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GigaByte debuts Socket AM2 , AMD 790FX

Boards selling in Blighty, Germany, France, Croatia, Serbia...
Wed Oct 17 2007, 04:43

RUMOURED TO BE one of the best overclocking motherboards (prototype samples had HyperTransport 1.1 link working at 2 GHz bi-directionally - 4 GT/s or "GHz"), Gigabyte could not hold until AMD officially launches its Spider combo (Phenom + 790FX chipset + RV670 graphics chip).

They just had to launch, and this is what happened. Board under a name GA-MA790FX-DQ6 is now being sold in many retail and e-tail shops in Europe, for a price between 218.88 EUR to 268.75 EUR. In Blighty, board retails for 162.14 quid including Rip-Off (sorry, VAT).

One of e-tailes with the board in store...

Even though all e-tailers we visited were mentioning that the picture of the motherboard is not a picture of that product, this was just a default line of defence not to piss anyone off. Sorry guys, missed by a mile.

Board shown in pictures is no consisted out of RD790 Northbridge and SB600 Southbridge chips (together, they create 790FX chipset) Crossfire-X capable, 1GPU/2GPU/3GPU/4GPU, PCIe Gen2 motherboard with two Gigabit Ethernet ports, 7.1 surround sound (ALC889A, has there been any doubt about this one?), two eSATA ports, loads of SATA ports, and of course, 4-pin Molex connector (for PCIe power) located at absolutely inaccessible spot (below the last PCI slot).

The expansion connectors are divided into very simple setup of four PCIe x16 slots (electrical) and two PCI ones. PCIe slots can work as 2x PCIe Gen2 x16, 2x PCIe x1, or 4x PCIe x8 Gen2 (thus remaining the bandwidth of PCIe Gen1 x16). The whole Gen1/Gen2 is getting to be quite a mess, and it is my personal take that PCI-SIG royally screwed up on this one. Bandwidth should have been marked much simpler, e.g. double bandwidth of PCIe 1.1 (Gen1) x16 should have been marked as PCIe x32 instead of PCIe Gen2 x16 - but hey, this industry lives to confuse people.

Memory-wise, DDR2-533, 667, 800 and 1066 are supported, and in conjuction with Dual 64-bit controller inside Phenoms, some insane memory bandwidth scores will be achieved.

24 hours ago, I was having a conversation about the high HT1 clock achieved on this motherboard in Markham, I landed in Croatia and saw boards in channel in both Croatia and neighbouring Serbia. Needless to say, I was less than amused. If you use HT1 CPU, you can expect clocking to heaven's high numbers - if you get HT3 CPU such as Phenom something, then you can expect even higher clocking. Highest clock we've seen on one of reference boards was 2.6 GHz, or 5.2 GT/s - but we were told even 3 GHz (6 GT/s) should be reachable.

Now you know why Gigabyte put a double heatpipe on 790FX/SB600 combination, since we know that combination of two chips consumes less than 15W. RD790 chip eats 8W on its own, so even in highest possible overclock mode; you will be more than safe and sound with a default cooling setup. Now that's something new.

Somebody at Gigabyte has quite big pack of balls to come to market with a product AMD is protecting wherever you mention its name. µ

Google Search for motherboard... see the sea of e-tailers
Randomly clicked e-tailer #1 (board in stock)
Randomly clicked e-tailer #2 (5 boards in stock)

See Also
Spider platform pixellated
AMD 790FX eats only 8W
AMD chipset name revealed


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