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Products > Hardware > Motherboards > MSI K8N DIAMOND PLUS Socket 939/nForce4 SLI x16/A&DualGB Motherboard > Reviews

MSI K8N DIAMOND PLUS Socket 939/nForce4 SLI x16/A&DualGB Motherboard Reviews
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Cesar 4/13/13 4:58 AM
The MSI 890GXM-G65 is positioned as a mid-range, fully-featured yet reucded size motherboard for AMD's AM3 socket. Compared to the previous age group 790GX, the largest change is support for SATA 6.0Gbps and the inclusion of DirectX 10.1 along with a slightly quicker integrated graphics processor (IGP). Also, additional PCIe Gen 2 lanes make it simple for manufacturers to add third party controllers for things like USB 3.0.When it comes to features, the MSI 890GXM-G65 has pretty much all counting optical audio out, HDMI/DVI (You can use either HDMI or DVI but not both), VGA, USB 3.0, 2x PCIe slots, eSATA, and more. (Firewire is missing but I don't need it anymore) It also has many BIOS options for overclocking and core unlocking. (I was able to unlock and overclock my Phenom II 720 from a 2.8GHz triple core to a 3.2 quad core and optimize memory performance while undervolting the system to reduce power consumption and heat) The MSI BIOS includes a few only one of its kind features such as M-Flash that allows you to update your BIOS from within BIOS! using any detected storage device. (I used a USB card reader with the update stored on a SD card!) The other significant BIOS feature is support for manifold profiles, so you could make presets for overclocked, stock, and low power configurations. Finally, for those who care, there is no floppy disk drive connector, but there is a single PATA port for up to 2 devices.For normal users such as the home/office/home theater crowd, the MSI 890GXM-G65 is an brilliant all-around board that delivers a bunch of features and fantastic performance at a low price. For serious overclockers and computer enthusiasts, but, the board is a bit disappointing. Despite the military-class components, fancy heatpipe cooling, and capable BIOS, the 890GXM-G65 is let down by MSI's choice of rather vital CPU power components, which seems to regulate overclocking headroom. My CPU works fine at 3.4GHz core clock and 2.6GHz CPU-NB on a 790X board, but using the 890GXM-G65, no amount of voltage would stabilize the chip at those speeds. (The system boots and benches, but fails linpack and other stress tests) Also, the board doesn't answer well to overclocks that push CPU-NB or memory timings, requiring a blue-collar CMOS reset instead of involuntarily reverting. Despite the relatively modest overclocking capabilities, but, I reckon the the military-class components and beefed-up cooling make this board an ideal candidate for applications where higher than normal operating temperatures are expected. (such as small form-factor low-profile home theater systems)I currently use my system for work and light gaming, and with begrudgingly settling on a modest overclock, I'm satisfied with the overall performance. I'm using the IGP and Windows 7 64-bit and all has worked as expected. (I downloaded graphics and system drivers directly from AMD and MSI) I reckon the MSI 890GXM-G65 does a lot of things well, and it can fit all but the most demanding users.

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