A Closer Look:
The front of the box shows that the board is using the new 890GX chipset. While it doesn’t explicitly say it on the box, this board will support the new 6-core Thuban chips with the latest installed BIOS.
The onboard Radeon 4290 means this board has a plethora of video connection possibilities right out of the box. It won’t be maxing out Crysis any time soon, but should work for some light gaming. With the small form factor and the various video connectors, this motherboard falls into an interesting category. On the one hand, it would make for an excellent HTPC build, by utilizing the HDMI port. On the other hand, it can perform as a high performance portable LAN box, by using the 2 PCI x16 slots for CrossfireX or Hybrid Crossfire and a high performance CPU (think 6-core Thuban). It’s not often that motherboards exhibit this kind of versatility.
Here we can see the new SATA 6Gbps connectors. You get 5 of them with this board. I like that they included the odd one out in a position on the board. Some people like the side mounted SATA connectors, while others hate them. This way you have the option the use both kinds. The side mounted connectors help save space on the board, but can be difficult to plug in on some cases.
The MSI 890GXM has 2 PCIE x16 ports, enabling it to do CrossfireX. The little red switch at the bottom of the picture is the Easy OC Switch. It allows you to effortlessly overclock the processor by 10%, 15% or 20% by flipping the switches. This is nice for people that want to overclock,but are afraid to mess with all of the often times vague and confusing settings in the BIOS.
When I first saw this board, I instantly thought HTPC. This is why we decided to try it out in that kind of configuration and mount it in our Glacialtech Altair A381 Media Center PC Case.