AMD 9-Series Chipset (990FX) Launch Review
featuring ASUS RoG Crosshair V Formula Motherboard
and MSI 990FXA-GD80 Motherboard
Back in April 2010 AMD launched their 890FX chipset, a new high end product which was designed to be combined with their high end Phenom CPUs, maximising gaming performance through the use of 2x16 PCIe configurations (or quad card CrossFire if desired). Since then motherboard manufacturers have been building boards based around this chipset which natively supported SATA 6Gb/s and we have seen some impressive products from all of the major manufacturers.
In the same timeframe Intel have worked their way up to the Z68 chipset in the mainstream/enthusiast area with that product launching just a couple of weeks ago for the latest generation of Core i3-i7 processors.
It's no secret that AMD has plans to expand their CPU range and that more often than not gives a CPU maker the chance to refresh their chipset offerings and that's what we have today, the launch of the 990FX chipset (and 900 series Southbridge options) which lay the groundwork for AM3+ CPUs but also bring one key feature to the AMD platform, SLI.
Today we will be taking a look at two AMD 990FX boards and comparing them to a similarly spec'd Z68 system to find out what the new boards offer in today's marketplace. As always we will be focusing on motherboard specific tests such as USB3, PCIe and SATA 6Gb/s tests with a few more general benchmarks thrown in for good measure.