Gigabyte GA-990X-Gaming SLI brings M.2 and USB 3.1 to AM3+

Gigabyte has announced the GA-990X-Gaming SLI, an enthusiast ATX motherboard for AMD AM3 and AM3+ processors. The board combines the 990X chipset with some more modern accoutrements, like two rear USB 3.1 ports and an M.2 slot with four lanes of PCIe 2.0 connectivity.

The board sports four DIMM slots for up to 64GB of DDR3 memory. Memory speeds with AM3 CPUs are rated from 1066 MT/s up to 1866 MT/s. With an AM3+ CPU, Gigabyte says memory can run at up to 2000 MT/s. Two PCIe 2.0 x16 slots can run in x8 mode with Crossfire or SLI dual-GPU configurations. Two PCIe 2.0 x1 and two plain old PCI slots round out the expansion slot roster.

The aforementioned PCIe 2.0 x4 M.2 slot is joined by six SATA 6Gbps ports that are oriented sideways along the board's right edge. The board offers support for RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 10, and JBOD, too.

On the back I/O panel, two USB 3.1 ports are hooked up to an Asmedia controller. Two more USB 3.0 ports and six USB 2.0 ports round things out. There's also an Intel-powered Gigabit Ethernet port, a single PS/2 port, and audio ports running off a Realtek ALC 1150 codec.

There's no word yet on availability or pricing. We'd expect this board to be priced under the $140 GA-990FX-Gaming, though.

Comments closed
    • DarkMikaru
    • 4 years ago

    As an AMD fan I love seeing this but at the same time, like the rest of you ask…why? But to be honest, if the price is right it isn’t a complete loss or waste of time. Late last year I was thinking of performing a refresh for my much beloved FX-8350 running on a Biostar TA970 motherboard. The Biostar was not well suited to overclocking, only had 2 USB 3.0 ports (i had to buy a USB 3.0 pcie card for more) and the Bios was still that old school non-UEFI variety.

    So I started hunting for a 990 board, re-evaluated getting a new case (as my Thermaltake Urban S31’s front cover broke off – opps), upgrading cooling options, etc. Then ultimately decided against it for a few reasons.

    1) 990 boards were still costly!
    2) refreshing everything else would of been costly
    3) It’s old but still performs admirably – it doesn’t need a refresh.

    But, if they can keep the cost down… I’d say sub 100 if at all possible then this board is an absolute winner. I recently donated my FX to my best friends kid who has really taken to Minecraft and all things video editing related. He could really use the extra horse power. Big jump from that FM1 Triple Core I built him 2 or 3 years ago. Sure, I can imagine there not being a big fan base of people who upgrade the motherboard for new features and not lusting after a new CPU. But if under 100…would be a great way to extend the life of a beloved FX machine when connectivity not horse power are whats needed most.

      • ronch
      • 4 years ago

      If you really love your FX i’d get it back after the PC’s end of life. That’s what I do with the PCs I hand down. I still have 9 of the 11 desktop CPUs I’ve used. The two I no longer have are my NEC V20 which we gave away (i was just a kid who didn’t think of pulling out a DIP package) and my AMD Am386DX-40, which we also gave away or sold (not by me). The Am386 was soldered onto the board.

        • DarkMikaru
        • 4 years ago

        I’ve thought several times about starting a CPU collection as I’ve got numerous Socket A, 754, 939, and a few Intel Pentium II / AMD K6-II and K6-III chips. Fun stuff.

    • Chrispy_
    • 4 years ago

    LOL @ people spending money on AM3 platform at this point in time.

    Is there any recent benchmark that puts an FX against Skylake for gaming? The picture was pretty eye-watering back in Haswell days, and Skylake upped the game again….

      • ronch
      • 4 years ago

      You gotta admit, next to a dual-core Core i3 at ~$150, a $165 8-core CPU could still be quite enticing. Of course many who don’t know much about computers will easily be sold on specs but enthusiasts know what they want, and many of them will still prefer an 8-thread CPU if their workloads will benefit from it.

