast-class motherboard. This is not really a big deal though considering how cheap multiplier-unlocked AMD Black Edition processors are. Furthermore, when you consider that even the lowly Athlon II 240 has a high 14X multiplier, a 327Mhz bus speed would give you overclocking headroom up to a lofty 4.58Ghz.

For comparison sake, we were able to hit 340Mhz stable on the mainstream ASUS M4A785TD-V EVO using the same processor and voltage settings. Thankfully, we are happy to report that we didn't notice any FSB holes on the 890FXA-UD7, which has been an issue on other boards.

Here's a tip: If you are experiencing an FSB wall at around 260-275Mhz, change your tRFC memory timings to at least 110ns. It should give you a lot more FSB overclocking headroom.


Highest Stable CPU Overclock


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On the CPU core front, we were able to overclock our retail Phenom II X6 1090T from 3.20Ghz to 4.02Ghz with 1.45Vcore. This is roughly what we were able to achieve on two other AM3 motherboards, so no shortcomings here. Obviously, with some additional vCore (up to 1.55V is fairly safe) an even higher overclock could have been coaxed from our chip.


Highest Stable CPU Northbridge Overclock


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Our Phenom II X6 1090T sample is fairly average on the integrated memory controller front, but on the 890FXA-UD7 we were able to increase the CPU-NB frequency from the stock 2000Mhz to 2948Mhz at 1.35V. Most Phenom II X6 chips top out in the 2900-3000Mhz range, so clearly the motherboard didn't impede our overclocking endeavours.

Here's a tip: Make sure that you set your memory frequency at/or above DDR3-1600 if you really want to attain the highest possible CPU-NB frequency.


Highest Stable Memory Overclock


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We definitely had no complaints about this motherboard's memory overclocking capabilities. AMD's platform has never been great at memory scaling, but achieving a stable DDR3-1904 8-9-8 1T is a very solid result.
 
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