AMD 890GX SB850 Chipset Debut: Phenom II X6 Ready

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Test Setup and SANDRA

Test System Configuration Notes: When configuring our test systems for this article, we first entered their respective system BIOSes and set each board to its "Optimized" or "High performance Defaults". We then saved the settings, re-entered the BIOS and set the memory speed to DDR3-1333 with 8,8,8,24 timings. The hard drives were then formatted, and Windows 7 Ultimate x64 was installed. When the Windows installation was complete, we updated the OS, and installed the drivers necessary for our components. Auto-Updating and Windows Defender were then disabled and we installed all of our benchmarking software, performed a disk clean-up, defragged the hard drives, and ran all of the tests.

 HotHardware's Test Systems
 Intel and AMD - Head To Head
System 1: 
AMD Phenom II X4 965
(3.4GHz Quad-Core)

Asus M4A89GTD PRO
Gigabyte 890GPA
(AMD 890GX Chipset)

2x2GB Kingston DDR3-1600
(@ 1333MHz, CAS 8)

Radeon HD 4290 IGP
On-Board Ethernet
On-board Audio

WD150 "Raptor" HD
10,000 RPM SATA

Windows 7 x64
Catalyst Drivers v10.3b

System 2: 
Core i5 750
(2.66GHz - Quad-Core)

Asus Maximus III Formula 
(P55 Express Chipset) 

2x2GB Kingston DDR3-1600
(@ 1333MHz, CAS 8)

GeForce GTX 280
On-Board Ethernet
On-board Audio

WD150 "Raptor" HD
10,000 RPM SATA

Windows 7 x64 
Forceware v190.62
System 3:
Core i5 661
(3.33GHz - Dual-Core)

Asus P7H57D-V EVO
(H57 Express Chipset)

2x2GB Kingston DDR3-1600
(@ 1333MHz, CAS 8)

Intel HD IGP
On-Board Ethernet
On-board Audio

WD150 "Raptor" HD
10,000 RPM SATA

Windows 7 x64
Intel HD Graphics

System 4:
Core 2 Q9650
(3GHz - Quad-Core)
Core 2 Quad Q9400
(2.66GHz - Quad-Core)

Gigabyte X48T-DQ6
(X48 Express Chipset)

2x2GB Kingston DDR3-1600
(@ 1333MHz, CAS 8)

GeForce GTX 280
On-Board Ethernet
On-board Audio

WD150 "Raptor" HD
10,000 RPM SATA 

Windows 7 x64 
Forceware v190.62
System 5:
AMD Phenom II X4 965
(3.4GHz Quad-Core)

Asus M4A79T Deluxe
(AMD 790FX Chipset) 

2x2GB Kingston DDR3-1600
(@ 1333MHz, CAS 8)

GeForce GTX 280
On-Board Ethernet
On-board Audio

WD150 "Raptor" HD
10,000 RPM SATA 

Windows 7 x64 
Catalyst Drivers v10.3b
 Preliminary Testing with SiSoft SANDRA 2010
 Synthetic Benchmarks


We began our testing with SiSoftware's SANDRA 2010, the System ANalyzer, Diagnostic and Reporting Assistant. We ran three of the built-in subsystem tests that partially comprise the suite with AMD's 890GX chipset (CPU Arithmetic, Multimedia, and Memory Bandwidth).  All of the scores reported below were taken with the Phenom II X4 965 processor running at its default clock speed of 3.4GHz with 4GB of DDR3-1333 RAM running in dual-channel mode, using the Radeon HD 4290 IGP on Gigabyte's 890GPA-UD3H motherboard.


CPU Arithmetic


CPU Multimedia


Memory Bandwidth

When paired to a Phenom II X4 965 processor, the 890GX chipset performs as expected in the various SiSoft SANDRA benchmarks that we ran. As you can see, the systems performs on par with similar reference machines in SANDRA's database, including those listed in the memory bandwidth test. Typically, an IGP will sap a bit of memory bandwidth, but the GB motherboard we used for testing is outfitted with 128MB of dedicated Sideport memory, which minimizes the IGP effect on system memory bandwidth while at the Windows desktop, or running apps that don't consume the full 128MB.


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