MSI 890GXM-G65 review
A broad range of features on a compact microATX board – but you’ll pay for it
Review Date: 20 Aug 2010
Reviewed By: Mike Jennings
Price when reviewed: £88 (£103 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
MicroATX motherboards can often cram much of what you need into a tiny package, and the best have real versatility. The Socket AM3-based MSI 890GXM-G65 is one of those, coming with integrated ATI’s most powerful Radeon HD 4290 graphics to make it suitable for a wide range of intended uses.
Elsewhere, four DIMM sockets can handle up to 16GB of 2,133MHz DDR3 RAM, and two PCI Express x16 sockets – with one running at full speed, and a second at x8 – sit alongside single PCI Express x1 and PCI slots. Five SATA/600 ports are included, with one perpendicular to the board, with older SATA/300 sockets no totally absent.
The selection of on-board connectors is wider than we’re used to seeing, even on many ATX boards. It has four USB 2 headers, an IDE slot, a connector for a parallel port bracket, an onboard overclocking switch and even a jumper for a TPM module. The only disappointment is the measly pair of fan jumpers, one of which is bound to be occupied by a CPU cooler.
The backplate is similarly well stocked. Display output is handled by HDMI, DVI-D and D-SUB, there’s a pair of USB 3 ports to go with the four USB 2 ports. You also get an eSATA socket, Gigabit Ethernet and single PS/2 and S/PDIF ports, beside six audio jacks.
The form factor does prove restrictive in parts, though. The chipset cooler is closer to the AM3 socket than we’d like and, similarly, the DIMM slots aren’t far away from the processor. Combine this with the notoriously fiddly installation procedures required by most third-party CPU coolers, and the MSI could be a tricky board to install in some cramped enclosures.
Also, cram such a large roster of features onto a smaller PCB and, inevitably, the price rises: this £88 exc VAT board costs as much as our A-Listed ATX board, so you’re paying a premium for the miniaturisation. Still, the MSI is among the most versatile microATX boards we’ve yet seen and, if you want to save space without compromising on features, it goes some way to justifying that outlay.
Author: Mike Jennings
- Microsoft refuses to hand over customer emails
- Apple signs up credit-card companies for NFC payments
- Apple bans developers from selling your health data
- Intel unveils eight-core Haswell-E CPU
- Forget robot butlers: meet Fuji Xerox's robot printer
- Wing it: Google's drone delivery revealed
- Facebook testing keyword searching in old posts
- It's on: Apple announces 9 September event for the iPad, iWatch and iPhone 6... maybe
- Was JPMorgan Chase hack for politics or cash?
- Samsung unveils curvy Gear S smartwatch and Circle smart necklace
- 20 years of PC Pro: our best covers
- Why we've closed the PC Pro forums
- How to turn off Google Location Tracking
- 20 years of PC Pro: our greatest review mistakes
- 20 years of PC Pro: our first A-List
- Wikipedia's "right to be forgotten" protest hits the wrong note
- 3D printing hits the high street for plastic selfies
- 20 years of PC Pro: What amazed us in our first issue
- How Google Glass ruined my lunch hour
- Smartphone battery packs: can a USB power pack beat the festival battery blues?
- Best of IFA 2014: what smartphones, tablets, smartwatches are expected to launch at IFA this year?
- How to uninstall a program on Windows: remove unwanted apps from your PC
- How to format a USB drive on a Mac or Windows
- What’s the best 4G network in the UK?
- How to set up a wireless hotspot for your business: give customers free or paid for internet access
- How to download YouTube videos: save YouTube videos to your iPhone, iPad, laptop or Android device
- How to access iCloud on a PC
- Nexus 5 vs Moto G 4G (2014 model)
- Chromecast vs Roku Streaming Stick vs Apple TV: what's the best TV streaming device?
- The 8 best small tablets of 2014: what's the best compact tablet?
- How to sell more ebooks on Amazon
- 10 ways to make your business more secure
- Top five VoIP mistakes
- How to add in-app purchasing to an iPhone, Android or Windows app
- Remote-control ransomware: TeamViewer and software hardball
- Why laptops with serial ports matter to the Internet of Things
- Make your mobile battery last longer
- Small steps into handling Big Data
- Nexus 5: does it really run stock Android?
- How to get broadband to a garden office