MSI 890GXM-G65 Review
Sometimes conclusions come easily. A product has a certain market, or has one particular feature that springs to mind, and the words just flow. Other times I can sit for a while mulling over what to say.
Today is one such time. But not for a moment because the MSI 890GXM-G65 is bland, bad or so good I'm speechless. Because it covers so many bases and can be so many different things, that it's difficult to know where to start.
Out of the box we have a very attractive, compact motherboard based upon the latest AMD chipset and with plenty of bells and whistles. Although it might be that only two PCIe slots could be considered few, in all honesty how many of you have 4 or 5 slots populated? Most of us have one graphics card and maybe a soundcard or similar, and so two will actually be plenty.
Firstly this is an excellent HTPC or internet motherboard. The on-board HD4290 certainly wont win any awards for 3D performance, but it's definitely capable of running all the HD media we threw at it. It's compact and, because of everything being on-board and fanless (CPU apart) you wont have to have the speakers pumping to drown out your PC. As an internet or small office PC the low power consumption is definitely advantageous and with a decent CPU you could have a good system for a shed-load less than many of the "internet ready" PCs you can get from your local emporium.
So what if you've just brought a humdinging six-core beast and want to blow the doors off something? It's pretty much got that covered too. Although our test setup today was a mild CPU and mid-range GPU we certainly got decent results. With a single GPU of awesomeness, and a 1090T or similar it would be as good a gaming rig as almost anything around. The fact that in a Crossfire setup you drop to 8x/8x does mean it's probably best as a single GPU base than for twin 5870s or something.
It overclocks well, without being pant-wettingly exciting. It just took the lead at the head of our X4 620 overclocking boards by 1MHz on the Base Clock, but was much happier at 250MHz. It's not for the want of voltages, with some frankly hilariously high numbers attainable from the BIOS.
The main difference between this and the older 790 boards is really the SATA 6Gbps and the USB3.0, so if you're looking to upgrade and aren't going to get the maximum out of those two elements, it's probably not really worth it.
However, if you're thinking of building a system and want high-performance, a great feature set and all for the decent price of £120, the MSI 890GXM-G65 comes with our OC3D recommendation.