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MSI 990FXA-GD65 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £106
inc VAT

MSI has hit the AM3+ sweet spot with this motherboard, combining great design, easy overclocking and fast performance


AM3+, ATX, AMD 990FX chipset, supports: Sempron, Phenom II, Athlon II, FX

MSI’s 990FXA-GD65 is a fantastically feature-packed AM3+ motherboard that has a slick graphical UEFI interface for overclocking and system configuration. The motherboard can handle up to 32GB of DDR3 memory running at up to 2,133MHz. There are two PCI-E x16 slots that can be used for either SLI or CrossFireX multi-GPU systems, and both can run at full x16 speed simultaneously, which is the main advantage of the 990FX chipset over the closely related 990X.


Four PCI-E x1 slots and one PCI slot provide further potential for expansion. It’s also worth noting that the PCI slot and one of the PCI-E x1 slots could be blocked if you install large graphics cards next to them.


The back panel has two USB3 ports and eight USB2 ports, with an extra two USB2 headers on the board itself. The rear panel also has a PS/2 port and plenty of audio outputs, the complement being comprised of a coaxial S/PDIF output, an optical S/PDIF output and six analogue stereo ports for up to 7.1 surround sound. All audio I/O is routed to an integrated Realtek ALC892 audio codec chip. Six SATA3 ports occupy space on the 990FXA-GD65, but it lacks an eSATA3 port on the back panel.


The 990FXA-GD65 is one of the best performing AM3+ motherboards we’ve seen, slightly out-doing even Asus’s Crosshair V Formula with an overall benchmark score of 86. It doesn’t have quite as many features, though. The Crosshair V has more USB3 ports, for example. The 990FXA-GD65, however, provides a brilliant balance between features and price, making it our Best Buy AM3+ motherboard.

Basic Specifications

Processor socketAM3+
Form factorATX
Processor supportSempron, Phenom II, Athlon II, FX
Processor external bus200MHz (2.6GHz HyperTransport)
Chipset north bridgeAMD 990FX
Chipset south bridgeAMD SB950
Passively-cooled north bridgeyes
Integrated graphicsNo
Supported memory typeDDR3 800/1066/1333/1600(OC)/1866(OC)/2133(OC)
Maximum memory speedPC3-17000
Memory slots4
Maximum memory32GB
Dual-channel supportyes

Buying Information


Internal Ports

Power connectors1x 24-pin ATX, 1x 8-pin ATX
PCI-E x16 slots2
Dual graphics architectureSLI, CrossFireX
PCI-E x4 slots0
PCI-E x1 slots3
PCI slots1
Fan headers5
Floppy ports0
IDE ports0
Serial ATA ports6
RAID chipset (max disks)AMD SB950 (6x SATA III, RAID 0, 1, 5, 10)


Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Sound (ports)Realtek ALC892 (6x analogue out, optical S/PDIF, coaxial S/PDIF)
USB2 ports / headers10/2
Firewire ports / headers0/0
Legacy portsPS/2, serial header
Other ports2x USB3
Cables included2x SATA, 1x Molex to SATA power
Brackets included1x USB2
Software includednone

Setup and Overclocking

Voltage adjustmentCPU/RAM/Chipset
CPU clock max adjustmentN/A

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