Foxconn A88GM Deluxe Motherboard Review

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The new AMD 880G chipset is based on Radeon HD 4250 graphics engine, which is a slower version of the graphics engine used on AMD 890GX (Radeon HD 4290). This way 880G-based motherboards are cheaper than 890GX-based ones. AMD 880G chipset is normally paired with AMD SB710 south bridge chip, but on A88GM Deluxe the manufacturer decided to use SB850, which is the south bridge chip from AMD 890GX, providing native support for SATA-600 ports. This way A88GM Deluxe is one step above other motherboards based on the same chipset.

In the table below we provide a comparison between AMD 880G and other chipsets with integrated graphics from AMD. As explained, Foxconn A88GM Deluxe uses SB850 south bridge chip and not SB710 as default and therefore it supports six SATA-600 ports, 14 USB 2.0 ports and RAID 5.

Chipset AMD 890GX AMD 880G AMD 785G AMD 780G AMD 760G AMD 790GX
GPU Clock 700 MHz 560 MHz 500 MHz 500 MHz 350 MHz 700 MHz
Graphics Processors 40 40 40 40 40 40
Engine HD 4290 HD 4250 HD 4200 HD 3200 3000 HD 3300
DirectX 10.1 10.1 10.1 10 10 10
PCI Express 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0
South Bridge Chip SB850 SB710 SB710 SB700 SB710 SB750
USB 2.0 Ports 14 12 12 12 12 12
SATA-300 Ports None 6 6 6 6 6
SATA-600 Ports 6 None None None None None
RAID 0, 1, 5, 10 0, 1, 10 0, 1, 10 0, 1, 10 0, 1, 10 0, 1, 5, 10
ATA-133 Ports 1 (2 devices) 1 (2 devices) 1 (2 devices) 1 (2 devices) 1 (2 devices) 1 (2 devices)

Other chipsets with on-board video from AMD include AMD 690V, AMD 690G, AMD 740G and AMD 780V. AMD 690V, AMD 690G and AMD 740G are based on a DirectX 9 graphics engine, while AMD 780V is based on a DirectX 10 one. AMD 780V is based on Radeon HD 3100 engine, which runs at 400 MHz – clock is the main difference between HD 3100, HD 3200 and HD 3300 engines.

Like SB750, SB850 south bridge chip supports an overclocking feature called “Advanced Clock Calibration” or simply ACC. How exactly this new feature works is completely obscure, as AMD does not explain how it works in details. All we know is that SB850 provides a feedback loop to Phenom/Phenom II processors using some unused CPU pins, allowing you to unlock hidden features from the CPU – most commonly unlocking an extra CPU core on triple-core CPUs. You can read more about this feature here and here.

As you may know by now, on systems with integrated video the video memory is achieved by stealing part of the main RAM. Chipsets from AMD have a feature called SidePort, which is an optional memory chip soldered on the motherboard in order to increase video memory. The reviewed motherboard doesn’t have this feature.

Before going to our tests, let’s take an in-depth look at Foxconn A88GM Deluxe motherboard.

Author: Gabriel Torres

Gabriel Torres is a Brazilian best-selling ICT expert, with 24 books published. He started his online career in 1996, when he launched Clube do Hardware, which is one of the oldest and largest websites about technology in Brazil. He created Hardware Secrets in 1999 to expand his knowledge outside his home country.

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