AMD has been dominating the HTPC market for some time now with its impressive IGP range. The 790GX chipset with an integrated Radeon HD 3300 graphics card and the 785G with an integrated Radeon HD 4200 GPU have what Intel was able to offer by far not only in terms of performance but also in terms of value surpassed consumers.
Current motherboard offerings with the well-rounded AMD 785G chipset can be purchased for just $ 60. Higher quality versions cost around $ 90. In the meantime, Intel lagged behind the brand because the G45 chipset with integrated GMA X4500HD graphics was simply not up to the task. With the release of the new Core i3 / i5 32 nm processors last January, Intel introduced the most powerful GMA HD graphics engine to date.
As we all know by now, Intel's latest graphics engine is built into the processors, although users still need a specific motherboard and chipset to use it. The chipsets H55, H57 and Q57 were introduced for these new processors. As of today, the cheapest H55 motherboards are sold for $ 85 while most are sold for around $ 100, which makes them a little more expensive than competing 785G motherboards. The 785G chipset is very similar to the GMA HD / H55 combination in terms of features, price and performance.
It seems that AMD wants to keep its clear advantage in this segment, and for this purpose they have been preparing a more powerful chipset for some time. Today we're looking at the new AMD 890GX chipset with integrated Radeon HD 4290 graphics and SATA 3.0 support (6 Gbit / s).
The 890GX is the Asus M4A89GTD Pro / USB3. This new AM3 motherboard has a 10-phase CPU VRM that will support future AMD CPUs with 140 W TDP, namely the upcoming Hexacore processors. The M4A89GTD also uses the AMD SB850 south bridge, which offers six SATA ports (6 Gbit / s), while an additional JMicron JMB361 controller offers an IDE connection and a single eSATA port (3 Gbit / s).
The expansion slots include a pair of PCI Express 2.0 x16 slots (x8 / x8 if both are occupied), two PCI slots, a PCIe x1 and a PCIe x4 slot. Connectivity includes 8 + 2-channel HD audio with optical SPDIF output, Gigabit Ethernet, USB 3.0 ports, Firewire and display connectivity, including DVI, D-Sub and HDMI.
All in all, this is an impressive looking motherboard and should be the perfect catalyst to showcase the new 890GX chipset from AMD.