Author: Greg Baden
- The BIOS
- Utilities & Features
- Testing Procedures
- Testing – CPU Testing
- Testing – System & Memory Testing
- Testing - Video Testing
- Testing – Gaming
- Final Thoughts
The MSI 890FXA-GD65 has a lot to offer with its plethora of utilities, Military Class components, one of the most advanced ATI chipsets currently available and the ability to adapt for future hardware. This board fully supports the upcoming AM3+ processors right out of the box, so you can ensure that you have stable upgrade system for the future. In addition to the AM3+ support, it also has the latest technologies including two USB 3.0 ports and six SATA 6GB/s ports.
The board itself is also going to last you a while because of the Military Class components built into it. A Hi-c CAP has 8x the lifespan of a standard solid capacitor, which is made with the rare element Tantalum to support high temperatures when overclocking. The Military Class Icy Choke offers a lower and more stable temperature than your standard ferrite chokes, giving the motherboard a more stable supply of power. Finally, the Solid CAP provides the capacitors a 10 year lifespan with its aluminum coating to provide lengthy and reliable capacitors.
Looking at the board you’ll notice the brownish/black PCB with black and blue alternating components. Overall the board isn’t too crowded, so you shouldn’t have many issues regarding components hitting up against each other.
The CPU socket is pretty standard and evenly spaced from the components around it. You’ll also notice the 4-pin PWM power connector for the CPU fan, Solid capacitors, and 8-PIN power connector for the CPU on the opposing side of the Military Class heatsink.
The four RAM slots follow the alternating black and blue color scheme and obviously only put out on Dual channel, rather than Triple channels. To run in Dual channel mode you must have the RAM placed in slots 1 & 2, the black slots, or in all four slots; otherwise the RAM will put out in single channel mode. The 890FXA-GD65 can support up to 16GB of RAM at 1.5 Volt DDR3 800, 1066, 1333 or 1600, 1800 and 2133 overclocked. Slightly down the side you’ll find the six SATA 6GB/s white ports, which match the four white SATA cables provided with the motherboard. The ports are parallel with the motherboard and are stacked two high, three across; nothing out of the ordinary.
Along the bottom of the mainboard are all of your pinned connections including your clear CMOS jumper, front panel connections, TPM module, chassis intrusion, front panel audio, S/PIDF-out, serial port, CD-in, and two internal USB. Moving up the left side you’ll find the two blue PCI-E x16 slots, as well as a black PCI slot all the way towards the bottom, two PCI-E x1 between the x16 slots, and an additional two x1 slots above the top x16 slot.
The northbridge uses the AMD 890FX chipset and has a larger heatsink with an MSI label, while the southbridge has an AMD SB850 chipset and a smaller heatsink. Both of the heatsinks aren’t very extravagant like on some other boards, but it’s enough to get the job done. Your back panel ports are pretty well laid out, starting from the top (or left) you have the PS2 port for a mouse/keyboard, two USB 2.0 ports, followed by the clear CMOS button, then coax and optical SPDIF-out, an additional six USB 2.0 ports with 10/100/100 LAN connection, two USB 2.0 ports and finally the 6 audio ports.