MSI isn't the only one with an RD890-based motherboard in the works. SemiAccurate has grabbed several photos of a Gigabyte motherboard that also packs AMD's next-generation chipset, albeit with a less opulent feature loadout—mainly fewer heatsinks and PCI Express x16 slots.
The Gigabyte GA-890GPA-UD3H still comes with two physical PCIe x16 slots and support for CrossFire multi-GPU configurations. SemiAccurate says the board belongs to Gigabyte's 333 series, as well, so there's next-gen connectivity aplenty. AMD's SB850 south bridge drives six 600MB/s Serial ATA ports, a NEC controller chip provides a pair of USB 3.0 connections, and Gigabyte triples USB power output to accommodate demanding devices.
Otherwise, you'll find a couple of extra SATA ports (presumably of the 300MB/s type) on the circuit board and a FireWire port at the back. The I/O area also includes DVI, HDMI, and VGA display outputs, which are all hooked up to the north bridge's DirectX 10.1-capable integrated graphics core. SemiAccurate mentions one last perk: the inclusion of a new Realtek ALC892R audio controller, which brings "not only support for all the latest and greatest HD audio solutions but also bit streaming and Blu-ray audio copy protection."
Neither SemiAccurate nor AMD have provided a specific time frame for the RD890 chipset's debut. AMD's roadmap only names the RD890 as a part of the Leo platform, which will roll out in 2010 with six-core Thuban processors. If we can trust several-week-old stories from the Taiwanese rumor mill, Thuban may see the light of day in May of this year.
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