Print 34 comment(s) - last by Warren21.. on Oct 26 at 3:13 PM

  (Source: MSI)
MSI announces its first RD790-based board

MSI today announced its K9A2 Platinum Motherboard based on AMD’s RD790 chipset, officially dubbed the 790FX. The 790FX serves as AMD’s primary single and dual-processor platform and replaces AMD’s antiquated 580X chipset. The new MSI board comes with support for a host of new features, including support for AMD quad-core processors and Crossfire X.

The K9A2 Platinum supports all AM2+ processors, which means it will work with AMD’s upcoming Phenom quad-core, tri-core and dual-core desktop processors. Existing AM2 processors are also supported by the newest board BIOS.

The 790FX also brings 41 PCIe 2.0 lanes to AMD’s AM2+ platform, allowing manufacturers flexibility in the number of PCIe slots integrated on the board. The K9A2 comes with four PCIe 2.0 x16 slots and supports AMD’s Triple-Play Technology. In addition, MSI goes a step further by offering Quad Crossfire capability on the mainboard. 

As of right now, AMD has not officially launched Triple-Play technology. MSI indicates, however, the official debut should take place soon. AMD guidance claims ATI RV670, Phenom and RD790 will simultaneously launch together next month.

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8 lane signaling
By johnsonx on 10/9/2007 11:25:31 PM , Rating: 2
K9A2 comes with four PCIe 2.0 x16 slots

It should be noted for clarity that those four x16 slots have x8 signaling.

RE: 8 lane signaling
By JAB on 10/10/2007 12:03:37 AM , Rating: 2
It should be noted for clarity that those four x16 slots have x8 signaling.

Yes but these are PCI-E 2.0 slots so they have double the bandwidth of PCI-E 1.1 In effect they are just as fast as 4 x16 slots.

It is a shame they did not link to the new ATI's budget RV670 coming out soon with 55 process and very good clock speed making it very possible that this could be the performance champion if they get the drivers worked out for quad crossfire.

RE: 8 lane signaling
By Flunk on 10/10/2007 12:35:45 AM , Rating: 3
I'm not sure I want a world where we all have to buy 4 overpriced graphics cards to run games properly.

RE: 8 lane signaling
By Treckin on 10/10/2007 1:51:54 AM , Rating: 2
actually, at 55nm and one card slot, they will be far cheaper to produce. Following AMD's current business model, I'd say we will likely see a few are very competitive price points (the new G92 is still on 65 nm, and the G90 is on an 80nm process). I would expect to see a new revision with for more aggressive clocks in the core which could push ATI over the Nvidia hump

RE: 8 lane signaling
By Dactyl on 10/10/2007 6:32:47 AM , Rating: 2
4 x $250 is a lot to pay, but compared to buying two 8800 Ultras, it's actually a bargain!

For the rest of us, 1 or 2 RV670s should be enough!

I don't think the world will come to that (needing 4 gfx cards just to play a game). For one thing, studios like id and valve go out of their way to make their games accessible to low end/mid-range gamers.

RE: 8 lane signaling
By dflynchimp on 10/10/2007 10:07:52 AM , Rating: 2
that is, until power consumption eats up your wallet.

way too few people ever take power consumption into the equation. Looking at the upfront cost is inadequate if they're going to be using the same system for a couple of years. For those who leave their systems running 24/7 this is even more of a problem.

assuming dual crossfire alone idles at 200W+ when paired with a quad core proc, and can break 400W when under stress, a quad-crossfire setup could easily require 300W+ just idling, and shoot past 500-600W under load.

RE: 8 lane signaling
By Spuke on 10/10/2007 11:32:13 AM , Rating: 2
I've never noticed the power consumption of my two computers in my electric bill. It just doesn't make ANY difference in my household. Running the A/C in August or filling the propane tank is what makes my wallet sore.

RE: 8 lane signaling
By dflynchimp on 10/10/2007 9:26:11 PM , Rating: 2
that's because computers are used year round, and thus are part of the "background" electric consumption. try going one month without turning on the comps and you'll definitely see the difference.

RE: 8 lane signaling
By Zoomer on 10/12/2007 12:08:51 AM , Rating: 2
I'd take average computer power consumption = 250w, display included.

You'll need to run it for 4 hours to use 1 kwH. That's like, what, 8¢?

That's $14.4 if run continously over a 30 day month. If you turn off your display when you sleep / not there, it would be less/make up for the higher consumption when gaming.

RE: 8 lane signaling
By DigitalFreak on 10/10/2007 8:30:35 AM , Rating: 2
Only if you use a PCI-E 2.0 graphics card in them.

