Let’s take a look at one of the motherboards based on the AMD 890GX chipset released by ASRock, featuring SATA-600 and USB 3.0 ports and three PCI Express x16 slots.
We have already posted a detailed comparison between AMD chipsets with integrated video. In summary, AMD 890GX graphics engine has the same basic specs as AMD 790GX’s, but being a DirectX 10.1 part, not a pure DirectX 10 part as its older brother. The main difference on AMD 890GX is the use of a new south bridge chip, called SB850. This south bridge chip natively supports SATA-600 ports (a.k.a. “SATA 6 G”) and in fact this is the first chipset to arrived on the market with this feature (currently on motherboards based on other chipsets featuring SATA-600 ports an external controller chip must be used).
So far ASRock released two models based on AMD 890GX: 890GX Extreme3, which is the model we are taking a look, and 890GM Pro3. We created a table showing the main differences between these two products. As you can see 890GX Extreme3 is a more complete model, using the ATX form factor, while 890GM Pro3 is a microATX product. Both use only solid Japanese capacitors, but 890GX Extreme3 uses a better voltage regulator (10+1 phases against 4+1 on 890GM Pro3). Both have 128 MB “SidePort” memory.
|890GX Extreme3||890GM Pro3|
|Memory||4 sockets||4 sockets|
|PCI Express x16 slots||Three||One|
|PCI Express x1 slots||One||One|
|SATA-600||Six ports||Five ports|
|eSATA||One eSATA-300 port||One eSATA-600 port|
|USB 3.0||Two ports||One port|
|Audio Codec||VIA VT2020||VIA VT2020|
|Networking||One Gigabit Ethernet port||One Gigabit Ethernet port|
|Video Outputs||VGA, DVI-D, HDMI||VGA, DVI-D, HDMI|
In Figure 1 you can have an overall look from ASRock 890GX Extreme3.
As mentioned, this motherboard has 128 MB video memory soldered on the motherboard. In Figure 2, you can see the 1 Gbit GDDR3-1333 chip (1 Gbit = 128 MB) in charge of this feature.