MSI 890GXM-G65 Motherboard Review Featuring AMD Latest 890GX Chipset

Motherboards/AMD AM3 by massman @ 2010-03-25

Today we have a look at MSI´s 890GXM-G65 motherboard featuring the new AMD 890GX chipset and compare it against that other HTPC solution: Intel´s Clarkdale.

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Test setup and methodology

Test setup

Massman's Review Hardware
  • Intel Core i5 661
  • AMD Phenom II X4 965 BE
  • Cooling
  • CoolerMaster V8
  • Sunbeamtech Core-Contact Freezer
  • OCZ Freeze cooling paste
  • Mainboard
  • Intel DH55TC
  • MSI 890GXM-G65
  • Videocard"see: cpu and mainboard section"
    Memory 4x2GB Corsair Dominator 1600MHz CL8-8-8-24 1.65V, v3.1
    (p/n: CMD8GX3M4A1600C8)
  • Western Digital WD3200KS
  • Acard ANS-9010
  • PSU Antec Truepower 1KW

    Test Methodology :

    To test the performance, we used the following benchmarks.

  • Cinebench 10: Single and Multi CPU
  • Hexus Pifast
  • Lavalys Everest: Read, Write, Copy and Latency
  • PCMark05: System, CPU, Memory, Graphics and HDD subtest
  • Resident Evil 5: 1280x720x32bit, no quality
  • SuperPi 1M and 32M
  • TechArp X264
  • Winrar
  • Wprime 32M and 1024M

    Operating System: Windows 7 64-bit.

    Next to that, we ran each configuration at two different settings: stock and overclocked to 3.8GHz. For the overclocked settings, we prefer to refer to the screenshots underneath showing the different test settings. Please note that we have optimised the Phenom II test setup in the overclocked test setting by increasing the IGP clock frequency and tuning the HT Link and NB frequency. All configurations are useable 24/7, so no extreme overclocking here.

    Intel Core i5 661 configuration - Left: 3.40GHz (turbo), right: 3.80GHz

    Madshrimps (c) Madshrimps (c)
    (Click to enlarge)

    For the stock comparison, we enabled turbo mode as this a feature of the Intel processor. Since this Intel mainboard offered little to no bios options to tune our configuration, we just increase the BCLK as high as possible. No alterations were performed to tune the memory or graphics processor subsystem. At the moment of testing, no GPU-Z was available that was able to correctly show the GPU specifications.

    AMD Phenom II X4 965 BE + 890GX configuration - Left: 3.20GHz, right: 3.80GHz

    Madshrimps (c) Madshrimps (c)
    (Click to enlarge)

    As you can see, we have increase the GPU clock frequency to 950MHz in the overclocked test setting. Also, please make a note of the 1600CL8 8GB memory configuration: handling 8GB of memory isn't the most easy task to do, but both the mainboards as the memory itself gave us very little problems when tuning.

    AMD Phenom II X4 965 BE + 785G configuration - Left: 3.20GHz, right: 3.80GHz

    Note: since we did not have the same 785G configuration at our disposal, no 785G at all for that matter. So, we have included the performance numbers of the same configuration (CPU/MEM), but outdated drivers, to show you 'where we come from'. Purely for reference, in other words.

    Madshrimps (c) Madshrimps (c)
    (Click to enlarge)

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