Asustek Weds AMD FX Platform with PCI Express 3.0 in New Mainboard

Asus to Release Socket AM3+ Mainboard with PCI Express 3.0

by Anton Shilov
01/11/2013 | 10:43 AM

After Advanced Micro Devices cancelled code-named Komodo processor in favour of Vishera, the company’s high-end desktop platform lost any ability to obtain support for PCI Express 3.0 till at least late 2014. However, Asustek Computer has managed to make impossible possible with its Sabertooth 990FX/Gen3 R2.0 mainboard, which enables PCI Express 3.0 support on AMD FX platform.


Asus Sabertooth 990FX/Gen3 R2.0 motherboard is based on AMD 990FX/SB950 chipset and is designed for microprocessors in AM3+ packaging, such as AMD FX, AMD Phenom II and other. The mainboard is made for performance enthusiasts, hence it has robust 8+2 digital phase power design, highly-reliable components, advanced overclocking capabilities, as well as support for 4-way multi-GPU graphics technologies, including AMD CrossFireX and Nvidia SLI.

Since current-generation AMD FX microprocessors do not support internal PCI Express connectivity, while AMD 990FX only supports PCI Express 2.0, Asustek had to install a special PCI Express 3.0 bridge chip made by PLX (according to TechPowerUp web-site). The 48-lane PCIe 3.0 PLX chip lets two PCI Express x16 slots to operate at PCIe 3.0 data-rates, which may boost performance of high-end multi-GPU configurations.

While Asustek Computer has already published all the specifications and features of the Asus Sabertooth 990FX/Gen3 R2.0 mainboard, it is unknown when exactly the mainboard is supposed to enter the market. Since the board was demonstrated at the Consumer Electronics Show this week, it is logical to expect mass availability this quarter. The regular Sabertooth 990FX motherboard costs $179 online at the moment, the version with PCI Express 3.0 will probably cost $200 - $210 when available.

AMD’s high-end FX platforms will gain official support for PCI Express 3.0 along with the release of next-generation high-performance desktop and server central processing units, which is expected to happen in late 2014.

Asus Sabertooth 990FX/Gen3 R2.0 mainboard features extensive coolind mechanisms onboard