MSI 990FXA-GD80 review -
The MSI 990FXA-GD80
The MSI 990FXA-GD80
Right, there we have the motherboard which can be recognized by that look and feel design wise, a nearly impossible to differentiate layout and a common feature set. That's a nice looking motherboard alright. The focus of this motherboard is that it has a dark looking design whilst remaining competitive with pricing.
We dig the two tone (black/blue) design a lot, dark colored PCBs are the trend these days. What immediately catches the eye are the sheer stylish looks and heatsinks sitting on top of the chipset. The board has lots of features which we'll walk you through in a minute.
We received the final retail sample and as such it comes packed with a quite decent product bundle. Among the gear inside the kit you'll find the following; the motherboard, 2-Way SLI Bridges, I/O Shield, SATA 6G cables, Quick connector kit, manual and Driver CD.
This is MSI's most expensive 990FX motherboard but obviously they tried hard to keep this motherboard affordable. The extras you need to seek in the overall design and components usage, which is impressive all by itself when you peek at the motherboard for the first time.
Notable features include 6x SATA 6G connections, two eSATA connectors, USB 2.0 and 3.0 internal headers, 4x PCIe x16 slots (physical).
- 4 PCIE x16 slots
- PCI_E2 supports up-to PCIE x16 speed
- PCI_E4 supports up-to PCIE x8 speed
- PCI_E5 supports up-to PCIE x16 speed (when PCIE E4 is empty)
- PCI_E6 supports up-to PCIE x4 speed
Then there's a legacy PCI slot. The mobo has DDR3 2133 MHz support straight out of the BIOS but that requires an OC mode. We spot socket AM3+, and also quality capacitors and solid core chokes. MSI upholds the military class component design.
Rear IO connectivity then.
- 1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse port
- 1 x CLEAR CMOS button
- 1 x Coaxial S/PDIF output
- 1 x optical S/PDIF output
- 4 x USB 2.0
- 2 x USB 3.0
- 2 x eSATA / USB 2.0 combo ports
- 1 x Gigabit Ethernet (Realtek)
- 1 x Firewire
- 1 x analog audio
7.1 audio is managed by the Realtek ALC982 codec which supports High Definition audio up-to 7.1 channels. Audio will receive a Creative Labs SoundBlaster THX layer for optimized audio quality (software suite).
Today we are reviewing the 990FXA-GD80 from MSI, they recently pimped out the 990FX chipset with additional features and plastered it all onto a nice black/blue styled motherboard and are going in for the kill.