Enter The 890FX Chipset
To coincide with the launch of the Phenom II X6 processor family, AMD is also launching the enthusiast class 890FX chipset. As its name suggests, the 890FX is very similar to the 890GX, minus the integrated graphics core. The 890FX, however, also sports some additional PCI Express lanes for true x16 / x16 CrossFire support...
AMD 890FX Chipset Block Diagram
Above is a high-level block diagram of the new AMD 890FX / SB850 chipset. As you can see, the chipset supports AMD socket AM3 processors with DDR3 memory, and features a total of 42 PCI Express lanes, with flexible configuration options.
Other features of the 890FX chipset a full HT 3.0, 5.2GT/s link between the CPU and NB. A an Alink Express III interface with 4GB/s of bandwidth between the 8F0GX and SB850. The SB850 features all of the typical amenities of a modern chipset; USB 2.0, HD Audio, Gigabit Ethernet, PATA, and PCI are present. In addition, the SB850 also features an additional pair of PCI Express Gen 2 x1 lanes, along with native support of SATA 6G.
AMD 800-Series Chipset Feature Comparison Chart
The 890GX and 890FX aren't the only members of the 800-series chipset family, however. The chart above breaks down the features of the 890FX, 890GX, 870, and 880G chipsets, along with their companion southbridge chips. Like the previous generation 770, the 870 is a pared down version of the 890GX without a graphics core. The 880G, however, does feature a DirectX 10.1 IGP, albeit a less powerful one than what's incorporated into the 890GX.