MSI 890FXA-GD70

TechBlaster

Weaksauce
Joined
Jul 24, 2004
Messages
87
Doesn't look like anyone wants to anwer you :).

I just picked up the MSI board & one of the Tiger 1090T's. Unfortunatly I've got to go out of town for several days & it will probably be the weekend at the earliest before I can put the system together (assuming the RAM I ordered actually gets delivered). The best I can do is tell you I'll post when I get this thing put together. It may be a week or more though. Sorry.
 

TechBlaster

Weaksauce
Joined
Jul 24, 2004
Messages
87
Got mine & am currently on it. Still configuring Windows & the other basic stuff I need but have some initial observations.

1) Install went pretty smooth. One thing to consider is that the CPU socket is a little close to the RAM slots. I'm running a Thermalright HR-01+ heatsink (pretty big monster:)) & the edge is too close to RAM slot #1. I had to put my RAM in slots 3 & 4. A smaller heatsink wouldn't have been a problem but if you're going to air cool with a large heatsink check the dimensions. Anything about the same size as the HR-01+ might block using 2 of the 4 ram slots. (The HR-01+ would only orient one way. I couldn't rotate it 90 degrees because of the retention mechanisim & will have to swap in a smaller heatsink if I want to run more than 2 sticks).

2) Mine came with Bios V 1.0. MSI had 1.2 on their website. The bios has a built in flash util that let me install 1.2 using a flash drive before any OS was installed. Nice.

3) I've got 2 - 300 GB Velociraptors. The manual I had didn't have much of any instructions on the RAID bios. It took a while to figgure out you had to press Control-C to configure the 2 disks as an array. Looks like the updated version of the manual on the MSI website has the proper directions though.

4) I've got a Soundblaster X-Fi PCI Express card. For some reason it wouldn't fit all the way in the socket on the motherboard. It wasn't an obstruction in the socket. Was kind of like the socket wasn't high enough to engage the X-Fi for some reason. I've got to investigate more but for now am running the boards internal sound hardware. Seems O.K. I don't like that the boards slot is directly under the 1st video card slot. If you're running a card that takes 2 slots you block that express slot. Good thing the MB has another x16 slot.

Booted right up with 4 Gig of Patriot memory in slots 3 & 4 & the 1090T installed. Win7 loaded without issue. Everything at 'optimized' defaults in th bios. No overclock try yet but seems to be pretty solid. The only things I don't like so far are the Heatsink/Ram slot obsruction (more my Heatsink's fault than MSI's layout) & the X-Fi's mounting issue that may or may not be a motherboard problem.
 

Pepsiennis

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Feb 5, 2007
Messages
1,290
...
4) I've got a Soundblaster X-Fi PCI Express card. For some reason it wouldn't fit all the way in the socket on the motherboard. It wasn't an obstruction in the socket. Was kind of like the socket wasn't high enough to engage the X-Fi for some reason. I've got to investigate more but for now am running the boards internal sound hardware. Seems O.K. I don't like that the boards slot is directly under the 1st video card slot. If you're running a card that takes 2 slots you block that express slot. Good thing the MB has another x16 slot....

You can seat it in another PCI-E slot (if you're just running one GPU). And I agree with you; after putting a lot of good thought into the board, they go and knowingly cancel the PCI-E x1 slot. Just goofy! I mean, why not situate it just above the primary PCI-E x 16 , a la Asus?
 

TechBlaster

Weaksauce
Joined
Jul 24, 2004
Messages
87
Thanks, I was wondering if the short slots were just a sub-set of the larger ones.

MSI went from Bios 1.0 to 1.2, then 1.3 & 1.4 pretty quick. All within a couple of weeks. I flashed last night to 1.4 & for some reason the Bios stalls for about 40 seconds after the USB scan & before the RAID screen comes up. Seems to be timing out on something. this didn't happen when I had 1.2 installed. Probably trying to access some USB device that's not responding. I've got to investigate further.

MSI's taiwan suport forum site has some people with dual GPU video cards complaining that the board runs out of resources when USB 3.0 is enabled & won't let Windows load. I haven't seen this issue since I'm running 1x a 5870 card. I'd like the option to crossfire or run a 5970 if I want to in the future.

I really want to like this MB if only MSI could work out the bugs.. Once the board boots up everything seems solid, but the timeout during boot up in the bios bothers me. Also, hope MSI can fix the dual GPU issue. I seem to remember having trouble seating the X-Fi card in my old (x38) Intel board so the issue with it fitting in the PCI-Express slot may be a Creative board problem & not MSI's fault.

The price (with BCB) was about $50 less than the Asus board when I picked it up so it seemed a good deal. MSI released a couple of bios updates, went from 1.0 to 1.2, then 1.3 & 1.4 all within a couple of weeks. Hopefully they'll get everything straightened out pretty quick & this will be a solid alternative to Asus.
 

TechBlaster

Weaksauce
Joined
Jul 24, 2004
Messages
87
Well, some good news. MSI's support forum has several posts about the dual GPU issue & also the long boot time. It appears that MSI is aware of both & is working on fixes. They've got a beta bios (I think it's 1.61, not on their website yet) that claims to fix the dual gpu problem. Also on other posts they've duplicated the long boot & are working that also.

On my system I reloaded the failsafe boot options & then loaded optimized & the boot delay dissapeared. It looks like MSI is close to fixing the few known issues & the fixes will be all software / bios related. No hardware issues is good news. For the price difference with the Asus it's a pretty good deal. There are also some people on Xtreme forums that have overclocked it pretty high & seem real happy. With what I'm seeing on the MSI forums as far as their support I'm pretty happy I picked this board.
 
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