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Written by David Ramsey   
Wednesday, 19 October 2011
Table of Contents: Page Index
MSI 990FXA-GD80 AM3+ Motherboard
990FXA-GD80 Specifications
The AMD 990FX Chipset
Closer Look: MSI AM3 Motherboard
990FXA-GD80 Detailed Features
Motherboard Testing Methodology
AIDA64 Extreme Edition Tests
PCMark Vantage Tests
CINEBENCH R11.5 Benchmarks
CPU-Dependent 3D Gaming
PassMark PerformanceTest
Media Encoding Benchmarks
SPECviewperf 11 Tests
SPECapc Lightwave
Blender and POV-Ray
AM3 Motherboard Final Thoughts
MSI 990FXA-GD80 Conclusion

SPECviewperf 11 tests

The Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation is "...a non-profit corporation formed to establish, maintain and endorse a standardized set of relevant benchmarks that can be applied to the newest generation of high-performance computers." Their free SPECviewperf benchmark incorporates code and tests contributed by several other companies and is designed to stress computers in a reproducible way. SPECviewperf 11 was released in June 2010 and incorporates an expanded range of capabilities and tests. Note that results from previous versions of SPECviewperf cannot be compared with results from the latest version, as even benchmarks with the same name have been updated with new code and models.

SPECviewperf comprises test code from several vendors of professional graphics modeling, rendering, and visualization software. Most of the tests emphasize the CPU over the graphics card, and have between 5 and 13 sub-sections. For this review I ran the Lightwave, Maya, and Seimens Teamcenter Visualization tests. Results are reported as abstract scores, with higher being better.

Lightwave

The lightwave-01 viewset was created from traces of the graphics workloads generated by the SPECapc for Lightwave 9.6 benchmark.

The models for this viewset range in size from 2.5 to 6 million vertices, with heavy use of vertex buffer objects (VBOs) mixed with immediate mode. GLSL shaders are used throughout the tests. Applications represented by the viewset include 3D character animation, architectural review, and industrial design.

Maya

The maya-03 viewset was created from traces of the graphics workload generated by the SPECapc for Maya 2009 benchmark. The models used in the tests range in size from 6 to 66 million vertices, and are tested with and without vertex and fragment shaders.

State changes such as those executed by the application- including matrix, material, light and line-stipple changes- are included throughout the rendering of the models. All state changes are derived from a trace of the running application.

Siemens Teamcenter Visualization Mockup

The tcvis-02 viewset is based on traces of the Siemens Teamcenter Visualization Mockup application (also known as VisMockup) used for visual simulation. Models range from 10 to 22 million vertices and incorporate vertex arrays and fixed-function lighting.

State changes such as those executed by the application- including matrix, material, light and line-stipple changes- are included throughout the rendering of the model. All state changes are derived from a trace of the running application.

specviewperf.png

The SPECviewperf suite is a good example of a real-world test of applications that would normally be the province of a high-end workstation: the individual tests comprise code and models from real applications, running scripts that do real work. The 2500K wins decisively here, turning in scores that, at stock clocks, are 20% better than the stock-clocked FX-8150 in Lightwave, 53% better in Maya, and 47% better in Teamcenter Visualization. Overclocking brings the AMD processor close to the stock-clocked Intel score, but an overclocked 2500K (see our AMD Bulldozer review for details) would win here.



 

Comments 

 
# RE: MSI 990FXA-GD80 AM3+ MotherboardChris 2011-10-20 22:42
It's odd. Why is there any performance gain at this clock-speed?

Hmm. Does this board do that much better? Perhaps the higher end MSI boards are worth taking a look at.
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# RE: MSI 990FXA-GD80 AM3+ MotherboardAdam 2011-10-21 16:58
"PS/2 mouse and keyboard ports. C'mon, it's 2011!"

Tell that to RTS/MMO gamers!

I find all this Military spec rubbish fairly annoying, can see that it has at least an element of truth behind it, but it's still grade A marketing bollocks.
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# RE: RE: MSI 990FXA-GD80 AM3+ MotherboardDavid Ramsey 2011-10-21 17:04
I prefer FPS to RTS/MMO, but I still find it hard to believe that anyone needs more than 6-key rollover...
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# RE: MSI 990FXA-GD80 AM3+ MotherboardRed1776 2011-10-22 01:28
Nice review as usual Mr Ramsey,
I was one of 'them' who rolled the dice and invested in the BD platform a few months ago with a 990-UD7 and have a tin can of 8150 myself. I am hearing the "no BIOS" howl from the owners of the supposedly backwards compatible 890 crowd. are you suspecting as I am that the same power stability you ran into here is what the holdup is with the 890 chipset boards? One of the stated differences between the 990's and the 890's is supposedly a beefier VRM. and they need it...I think the lights on my block dim when I load it up.
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# RE: RE: MSI 990FXA-GD80 AM3+ MotherboardDavid Ramsey 2011-10-22 21:26
I am tempted to try the FX-8150 in an 890FX board to see if it would work at all...
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# RE: RE: RE: MSI 990FXA-GD80 AM3+ MotherboardGripless 2012-02-10 13:07
Did that work out? i had a 890FX board and was curious, but i ended up getting the MSI board on this review. I thought it might actually work but never had a chance to try it.
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# RE: MSI 990FXA-GD80 AM3+ MotherboardRed1776 2011-10-23 01:37
Apparently they function with absolutely no controls. multi/HT/voltage/ref clock...nothing
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# Bulldozer.........Christopher Fields 2011-10-26 22:02
zzzZZZZZzzzzz........Bulldozer.......(Rolls over and falls back asleep until AMD pulls a rabbit out of their hat, now that would be more impressive than.......Bulldozer)
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# RE: MSI 990FXA-GD80 AM3+ MotherboardPeter 2011-10-27 08:18
What the hell is wrong with PS/2. Sure, it's old, but there are still many PS/2 mice and keyboard around. Not to mention that PS/2 is still actually better for keyboards (not for mice though).
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# RE: RE: MSI 990FXA-GD80 AM3+ MotherboardPeter 2011-10-27 08:19
Pardon me. The first . is a ?
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# Performance Marketing ProfessionalJim Berry 2011-12-02 10:25
I run this board with an AMD 1100t BE, XFX 6950, and 8gb dual channel ram. At the preset 3300 mhz on the processor, it seemed to be running a bit hard ,judging from the processor fan speed. CPU temp ran about 101F in normal operation.
I turned the processor up to 3700 mhz and the vid card to 835 mhz and it now runs around 83F under normal load and rarely goes over 101F when I game. I run the vid card @ 840 mhz when gaming.
That seems to be the sweet spot for this setup. Cool and quiet.
Thanks for your time!
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# RE: MSI 990FXA-GD80 AM3+ MotherboardSteve 2012-02-08 20:13
Very impressed with the testing and benchmarking. Am using this board with the 8150 running @ 3.8Gigs. I agree with the comments about the BIOS as well. As far as the PS2...Either I have a defective USB keyboard or a PS2 Keyboard is required to enter BIOS. Actually RMA'd the 1st board because it was bringing me to a boot menu (even though I had only 1 OS) instead of the BIOS. The 2nd board did exactly the same thing till I used a PS2 Keyboard. Am using the same USB keyboard on my Biostar TA-990FXE and I can get into the BIOS. Another unanswered question. Yes I was hitting DEL on the MSI 990FXA-GD80. Strange.
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# RE: RE: MSI 990FXA-GD80 AM3+ MotherboardDavid Ramsey 2012-02-08 20:42
That's weird. I only use USB keyboards (in most cases, through a KVM switch) and didn't have any problem getting into the BIOS.
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