Summing everything up, AMD's new chipset is a success. In our recent review, talking about the graphics part of the new Clarkdale processors, we supposed that Intel had a chance to take the upper hand on the market of integrated graphics solutions, but now we have to take back our words. Although AMD has not implemented any new technologies into its integrated graphics core and only increased the clock rate of the already available solution, the AMD 890GX is indeed the chipset with the fastest graphics core right now.
Besides, the AMD 890GX has one more advantage in comparison with Intel's integrated graphics platform as it can work with any Socket AM3 processors. That is, it can work together with CPUs that have one, two, three, four or even six processing cores in systems of varying degree of computing performance. Intel cannot offer this flexibility in configuring your integrated platform since the new Intel HD Graphics core is located not in a chipset but inside the processors of the Clarkdale series.
The AMD 890GX is interesting with its other capabilities, too. This chipset offers a full-speed PCIe 2.0 bus for the additional interface controllers and, thanks to the new South Bridge, natively supports Serial ATA 6 Gbps. In other words, mainboard makers can use the AMD 890GX to release modern products at the minimum cost of extra onboard controllers. This should make integrated platforms with Socket AM3 processors cheaper.
That said, the AMD 890GX has such capabilities that can make it suitable not only for low-end computers. This chipset not only supports discrete graphics cards but also allows building CrossFireX configurations. So, mainboards based on the AMD 890GX chipset can be targeted at enthusiasts and the two products from ASUS and Gigabyte tested in this review are practical examples.
The first mainboards on AMD's new chipset are at least equal to the previous-generation products and even superior to them in some respects. The support for new interfaces and technologies, good performance, compatibility with the upcoming six-core CPUs, and superb overclocking options - all this should attract users to AMD 890GX-based products.
Choosing among the offerings from the leading mainboard makers, we'd recommend you to consider the ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3 in the first place. Although not without some peculiarities, this mainboard has a lot of indisputable benefits such as a handy design, low power consumption, broad options to control system fans, the technology to unlock disabled CPU cores, and excellent CPU overclocking features. The relatively high price is the only reason why we cannot call this mainboard perfect.
On the other hand, the AMD 890GX should not be considered at all if a low price is your priority because mainboards on the earlier AMD 785G chipset, which has but scarcely lower functionality, cost much less today. And this fact may prevent AMD's new and highly promising integrated chipset from getting really popular.