      Also, as someone who’s on his second AM3+ board, it’s good to know someone like Gigabyte is still breathing new life into the platform. Not that I plan to buy one of these, but if my current board ever quits again it’s nice to know newer, more updated AM3+ boards are available.

    • ronch
    • 4 years ago

    For those wondering about why new AM3+ boards are still coming out this late in the game, here’s an article from no less than WCCFTech regarding AM4 boards.

    [url=http://wccftech.com/amd-am4-motherboards-launch-q2-2016-for-bristol-ridge-apus/<]AMD’s Flagship AM4 Platform Rumored To Launch As Early As March 2016[/url<] Yeah, I know. Crazy.

    • ronch
    • 4 years ago

    I’ve lost a fair number of motherboards in my lifetime, which lead me to not expect them to live very long. I plan to use my FX forever so these new AM3+ boards are welcome. Who knows, I may get 10 years out of this CPU. Not quite as long as forever, but 10 years is still a long time.

    • albundy
    • 4 years ago

    can they make updated boards for the K6-2 processors too?

      • brucethemoose
      • 4 years ago

      AMD is the market leader for vintage x86 processors.

      • ronch
      • 4 years ago

      Any board that supports the K6/-2/-III/-III+ ought to also support other CPUs like the Pentium, Pentium MMX, AMD K5, Cyrix 6×86, 6x86MX/MII, IDT Winchip/Winchip 2, and who knows, even the sole remaining Rise mP6 CPU still in existence.

      I remember poring over my old Super 7 board’s manual back then and seeing all those CPUs shown on one page. Good times.

    • mesyn191
    • 4 years ago

    Where the hell is AM4? That might actually be kinda interesting to buy. AM3 is clearly dead though and this has not USB C ports so this is stupid.

      • Airmantharp
      • 4 years ago

      USB-C was the one thing I was looking for; hell, we should be all USB-C within a year or two, right?

      • ronch
      • 4 years ago

      I am guessing board makers are realizing increased AM3+ sales due to the price creep of the latest Skylake chips. Just look at the 6700K. It went over $400 and for most folks that’s just too much. Because of this I bet more than a handful of people went the FX route instead because the 8-core chips are still seen as alternatives to the i5 and i7 given the right workloads.

    • The Egg
    • 4 years ago

    [quote<]On the back I/O panel, two USB 3.1 ports are hooked up to an Asmedia controller.[/quote<] No.

      • chuckula
      • 4 years ago

      Oh they are connected to the Asmedia controller.

      Unless you meant to say: [url=http://www.nooooooooooooooo.com/<] NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!![/url<]

        • The Egg
        • 4 years ago

        I understand, and the answer is still no. No to everything.

          • tsk
          • 4 years ago

          I agree.

    • ronch
    • 4 years ago

    Boy, everyone sure is scratching their brains with these new AM3+ boards as much as they’re scratching their brains about how Zen will do.

    Hold on, WCCF!! I’m coming!!!

    • derFunkenstein
    • 4 years ago

    More hilarity, this time from Gigabyte. The top of the product page says “Fast USB 3.1 -The World’s Next Universal Connector”

    But there aren’t any Type-C connectors in the I/O cluster, and the spec sheet only mentions the Type-A ports for the ASMedia controller with nothing about internal headers to add one later.

    That’s basically an outright lie, then.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 4 years ago

    Look at all that wasted space. How many USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports does the 990FX chipset have, anyway? Looks like they could have thrown in a couple more.

    Not that it matters, because OMG W(hy)TF ARE WE MAKING A BRAND NEW AM3+ MOTHERBOARD???

