The AMD 890GX chipset is a dual-chip solution. As we mentioned earlier, the AMD 890GX is the first chipset to natively support SATA-600 ports, and the A890GXM-A2 provides five of the six SATA-600 ports supported by the chipset – the sixth port was converted into an eSATA-600 port located at the rear panel. These ports support RAID 0, 1, 5 and 10.
The motherboard comes with a SATA-to-eSATA adapter, so you can have two eSATA-600 ports if you need.
Four of those five SATA-600 ports are rotated 90°, so video cards won’t block them.
No parallel ATA (PATA a.k.a. IDE) or floppy disk drive port are present.
This motherboard has 12 USB 2.0 ports, four soldered on the rear panel and eight through four headers located on the motherboard. This product also has two USB 3.0 ports at its rear panel, controlled by an EtronTech EJ168A chip. This motherboard doesn’t offer FireWire (IEEE1394) ports.
Eight-channel audio is generated by the chipset using a Realtek ALC892 codec. Unfortunately this component isn’t listed at Realtek’s website, so we can’t discuss audio quality. The A890GXM-A2 comes with an on-board optical SPDIF output and you can add a coaxial SPDIF output (or route digital audio to a video card, in order to have audio in its HDMI connector) installing an adapter on the motherboard “SPDIFIO” header.
The analog audio connectors are independent if you have a 5.1 analog speaker system, but if you have a 7.1 analog speaker system you will have to “kill” either the “mic in” or the “line in” jack to install it. This may not be a problem for most users, since if you want a 7.1 audio system you will probably connect the motherboard to a home theater receiver or a digital speaker set using either the SPDIF or the HDMI connector.
The ECS A890GXM-A2 motherboard has two Gigabit Ethernet ports, controlled by two Realtek RTL8111DL chips, which are connected to the system using PCI Express x1 lanes and thus not presenting any potential performance issues. These ports support teaming, meaning that they can be combined for a 2 Gbps bandwidth if you have a compatible switch in your network.
In Figure 7, you can see the motherboard rear panel, with VGA output, DVI-D output, HDMI output, DisplayPort output, clear CMOS button, four USB 2.0 ports, one eSATA-600 port, two Gigabit Ethernet ports, two USB 3.0 ports, an optical SPDIF output and shared analog 7.1 audio outputs.
No mouse or keyboard PS/2connector is available, thus you have to use a USB mouse and a USB keyboard with this motherboard.
Other smaller features present at the A890GXM-A2 include the presence of on-board power and reset buttons, the use of 15µ gold contacts (usually motherboards use 5µ gold contacts), eJiffy (an operating system stored inside the motherboard read-only memory that allows you to access the Internet without needing to load the operating system or even without having a hard disk drive installed, being equivalent of ASUS’s Express Gate and MSI’s Winki), and a core unlocking feature, which allows you to unlock hidden cores on certain AMD CPUs (this function is available in the motherboard setup, under the “M.I.B. III” menu, option “CPU Unlock”).
In Figure 8, you can see all accessories that come with this motherboard.