Today we are going to take a look at the A990FXM-A, the first socket AM3+ motherboard from ECS, supporting the forthcoming “Bulldozer” CPUs from AMD and coming with three PCI Express x16 slots.
The AMD 990FX chipset is basically an AMD 890FX chipset with a new name, but supporting the higher HyperTransport 3.0 speeds that weren’t used before and that will be supported by the “Bulldozer” processors. (The HyperTransport 3.0 bus supports speeds of 7.2 GB/s, 8 GB/s, 9.6 GB/s, and 10.4 GB/s, but current AMD CPUs support speeds only up to 8 GB/s, a.k.a. 4 GT/s; Bulldozer CPUs will support transfer rates of up to 10.4 GB/s, a.k.a. 5.2 GT/s. Click here for more information.)
The AMD 990FX chipset is targeted to the new socket AM3+ platform, while the 890FX chipset is targeted to the socket AM3 platform. This way, AMD is providing an easy way to identify the platform through the chipset name. Socket AM3+ motherboards support the forthcoming AMD CPUs based on the new “Bulldozer” architecture. So, even though the chipset is basically the same, 890FX motherboards won’t support this new generation of AMD processors.
We are always happy to see that ECS took our constructive criticism very seriously. In the past, their motherboards used 300 different colors, looking more like a parade float than a motherboard. The A990FX-M has a very sober appearance, with colors that match and make sense. ECS is finally on the right track in regards to the appearance of their products.