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MSI 890GXM-G65 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £97
inc VAT

With USB3 and SATA3, this outstanding microATX motherboard combines a great range of features and plenty of flexible options for overclocking.


AM3, microATX, AMD 890GX chipset, supports: Athlon II, Phenom II, Phenom II X6, Sempron

MSI has crammed plenty of features on to this AM3 microATX motherboard, including USB3 and a full complement of five SATA III ports. The BIOS supports the latest hexacore AMD Phenom II processors as well as providing a full complement of overclocking options, including the ability to save your own BIOS profiles.

There are two PCI-E x16 slots – they’ll both run at 8x if you have two cards in them, though. There’s also one PCI and one PCI-E x1 slot, although the latter will be blocked if you install a large graphics card. That means you’ll probably be limited to using the PCI or second PCI-E x16 slots for any extra expansion cards you want. Four memory slots can take up to 16GB of DDR3 RAM running at a maximum speed of 2133MHz.

MSI 890GXM-G65 top down

The integrated ATI Radeon HD 4290 only managed a frame rate of 3.5fps in Call of Duty 4, so it’s clearly not up to 3D gaming. However, it’s well equipped for either dual-monitor or home cinema use, with VGA and DVI outputs as well as an HDMI port capable outputting full HD video and full lossless 24bit/192kHz Blu-ray quality audio. There are also six 3.5mm stereo outputs for the built-in Realtek ALC889, which the driver can configure for 5.1 surround sound audio with a mic input or 7.1 surround sound without. There’s also an optical S/PDIF output if you need a digital audio connection to your speakers.

MSI 890GXM-G65 ports

The backplane also provides six USB ports, including two USB3 ports. A PS/2 port means that you won’t necessarily have to use of your precious USB ports for a keyboard or mouse. There’s also an eSATA port. Performance in our tests was good, with an Overall score of 120. If you’re after a fast, flexible and easy-to-overclock microATX motherboard of any AM3 processor, this is one of the best you’ll find.

Basic Specifications

Rating *****
Processor socket AM3
Form factor microATX
Size 244x244mm
Processor support Athlon II, Phenom II, Phenom II X6, Sempron
Processor external bus 260MHz (2.6GHz HyperTransport)
Chipset north bridge AMD 890GX
Chipset south bridge AMD SB850
Passively-cooled north bridge yes
Integrated graphics Yes
Supported memory type DDR3 800/1066/1333/1600(OC)/1800(OC)/2133(OC)
Maximum memory speed PC3-17066
Memory slots 4
Maximum memory 16GB
Dual-channel support yes

Buying Information

Price £97

Internal Ports

Power connectors 1x 24-pin ATX, 1x 4-pin ATX
PCI-E x16 slots 2
Dual graphics architecture Hybrid CrossFireX
PCI-E x4 slots 0
PCI-E x1 slots 1
PCI slots 1
Fan headers 2
Floppy ports 0
IDE ports 1
Serial ATA ports 5
RAID chipset (max disks) AMD SB850 (5x SATA III, RAID 0, 1, 5, 10)


Wired network ports 1x 10/100/1000
Sound (ports) Realtek ALC889 (6x analogue out, optical S/PDIF out)
USB2 ports / headers 6/4
Firewire ports / headers 0/0
Legacy ports 1x PS/2, serial, parallel header
Other ports 1x eSATA, 2x USB3, 5xSATA III, VGA, DVI, HDMI
Cables included 1x SATA, 1x IDE, 1x Molex to SATA power
Brackets included none
Software included drivers

Setup and Overclocking

Voltage adjustment CPU/RAM/Chipset
CPU clock max adjustment 500MHz

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