To be honest, between Z68 this and Sandy Bridge-e that, we haven’t had much time to check out many of AMD's latest motherboard offerings.
It’s not that we don’t care; it’s just that the fire is burning on the other side of the fence these days. That’s not to say that the 990X chipset in Asus’s midrange M5A99X Evo is a slouch. As a real AM3+ board, it’s guaranteed to work with the Bulldozer line of CPUs from AMD. On the other hand, plenty of older 890FX boards will also work fine with Bulldozer, so is it even worth your time to check out a 990-series board? In a word: yes.
You may have heard that AMD's resurrecting its "FX" brand for top flight processors, which the chip maker promises will "enable an over-the-top experience for PC enthusiasts." Cost could be a barrier, but if it's any consolation for power users on a budget, Gigabyte claims it's the first to bring AM3+ CPU support to entry level motherboards, providing do-it-yourself system builders with an affordable foundation for AMD's upcoming FX series.
Gigabyte has no intention of being caught short handed once AMD's Bulldozer platform rolls into town. Getting a jump on the new CPUs, Gigabyte just added three more AM3+ boards to its lineup, all of which sport AMD's AM3+ socket. These include the rather plain-named GA-990FXA-UD3, GA-990FXA-D3, and GA-990XA-UD3.
Don't you hate it when leaked pictures of future products pop up on the web, but they turn out all blurry like a kid with a $10 Kodak snapped the photos? Yeah, we do too, but luckily that isn't what we have here. Mysteriously manifesting out of the deepest corners of cyberspace are several closeups of MSI's upcoming Bulldozer board, the 990FX-GD6A.
Whenever AMD or Intel introduce a new processor, there's the question of whether or not it will work in your existing motherboard, and if not, which one(s) will it work with? The answer isn't always as obvious as a pin count, especially with the current generation of AMD parts. To help alleviate any confusion over AMD's next generation CPUs for current AMD 800/700 series chipset motherboards, Gigabyte announced it's the first to market with AM3+ "Black Socket" motherboards, giving users at-a-glance confirmation that everything's kosher.
Rounding out our MSI coverage at CES, Senior Editor Gordon Mah Ung takes an early look at MSI's upcoming AM3+ board, which will allow for, that's right, AMD Bulldozer support. The board also features SATA 6Gbs ports on the south bridge, a four x16 PCI-E 2.0 slots, and comes stocked with OC Genie, which can automatically overclock your machine for you.