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MSI 990FXA-GD65 review

Kat Orphanides
24 Feb 2012
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
106
inc VAT

MSI has hit the AM3+ sweet spot with this motherboard, combining great design, easy overclocking and fast performance

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Specifications

AM3+, ATX, AMD 990FX chipset, supports: Sempron, Phenom II, Athlon II, FX

MSI’s 990FXA-GD65 is a fantastically feature-packed AM3+ motherboard that has a slick graphical UEFI interface for overclocking and system configuration. The motherboard can handle up to 32GB of DDR3 memory running at up to 2,133MHz. There are two PCI-E x16 slots that can be used for either SLI or CrossFireX multi-GPU systems, and both can run at full x16 speed simultaneously, which is the main advantage of the 990FX chipset over the closely related 990X.

MSI 990FXA-GD65

Four PCI-E x1 slots and one PCI slot provide further potential for expansion. It’s also worth noting that the PCI slot and one of the PCI-E x1 slots could be blocked if you install large graphics cards next to them.

MSI 990FXA-GD65

The back panel has two USB3 ports and eight USB2 ports, with an extra two USB2 headers on the board itself. The rear panel also has a PS/2 port and plenty of audio outputs, the complement being comprised of a coaxial S/PDIF output, an optical S/PDIF output and six analogue stereo ports for up to 7.1 surround sound. All audio I/O is routed to an integrated Realtek ALC892 audio codec chip. Six SATA3 ports occupy space on the 990FXA-GD65, but it lacks an eSATA3 port on the back panel.

MSI 990FXA-GD65

The 990FXA-GD65 is one of the best performing AM3+ motherboards we’ve seen, slightly out-doing even Asus’s Crosshair V Formula with an overall benchmark score of 86. It doesn’t have quite as many features, though. The Crosshair V has more USB3 ports, for example. The 990FXA-GD65, however, provides a brilliant balance between features and price, making it our Best Buy AM3+ motherboard.

Basic Specifications

Rating*****
Processor socketAM3+
Form factorATX
Size305x244mm
Processor supportSempron, Phenom II, Athlon II, FX
Processor external bus200MHz (2.6GHz HyperTransport)
Chipset north bridgeAMD 990FX
Chipset south bridgeAMD SB950
Passively-cooled north bridgeyes
Integrated graphicsNo
Supported memory typeDDR3 800/1066/1333/1600(OC)/1866(OC)/2133(OC)
Maximum memory speedPC3-17000
Memory slots4
Maximum memory32GB
Dual-channel supportyes

Buying Information

Price£106
Supplier
Detailswww.msi.com

Internal Ports

Power connectors1x 24-pin ATX, 1x 8-pin ATX
PCI-E x16 slots2
Dual graphics architectureSLI, CrossFireX
PCI-E x4 slots0
PCI-E x1 slots3
PCI slots1
Fan headers5
Floppy ports0
IDE ports0
Serial ATA ports6
RAID chipset (max disks)AMD SB950 (6x SATA III, RAID 0, 1, 5, 10)

Features

Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Sound (ports)Realtek ALC892 (6x analogue out, optical S/PDIF, coaxial S/PDIF)
USB2 ports / headers10/2
Firewire ports / headers0/0
Legacy portsPS/2, serial header
Other ports2x USB3
Cables included2x SATA, 1x Molex to SATA power
Brackets included1x USB2
Software includednone

Setup and Overclocking

Voltage adjustmentCPU/RAM/Chipset
CPU clock max adjustmentN/A

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