Two AMD 890GX-powered Asus mobos listed

If we’re to believe several reports from the rumor mill, AMD’s Leo platform, which will combine 890-series chipsets and six-core Thuban processors, will arrive in May. That’s not too far off for online retailers to jump the gun, apparently. Fudzilla has spotted premature listings for an Asus M4A89GTD Pro/USB3 motherboard featuring an unannounced AMD 890GX chipset.

According to one particular listing at German e-tailer Magic Electronic Components, the motherboard also packs an SB850 south bridge, Radeon HD 4290 integrated graphics with DVI and HDMI out, two PCI Express Gen2 x16 slots (capable of running in a dual eight-lane config with two GPUs), PCIe Gen2 x4 and x1 slots, six 600MB/s Serial ATA ports, one eSATA port, and two USB 3.0 ports.

Pricing for the M4A89GTD Pro/USB3 looks to start at around €150 on the European mainland. We can usually get an estimate of pricing on the other side of the pond by adding 20% and swapping the currency symbol, which gives us $180—about as expensive as AMD’s current fastest desktop processor. AMD may well charge more for six-core Thuban CPUs, though, which could justify pricier motherboards.

Fudzilla also spotted listings for an Asus M4A89GTD Pro, which lacks USB 3.0 connectivity and starts at around €134. That could mean U.S. pricing in the neighborhood of $160, which is already a tad more reasonable for a high-end Socket AM3 mobo.

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    • Flying Fox
    • 13 years ago

    Another thing I see is the persistent AHCI and USB issues they are having. Until they fix those I don’t think it is a good idea to bog down the NB. Let’s hope SB850 will give us that glimmer of hope.

    • clone
    • 13 years ago

    if it works and it’s cost competitive does it matter?…… power consumption has never really been an issue for ATI with regards to it’s mobo’s….. at least not nearly so bad as it was for Nvidia even when they were using a single North/South setup.

    I just hope their is a new south bridge that gets rid of the last of the legacy Gremlins….. they make a decent motherboard now but it’d be nice to see them as close to perfect as possible.

    • MuParadigm
    • 13 years ago

    NewEgg is listing an 890GX now, the GIGABYTE GA-890GPA-UD3H AM3 AMD 890GX HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard, for $139.99 + $7.87 shipping.

    It has 6(!) SATA 6GbPS ports, an 890GX Northbridge, 2 USB 3.0, 8 channel audio (probably a Realtek 889 or 890 codec), a 1394a port, and no e-SATA port – the last of which seems to be weirdly typical for Gigabyte boards.

    §[<http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128435<]§ I hope we get to see a review soon. .

    • Voldenuit
    • 13 years ago

    I don’t think a single chip solution is necessarily cheaper. Going 2-chip allows them to use excess capacity in older processes for the southbridge.

    It might not even make motherboards any cheaper, because you then have to route more lanes into a more concentrated area.

    I think these halo products are too expensive and don’t make sense for AM3, but that’s probably as much ASUS’ fault as it is AMD’s.

    • UberGerbil
    • 13 years ago

    These are all good arguments (though I’d object to the nVidia analogy — if nVidia didn’t have licensing issues with Intel, they’d probably still be making chipsets for that platform). But for AMD it’s all about the OEM customers — and being profitable while serving them. The OEMs probably appreciate the diversity in feature sets / product segmentation that separate NB and SB afford them, but they’d undoubtably prefer a cheaper motherboard/chipset to everything else; and AMD, for its part, would like to be able to offer a chipset that costs them less to fab. And it’s almost certainly true that a single chip implementation would result in cheaper motherboards for the OEMs and potentially lower manufacturing costs for AMD. But they may have decided early on to defer that to the “fusion” era, which then slipped out (as did the 890 chipset, as it happens) and they may be waiting on a transition to a smaller process for their chipsets as well.. Unlike Intel, AMD mostly doesn’t have the luxury of having multiple teams doing multiple overlapping product sets at multiple fabs.

    Nevertheless, greater integration has been the trend in computing pretty much since the introduction of the transistor, and combining multiple chips has been the route to lowering costs ever since. There can be reasons not to do it, but those tend to be short-term sidetracks, not absolute dead ends.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 13 years ago

    Or, to put it another way, don’t cheap out on the ‘mainstream’ chipset and get the highend one if you have highend needs like add-ons or peripherals that need that much bandwidth.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 13 years ago

    Very few mechanical drives will surpass 133MB/s although that may be more of a theoretical maximum not realworld. There are other advantages to SATA though mainly the non-shared channels. Sorry to nitpick. But sure, more features is better and they need to come in one way or another otherwise peripheral makers and motherboard or chipset makers would both be twiddling their thumbs waiting for the other.

    • OneArmedScissor
    • 13 years ago

    And what did that accomplish? What is the complaint with AMD’s method, in comparison?

    AMD seem to make decent use of the ability to mix and match several north and southbridges, then phase one out over time, only as it becomes necessary.

    They have to cover a large amount of product lines. Intel does the exact same thing to this day. The fact they happen to stick the northbridge alongside their one very newest CPU is still the same concept, as they’re still using separate north and southbridges, and still mixing and matching them for all of their different product lines, which are even more numerous than AMD’s.

    What Nvidia were doing for the last few years was totally different, and look where that got them. It reached a point where it was no longer worthwhile for them to design even a single chips for a high end niche.

    If they stuck them together, it would just make a bigger, less versatile, chip.