RE: 8 lane signaling
By johnsonx on 10/10/2007 2:39:30 PM , Rating: 2
I didn't say the slots aren't fast, or even that x8 signaling is bad did I? I said it should be noted for clarity that the physical x16 slots use x8 signaling. As someone else pointed out, you only get the PCIe 2.0 speed with a PCIe 2.0 card, of which there aren't any yet.

RE: 8 lane signaling
By flurazepam on 10/10/2007 8:32:27 PM , Rating: 2
41 lanes is incontrovertible for 4 by x8

what about Intel?
By Screwballl on 10/9/2007 10:06:43 PM , Rating: 3
Kind of rare that there isn't a release for a similar board in the LGA 775 trim. I would rather go this route being able to use my E6600 and be able to use Crossfire on that then be stuck with a next best AM2 socket for now.
Oh well I will keep my eyes out to see if it gets released

RE: what about Intel?
By IcY18 on 10/9/2007 10:12:32 PM , Rating: 2
It's called the X38.

RE: what about Intel?
By psypher on 10/10/2007 6:58:18 AM , Rating: 1
AMD is not going to release a chipset for Intel chips... Especially not with their latest and greatest features. That would be dumb.

"Here you go Intel. I know that I am trying to regain market share that I lost to your Core chips, but why don't I just make a sweet Quad Crossfire platform for you so your Core customers have another great platform yo choose from. It's ok, I don't mind the lost chip sales..."

RE: what about Intel?
By dflynchimp on 10/10/2007 10:10:46 AM , Rating: 2
dude, AMD makes all of its crossfire drivers available to Intel.

It's a trade off, really. People are more liable to upgrade their graphics cards at a faster rate than their CPUs. since Intel chip sets are still the dominant force on the market enabling crossfire on them helps AMD's graphics section(ATI) move more cards.

RE: what about Intel?
By 1078feba on 10/10/2007 10:37:24 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, but, and correct me if I am wrong, they make their gaphics cards drivers available for Intel chipsets running Intel procs.

But they are not going to make a board that runs their own chipset (AMD) that also runs an Intel proc just to increase GPU sales. Well, they might, but they definitely would not make available all the bells and whistles. Then they'd just be cutting their own throat.

I know that AMD has really managed to screw up the PR for their products the last few years, but I also just have to believe that someone, somewhere in that company, and likewise at NVidia, has sat down and crunched the numbers to figure out if they would make a net gain by licensing SLI/XFire to an intermediate competitor for use on that competitor’s chipsets.

EX: If we (Nvidia) license SLI to Intel for use on Intel’s chipsets, will what we make in increased GPU sales make up for what we lose in chipset sales?

RE: what about Intel?
By 1078feba on 10/10/2007 10:40:21 AM , Rating: 2
One other thought: Stand by. Things are going to get ridiculously interesting if/when Intel gets into discrete graphics and starts throwing money at problems that NVidia/AMD are too cash-poor to solve.

By Visual on 10/10/2007 6:27:56 AM , Rating: 2
so is the socket fully am2+ on this board? meaning it supports all the new features of the am2+ chips?
hypertransport 3, with all its features? higher, independent, reconfigurable clockspeeds, power management, etc?
independent power planes for each cpu core and all that?

what is the price and when will it be available?
got any words on dual-socket boards coming too?

RE: AM2+
By dm0r on 10/10/2007 7:53:02 AM , Rating: 2
The K9A2 Platinum supports all AM2+ processors, which means it will work with AMD’s upcoming Phenom quad-core, tri-core and dual-core desktop processors. Existing AM2 processors are also supported by the newest board BIOS.


RE: AM2+
By Visual on 10/10/2007 8:25:55 AM , Rating: 2
That is not an answer - yes, AM2+ processors are supported, meaning they will work at least basically. But are all their features supported?
Even a lot of current AM2 boards will "support" the new AM2+ chips after a bios update, just not with all the bells and whistles. This is why I am asking.

RE: AM2+
By murphyslabrat on 10/10/2007 12:18:51 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, it will support all of the features. This chipset, RD790FX, is the flagship socket AM2+ chipset. Undoubtedly, it will support all of the new features, ?assuming that the bios supports it?

so the hardware supports triple play, eh?
By Fenixgoon on 10/9/2007 10:56:19 PM , Rating: 3
and precisely what software does?

not trying to beat down the mobo at all, but like the ageia physx card - going with 2 video cards is expensive, let alone 3 (even a low end one).

i'm not sure about most people, but i try and sell off as much old hardware as possible to bring down the cost of new hardware.

