AMD 790FX-Based Motherboards
Motherboards based on the 7-series chipsets have actually been available at a few on-line resellers for a couple of weeks now, a couple of which are pictured below. First up, we have the Asus M3N32-MVP Deluxe.
The Asus M3N32-MVP Deluxe is based on the high-end AMD 790FX chipset. It’s equipped with four PEG slots and supports 4-way CrossFire, but the slots are configured in such a way that 4-way CrossFire is only supported with single-slot graphics cards; with dual-slot cards installed the fourth slot is unusable. The board also features integrated WiFi, Firewire, HD audio and a heavy-duty chipset cooling solution. Another interesting feature of the M3N32-MVP Deluxe is what Asus refers to as ‘Cool Mempipe’ technology. Cool Mempipe is basically a removable, adjustable heatsink apparatus that links system memory to the chipset cooler, for enhanced cooling performance.
We worked briefly with the Asus M3N32-MVP Deluxe and found its BIOS to be very complete. The board we received, however, was not the same revision that will hit retail shelves, so all of our testing was done using the Gigabyte GA-MA790FX-DQ6.
Like the Asus board, the Gigabyte GA-MA790FX-DQ6 is built around the 790FX chipset. And it too supports 4-way CrossFire, but its slot PEG slot configuration is even more limiting because all four slots are adjacent to one another.
We’ve worked with this motherboard for a couple of weeks now. We used the Gigabyte GA-MA790FX-DQ6 to test Phenom and Athlon processors, and found it to be extremely stable and user friendly. The BIOS requires users the press CTRL-F1 to access all of its features, but when you do there are options aplenty. One important feature missing in the current BIOS, however, is the ability to alter CPU multipliers with Phenom processors. We suspect that’s coming with a future revision though.
Finally, we also have some shots of an MSI 790FX based motherboard on-line. The MSI motherboard has the most flexible slot configuration in our opinion, as it can accommodate four double-wide graphics cards. You can see the MSI 790FX board in action right here.