AMD Phenom II 965 X4 BE
Swiftech H2O-220 Compact
2x2Gb Crucial Ballistix Tracer DDR3-1600
Asus HD4890 TOP
Thermalright HR-03 GT
3x74Gb WD Raptor RAID0
Optiarc 24x DVD+/-RW
SilverStone Decathlon DA750
Cooler Master HAF 932 AMD Edition
Although pictured here with the Asus HD4890 card installed, I'll be conducting all of the graphics tests using the onboard HD4290 in order to compare to our previous ECS 785G motherboard results. Due to the Swiftech Apogee Drive block outlets interference, DIMM slots 1&2 are not available for use, and slots 3&4 must be used for dual channel operation.
The included driver/software DVD has all the necessary components to get the system up and running. I'm using Windows 7 64bit Home Premium which only needs the latest ATI Catalyst 10.2 driver suite and the USB 3.0 driver installed. I had to do a fresh install of the OS when upgrading from my 790GX to the 890GX motherboard. The utility portion of the DVD includes the MSI Live Update 4 tool and MSI Control Center utility. The latest version of AMD OverDrive is also included.
The most recent version of CPUZ 1.53.1 does not correctly identify the motherboard chipset. It displays as a 785GX with a SB750 southbridge. Given how new the chipset is this is not unexpected and will likely be corrected in a future software revision. Likewise the clocks on the HD4290 onboard graphics appear to be off, registering as 497MHz core, 400MHz memory. The latest release of GPUZ reports the same. According to the specifications listed by MSI this should have a 700MHz core and 128Mb of DDR3-1333 (667MHz) sideport memory. This issue was later corrected in the BIOS.
Let's take an in-depth look at the various BIOS options.