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AMD 790FX Phenom Chipset On Linux

Michael Larabel

Published on 1 January 2008
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 1 of 7 - 10 Comments

Back in November AMD had launched their "Spider platform", which is made up of AMD's first quad-core processor, ATI Radeon HD 3800 series graphics, and the AMD 7-Series chipsets. While we were quick to cover the ATI Radeon HD 3850 and 3870 graphics under Linux, today after much testing we are finally delivering our first Linux report from AMD's new 790FX Chipset. Is the chipset that's designed for PC enthusiasts and performance seeking overclockers worth anything under Linux? Does this chipset even work with the latest Linux desktop distributions? We'll be answering these questions and more, as we look at the Gigabyte MA790FX-DS5 motherboard. Phenom Linux benchmarks will be published later this week.

MA790FX-DS5 Features:

Processor
- Support for Socket AM2+/AM2 processors
- Compatible with AMD Phenom FX / Phenom / Athlon 64 FX / Athlon 64 X2 / Athlon 64 / Sempron series
- 5200/2000 MT/s Hyper Transport Bus

Chipset
- North Bridge: AMD 790FX
- South Bridge: AMD SB600

Memory
- 4 x 1.8V DDR2 DIMM sockets supporting up to 16 GB of system memory
- Dual channel memory architecture
- Support for DDR2-1066/800/667 MHz memory modules
- Support ECC Memory

Audio
- Realtek ALC889A codec
- High Definition Audio
- 2/4/5.1/7.1-channel
- Support for DTS (dts NEO:PC)
- Support for S/PDIF In/Out
- Support for CD In

LAN
- Realtek 8111B chip (10/100/1000 Mbit)

Expansion Slots
- 2 x PCI Express x16 slots supporting ATI CrossFireX technology (The PCI Express x16 slots conform to PCI Express 2.0 standard.)
- 3 x PCI Express x1 slot
- 2 x PCI slots

Storage Interface
South Bridge
- 1 x IDE connector supporting ATA-133/100/66/33 and up to 2 IDE devices
- 4 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors (SATAII0, SATAII1, SATAII2, SATAII3) supporting up to 4 SATA 3Gb/s devices
- Support for SATA RAID 0, RAID 1 and RAID 0+1
- 2 x GIGABYTE SATA2 chip:
- 2 x eSATA 3Gb/s ports on the back panel supporting up to 2 SATA 3Gb/s devices
- Support for SATA RAID 0, RAID 1, and JBOD
iTE IT8718 chip
- 1 x floppy disk drive connector supporting up to 1 floppy disk drive

IEEE 1394
- T.I. TSB43AB23 chip
Up to three IEEE 1394a ports (2 on the back panel, 1 via the IEEE 1394a bracket connected to the internal IEEE 1394a headers)

USB
- Up to 10 USB 2.0/1.1 ports (6 on the back panel, 4 via the USB brackets connected to the internal USB headers)

I/O Controller
- iTE IT8718 chip

H/W Monitoring System voltage detection
- CPU/System temperature detection
- CPU/System/Power fan speed detection
- CPU overheating warning
- CPU/System/Power fan fail warning
- CPUfan speed control

BIOS
- 2 x 4 Mbit flash
- Use of licensed AWARD BIOS
- Support for Dual BIOS
- PnP 1.0a, DMI 2.0, SM BIOS 2.4, ACPI 1.0b

Unique Features
- Support for @BIOS
- Support for Download Center
- Support for Q-Flash
- Support for EasyTune
- Support for Xpress Install
- Support for Xpress Recovery2
- Support for Virtual Dual BIOS

Form Factor
- ATX Form Factor; 30.5cm x 24.4cm

Contents:

Over the past few months, we have looked at several Gigabyte motherboards and between them, their packaging has been quite similar. The Gigabyte MA790FX-DS5 ships with the basic accessories: four Serial ATA data cables, one ribbon FDD cable, one ribbon IDE cable, I/O panel, Gigabyte driver CD, and the installation/user documents. These accessories aren't as elaborate as some of the other 790FX motherboards, but are certainly sufficient and will keep the cost down.

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