Before we take a look at Biostar’s new 990FX motherboard, let’s first go over what this new AMD chipset has to offer. There aren’t a whole lot of differences between the 890 and the 990 chipset. The main difference between the two has to do with new technologies that are supported. One of the main new technologies that are supported with this new chipset is support for nVidia’s SLI technology. This is great news for AMD and nVidia fans because it has been quite some time since SLI was supported by an AMD motherboard. Since nVidia has gotten out of the chipset business it was probably only a matter of time till they would allow support across both the Intel and AMD platforms.
AMD has increased the amount of memory that is supported by this new chipset. Each ram slot is capable of 8 gigs of DDR3 memory with speeds of up to 2000 MHz with overclocking. This effectively doubles the amount of memory that can be installed by raising it from 16 gigs to 32 gigs. Intel has been offering this for a while now and it’s nice to see AMD stepping up to the plate to offer this much memory support. For most users and applications this is overkill, but for those that do high-definition video encoding and photo manipulation, this is a necessity. For gamers and overclockers the higher amount of memory support really isn’t such a big deal.
This new chipset also features support for AMD’s latest socket and processor technology. This is the all new AM3+ that supports their new Bulldozer processors and it’s also backwards compatible with their older AM3 processors. This will allow AMD fans to continue to use their previous generation of processors until their ready to upgrade to the Bulldozer. Our testing of this new processor has shown that it’s actually not much of an upgrade, but hopefully AMD will work out the bugs with these processors and give Intel some real competition. This is still great though that AMD is allowing backwards compatibility because this will greatly reduce the cost of upgrading for those that still want the features of the new 990FX. Along with this new processor support is support for Hyper Transport 3.1. This increases the CPU bandwidth to 6.4 GT/s. To enable this new technology you will have to use a new AM3+ processor.