It's the start of Computex today and as many of you already expected, it's time for AMD to release its new motherboard chipset. Now before we begin, let me just state .. it is all extremely weird, as today the AMD 990 FX chipset launches, but the new Bulldozer processors that should be alongside of this chipset will be released later.
Here's what is going to happen in the upcoming weeks: today you'll notice the new motherboard chipsets, and alongside these chipsets inevitable two new processor series will be released. You will see A75 motherboards, intended for the graphics integrated AMD Llano processors. That's all very much mid-range and low level stuff. The Llano A-Series APU platform motherboard will come with Socket FM1 for Llano dual and quad core processor compatibility.
In the mid-range to high-end segment you'll spot the AMD 990FX chipset motherboards. These motherboards will be based on Socket AM3+, and let me immediately make it very clear; is backwards compatible with Phenom II and Athlon II series AM3 processors. This was a much discussed feature on the past months in our forums alright. Today we'll prove that Phenom II works excellently on Socket AM3+ as the six and eight-core Bulldozer processors that should go alongside this motherboard have not yet been announced and thus have not yet been launched.
We expect Bulldozer (Zambezi family) series processors to arrive as late as July, maybe even August. To get an idea of what you might expect, here's an overview (* compilation courtesy DigiTimes):
So for now you can at the very least focus on the 990FX chipset, which can be used with the last generation Phenom II X4 and X6 processors. To start off this release on the 990FX chipset launch day we have prepared a nice review with the help of ASUS. They were the first to submit a 990FX motherboard which includes all the hippest gear like support for USB 3 and sure, SATA 3 (6G).
The TUF series (The Ultimate Force) Sabertooth 990FX is what we'll be placing under our microscope today, styled in the very same color as the earlier models with the ceramic design, we can see a lot of resemblances. But hey no tactical jacket anymore though. This AM3+ motherboard will be powered by a 10-phase Digi+ VRM. Socket AM3+ will support the Bulldozer based Zambezi FX Series Processors which launch later.
The Sabertooth 990FX will come with four DDR3 DIMM slots supporting dual-channel memory up-to DDR3-1866 MHz straight from the EFI BIOS. What you'll also notice is that the TUF (The Ultimate Series) has four PCI-Express 2.0 x16 PCIe graphics card slots based on what you use the slots for of course. Interesting fact is that this motherboard series now is SLI compatible, something that was not possible in the past as NVIDIA blocked this at driver level. It is good to see that opened up.
But there is plenty more to be discovered. Have a peek and let's roll into the review shall we?