Test setup and results :
The operating system used was Windows 7 professional. 3D and game tests with the IGP (ATI4290) and then retestested with a GTX 285. The latest drivers were used for the mainboard and GPU's. Here a quick rundown on the setup being used :
Now let's see what this little puppy can do :
With the IGP the 3dmark06 run is jerkovision time. 3D01 score was more acceptable, take note that we got a very good boost by using all of the UMA memory (512Mb). With only the sideport memory activated (128Mb) performance was abominable. Once we plugged in the GTX 285 performance improved drastically. Performance is close to the 790FX chipset based motherboards, but like said before we are comparing apples to oranges here. 890GX is not intended to be the super performance platform, it's more multimedia budget orientated. Albeit not a bad showing for the little ASrock.
With Superpi and Wprime32 there's not much differentiating the older platform and the new kiddo on the block. The 890GX can keep its head up high.
Superpi32Mb clearly shows that it will take the new 890FX to dethrone the current 790FX flagship. Trailing by 26 seconds, running all boards at clock for clock speeds, clearly points out how efficient the aging 790FX chipsets are. Wprime1024 result was more of a photo finish. This board is not lacking in the CPU department.
Moving onto to Cinebench. We are still using the older version R10 to keep track of the previously tested boards. The 890GX is not being slaughtered, but as previous tests pointed out the lesser ram performance, these results are quite normal. This is purely chipset limited and has got nothing to do with the ASrock design.
Time to see where the rams performance get's crippled. Sadly it's at all fronts, read, write and copy are all underperforming compared to a 790FX. No wonder it lost almost half a minute at Pi32mb. Note that all timings are manually set and are set at the tightest, yet stable setting.
The HD video encoding test is no surprise either, rendering 2-3fps less than the other two boards listed here. The slow HD write and ram performance are the guilty ones.
The PCMark2005 HSD test suite makes the new 850SB work hard. And it pays off; the XP Startup is blistering fast. Even the App loading is right in the middle of the pack. I'm wondering what the 890FX chipset will bring extra in performance here. Fun weeks ahead...
Max HT was tested by starting from 200 HT clock and slowly upping the HT clock (keeping CPU speeds around 3.4Ghz with a low NB speed). The clock had to be Superpi 32mb, X264, Everest and Wprime stable. If one of these tests failed (usually X264) the HT would be lowered one clock and retested. This till I regained total stability. Reminding you, all these tests were done on boxed air cooling and with only 2 Corsair GTX2 DIMMs installed. Better cooling usually yields better results. (other boards have been retested with newer biosses, so scores are slightly different from previous reviews)
Ram was tested in a similar way. Starting with 200HT clock and the rams at 1600Mhz C6-6-6-1 1T Unganged mode. The Corsair GTX2 rams are rated 1800Mhz C6-6-6-24. So you know it's not the rams limiting. CPU and NB speeds were kept low to rule out the CPU. The ASrock shows the strength of the new 8 series chipsets. High ram clocks are no problem. We even topped at 1900Mhz CL7 perfectly stable)