While many 890GX boards utilize a full size ATX format, MSI's initial offering is the 890GXM-G65, a microATX style. Although the 890GX offers integrated graphics, it also has less PCIE lanes compared to an equivalent FX board. Just like the 785G, the 890GX uses the RV620 graphics core, which supports DirectX 10.1, Shader Model 4.1 and a host of video decoding and acceleration formats. The specific model name for the graphics chip is the HD4290, which is virtually identical to the HD4200 but with 200MHz more core speed. CrossFire is supported but the 16 available lanes must be split into a dual 8X configuration. Hybrid CrossFire is also available, allowing use of a HD5450 discrete video card to be paired with the onboard for up to a 25% improvement in gaming performance.
The 890GXM-G65 comes with a relatively sparse set of accessories, including a software/driver DVD, I/O backplate, IDE ribbon cable, SATA cable and a Molex to SATA power adapter. No printed user manual was available, however MSI sent us an electronic copy in PDF format prior to the review, as well as the lastest BIOS version available for the board. Let's take a closer look at the MSI 890GXM-G65.