what are the differences in the AMD 800 chipsets ?

Soldato
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I have been looking at AMD motherboards and I am having reall diffculty in understanidng what the differences are in the various different series 870, 880 and 890 ?

At first I thought it may be that a case of 870 supports dual core, 880 quad core and 890 heccore, but reading around I can see that it is possible to run all core types in each of these boards.

The I though maybe the 870's don't support overclocking but i see that the MSI 870 board has a neat set of overclocking tools (OC Genie ?)

So now I admit defeat and say I don't have a clue, although the last thing i thought of is that the 870 chipset boards don't have sata III support, but then looking at the MSI board i see it has both sata III and USB III support.

So I thought I would get one of these for my 955 BE but I am worried that because it is the older chipset of the 3 possibilities I amy be limiting myself in someway, although I freel admit I have no idea what that limitation is.......

anyone can shed some light for a clueless noob :(
 
Soldato
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the main difference i found when looking for my motherboard was the PCIe slots. the differences were not just how many there were, but what speeds they ran at, and if crossfire was possible

i know wiki isnt the greatest source of info, but heres the info on the chipsets: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AMD_chipsets

anything with x8, x8; x16, x8 or x16, x16 is what you want if you plan to use two graphics cards in crossfire. just ignore x16, x1 or x16, x4 if you plan to do crossfire
 
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Associate
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Yes, the main differences are in the number and configuration of PCI-e slots, and whether they have onboard video or not (880 and 890GX have onboard, the others don't). There are some other minor differences but I can't remember what they are, to find out I would go to something like Anandtech's review of the 890GX chipset - other sites will have done a similar analysis of the new 800 series chipset.
Somewhat confusingly some Asrock 870 and 880 motherboards can effectively run two graphics cards, whereas those chipsets don't natively support that feature.

It is not true that 890FX, for instance is any newer than 870, there release was slightly staggered, but it would only have been over a few months and they were probably all designed at the same time. So again the release date of the chipset doesn't make much difference.
 
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