By mars777 on 10/10/2007 2:09:07 PM , Rating: 2
Is there a possibility to use old cards in Crossfire with newer ones?

Smells like a winner
By dm0r on 10/10/2007 7:13:54 AM , Rating: 3
The 790FX also brings 41 PCIe 2.0 lanes to AMD’s AM2+ platform

This chipset is really promissing

RE: Smells like a winner
By anonymo on 10/10/2007 8:44:14 AM , Rating: 2
Ah beat me to it...and people are concerned over buying 4 video cards..pfft.

By mWMA on 10/14/2007 4:57:12 AM , Rating: 2
Finally I can build a SFF with crossfire without needing a huge power supply.
RD790 NB using less than 10watts.
RV670 using less than 120watts.
Now if AMD can release a high performance CPU that uses less than 50-55 watts and I will be set.

By Warren21 on 10/26/2007 3:13:47 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, good luck getting this ATX board into a ' SFF box'.

Will we ever see SLi with RD790?
By cheetah2k on 10/10/07, Rating: -1
RE: Will we ever see SLi with RD790?
By bryanW1995 on 10/10/2007 12:52:01 AM , Rating: 2
nvidia has not licensed sli to intel, either. there were rumors (later proven false) that they were going to with 975 boards, and there have been rumors now, too, but it looks like nvidia wants the sli market all to themselves...:(

RE: Will we ever see SLi with RD790?
By cheetah2k on 10/10/2007 1:27:03 AM , Rating: 1
Are you sure?

The key notes here being:


NVIDIA nForce 100 Media and Communications Processors Provide An Exciting SLI-Ready Platform for Intel Customers
Intel demonstrated its new “Skulltrail” motherboard at this week’s Intel Developers Forum in San Francisco, CA. Skulltrail is a dual-socket motherboard that is targeted at ultra-high-end desktop enthusiasts and workstation customers.
The Skulltrail motherboard uses Intel's workstation “Stoakley” chipset designed for 2P CPU operation (1P configurations are not supported).
To enable NVIDIA SLI support, Intel has purchased NVIDIA nForce 100 SLI MCPs from NVIDIA.
The NVIDIA nForce 100 MCP converts a single x16 PCI Express Gen 1 bus into dual x16 PCI Express Gen 1 buses. This is how SLI is being supported on Skulltrail.
NVIDIA assisted Intel in the bring-up and testing of the Skulltrail motherboard which was publicly demonstrated at the Intel Developers Forum in San Francisco this week.
NVIDIA SLI technology is the world’s leading multi-GPU platform, allowing multiple NVIDIA GeForce graphics processing units (GPUs) to work together, resulting in scalable performance.
Intel has not licensed SLI technology from NVIDIA. Intel purchased NVIDIA nForce 100 MCPs to enable support for SLI.
Skulltrail is the only Intel motherboard which will feature NVIDIA SLI support. Intel is not using the NVIDIA nForce 100 MCP on any other chipsets, including X38.
For other 1P segments of the Intel market, NVIDIA has a wide variety of SLI products already available, including the leading nForce 680i SLI MCP for enthusiasts and gamers.
Skulltrail motherboards will only be available directly from Intel.

and here:

To say we don't hold NV in high regard is far from understating the case. The firm is seen by most journalists as slightly lower on the 'happy things' scale then finding infected leeches on your genitals after a swim in the sewer. We didn't think it could be possible, but their standing dropped even further when we found out that Intel's upcoming X38 chipset will do SLI.

You know, i just wouldnt put anything past Intel. My bets are on SLi being supported in the not to distant future

RE: Will we ever see SLi with RD790?
By Treckin on 10/10/2007 1:54:58 AM , Rating: 2

His point, although flawed, was that Nvidia hasnt licensed their SLI tech to AMD's CHIPSET devision OR Intel's CHIPSET division.

You can run SLI on an AMD or INTEL PROCESSOR, so long as it runs an an NVIDIA NB

RE: Will we ever see SLi with RD790?
By cheetah2k on 10/10/07, Rating: 0
By PlasmaBomb on 10/10/2007 7:43:57 AM , Rating: 2
Skulltrail boards are based on an Intel chip, with an add in N100 chip from Nvidia. The only reason to use that chip is to enable SLI; as the Nvidia drivers only enable SLI Nvidia systems (bar Quadro).

The end result is that should Nvidia build a pro chipset for workstations supporting dual quad core xeons, its graphical performance will likely be superior due to the north bridge supporting SLI rather than going through the NB to another chip. Thus if customers buy the Intel board Nvidia still make money, and if Nvidia make a chipset, they make money...

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