    • Welch
    • 13 years ago

    Yes you can do External Raid, IcyDock I believe makes one, im sure these wouldn’t have been designed for USB 2.0 (maybe would be near pointless) but I do know that there are a few with eSata.

    I agree though, usb 3.0 i think is the biggest jump for these devices. As things get faster and large files appear, people expect to be able to plug a thumb drive in and not wait 20-30 minutes for it to copy. Thumb drives are getting faster and larger, hence the need for a faster interface.

    As for the new 6gbps Sata, i think they know they can make it for roughly the same cost, it “future proofs” the motherboard a bit to the newer SSDs that are pushing towards the bandwidth of the previous Sata standard.

    I don’t get why some people are nay saying this, in all honesty things will always get faster, its like people who though going from IDE to Sata was pointless because drives couldn’t hit those kind of bandwidths… Now just about any drive will surprise the 133mb/s limit of IDE and the original Sata 150 is even a bottleneck in some cases.

    • rUmX
    • 13 years ago

    I guess the price premium comes from that you have native SATA3 built into the south bridge (with 6 ports + RAID) instead of having to use the (crappy) Marvel controller.

    • Sahrin
    • 13 years ago

    The only reason to be disappointed is if you like spending more money for smaller feature sets. Intel charges the same amount of money when you buy a 2-chip solution v. a 1-chip solution. The only difference is, instead of being able to choose your featureset/price based on southbridge, you are restricted to Intel’s crappy solution.

    Case in point: DMI is a PCIe x4 link. Don’t bother attaching…anything with significant data needs… to P55.

    • wira020
    • 13 years ago

    Maybe because it’s hard/expensive to put enough link for pcie?.. like the p55 chipset?

    Seeing as it accept current gen cpu, i dont really see the reason they’d want to go through the trouble… maybe next gen cpu?

    • Kurotetsu
    • 13 years ago

    They shouldn’t have to wait for CPU-IGP integration. Nvidia merged the Northbridge and Southbridge with the 9400M/Ion chipset, and they still kept the IGP in the “Northbridge”. And that was for Intel CPUs that didn’t even have an integrated memory controller.

    • khands
    • 13 years ago

    That will happen next gen or the gen after, once AMD has integrated the IGP onto the CPU.

    • dermutti
    • 13 years ago

    I’m a little disappointed that AMD are still making a north and south bridge. Intel and Nvidia have both moved to the single chip solution which seems to lower costs, energy consumption and motherboard real estate. I was hoping AMD would have caught up with this iteration.

    • khands
    • 13 years ago

    I understand that, I suppose I’m letting my own needs cloud my vision a little bit, since I backup over LAN as opposed to needing a faster USB drive.

    • OneArmedScissor
    • 13 years ago

    There are going to be several, so they’ll probably fill in the vacant $200 and $250 price levels that the high end Phenoms and Phenom IIs were released at, plus another $300 or so one.

    The four core version isn’t fast enough to take the $200 slot, so it’s more likely it will roughly share space with the X4 965 or 975.

    They may be slightly larger chips, but I wouldn’t expect a serious price premium for them over what is normal for AMD. If they can do ginormous 12 core CPUs for the multi-socket server market, they can handle just a few six core desktop CPUs here and there.

    • alphacheez
    • 13 years ago

    USB 3 will remove the bottleneck which limits almost all external USB drives (except a lot of slow USB Flash drives). SATA 6 Gbps will only be a significant benefit when paired with fairly high performance solid state drives that support SATA 6 Gbps or if it can be used with some external RAID enclosure (I’m not even sure that’s possible).

    • OneArmedScissor
    • 13 years ago

    I don’t know about that. The “successor” is just going to end up being whatever the next socket type is that drops motherboard IGPs and moves it to the CPU.

    Motherboards are becoming more boring than exciting as technology advances.

    Even with the IGP on this board, they have almost no reason to make it better. They can give it a few more features, but they won’t bother actually making it of any use serious use when they’ve already been able to handle 1080p video for so long.

    • Anonymous Coward
    • 13 years ago

    Will be interesting to see what AMD can charge for a 6-core CPU. Thats a beastly processor. Makes me miss the old job where I did a lot of data processing (mostly on single and dual core Opterons, actually).

    • MadManOriginal
    • 13 years ago

    The IGP is like a slightly updated HD4200 IGP, same as what’s in the 785G/790G, so while it won’t bring any serious performance increases it might have some more features. The full gamut of HTPC audio streaming would be nice.

    The USB 3.0 on these is not in the chipset but comes from an add-on chip like all other USB 3.0 implementations. There are already a fair number of USB 3.0 enclosures coming out so for those that use external drives they won’t have to choose between dodgy or non-existent eSATA for speed versus USB 2.0 for compatability.

    The only problem with this chipset is that at one point it was originally slated to come out about one year ago. I don’t know whether that massive delay allowed them to add stuff or it means they are behind the times upon release but if it was out a year ago we’d probably be looking at its successor by now.

    • khands
    • 13 years ago

    Well, maybe SATA III will, I don’t know, but USB 3 I think is going to take a while to see devices that will make use of the bandwidth. And I can almost guarantee you that the IGP won’t be worth it, although if the SB finally fixes some of the bugs that have been plaguing AMD chipsets for years it may end up justifying it.

    • setzer
    • 13 years ago

    I’m much more interested in the micro-atx mainstream derivatives of these boards..

    • Gerbil Jedidiah
    • 13 years ago

    I’d rather see performance that justifies the higher prices 😉

    • khands
    • 13 years ago

    Here’s hoping their supposed pricing is high, I’d like to see $50 and $30 taken off, respectively.

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