      • chuckula
      • 4 years ago

      [quote<]How many USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports does the 990FX chipset have, anyway?[/quote<] "Up to 14" USB 2.0, zero USB 3.0, which are all provided by external controllers. [url<]http://www.amd.com/en-us/products/chipsets/9-series[/url<] [quote<]Not that it matters, because OMG W(hy)TF ARE WE MAKING A BRAND NEW AM3+ MOTHERBOARD???[/quote<] That's an excellent question that AMD might want to answer for us, especially when AM4 is supposed to be almost ready to launch right now according to the ever reliable unconfirmed rumors.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 4 years ago

        Well, my guess is that the APU chipsets probably just integrate somebody else’s controller anyway, so AMD’s USB 3.0 controllers are all still external. 😆

          • Deanjo
          • 4 years ago

          [quote<]my guess is that the APU chipsets probably just integrate somebody else's controller anyway[/quote<] They do.... Asmedia [url<]http://www.kitguru.net/components/cpu/anton-shilov/amd-and-asmedia-formally-sign-chipset-development-outsourcing-deal-report/[/url<]

            • ronch
            • 4 years ago

            Is it possible Asmedia is falling through and AMD is somehow trying to patch things up? I dunno, this is just pure conjecture.

          • anotherengineer
          • 4 years ago

          Which APUs?

          The FM2, FM2+ boards with A-series chipsets have native amd usb 3.0 and they had it before Intel did.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 4 years ago

            All of them. Look at Deanjo’s link.

        • ronch
        • 4 years ago

        I have this funny feeling that Zen is either delayed or Zen will somehow work with these ‘new’ boards. AMD never said anything about backwards compatibility with AM3+ so that’s still up in the air.

          • chuckula
          • 4 years ago

          Zen will NOT work with AM3+ boards. AMD has been fuzzy about Zen, but they have actually confirmed that the platform for Zen is AM4, and AM3+ is right out. The chips won’t even physically fit in the socket, much less have electrical compatibility.

      • Jeff Kampman
      • 4 years ago

      990X, not 990FX. Small but important difference.

        • chuckula
        • 4 years ago

        He said knowingly given AMD’s late 2016 announcement of Zen model numbers….

        • derFunkenstein
        • 4 years ago

        Whoops.

        Looks like there are fewer PCIe lanes. I see in chuckula’s link that the 990FX supports 2×16 and 4×8 configurations, where the 990X has just 1×16 or 2×8.

          • chuckula
          • 4 years ago

          Yeah, considering they are expressly advertising this board as an “SLI” board, the major lack of PCIe bandwidth — only 1/2 the bandwidth of a standard Ivy Bridge part from 2012 — is not overly encouraging.

          Then again, it raises the question of what realistic target market there is for somebody who wants to blow the money on multiple GPUs but insists on pairing them with an obsolete platform and CPUs that clearly have trouble getting a single GPU running properly, much less a multi-GPU setup.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 4 years ago

            Yeah, that second point is what I thought, too. Who’s going to pair an AMD FX with two high-end graphics cards? All I can think of is that somebody wants to have the largest number of everything – an “eight core” CPU with “dual graphics cards” where those graphics cards are a pair of R7 370s or something. heh

            • ronch
            • 4 years ago

            Our friend Geekleetgamer comes to mind. Didn’t he even put in [u<]3[/u<] graphics cards?

            • derFunkenstein
            • 4 years ago

            Yeah but he was an idiot

            • chuckula
            • 4 years ago

            Are we sure he didn’t purchase a drill press recently???

            • derFunkenstein
            • 4 years ago

            We can’t be sure, and we can’t ask – he got banned.

            • ronch
            • 4 years ago

            “With FX chips pushing those GPUs half as hard, half as many PCIe lanes to feed those GPUs should be just fine.”

            -some engineer

          • DPete27
          • 4 years ago

          So you can forget SLI [u<]AND[/u<] using the M.2 slot...

      • dragosmp
      • 4 years ago

      Why: the batches of AM3+ boards have been sold and Gigabyte must manufacture some more. It’s probably trivial to add some new controllers in stead of the old ones (3.1 in lieu of 3.0, etc), so a new design is drafted with some more up to date perks.

      I think there’s a minority that can use the 8 integer cores @120$ quite a bit and they’ll need a motherboard.

      • anotherengineer
      • 4 years ago

      Should be

      WTF are they making more FULL ATX boards!!

      If they are going to make them, make some uATX for the love of Pete!!

        • ronch
        • 4 years ago

        Who’s Pete? And what about his love?

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