MSI’s 870 board also features USB 3.0

SATA3 6Gbps courtesy of new chipset

WE ALSO MANAGED to dig up some pictures of MSI’s upcoming 870A-G54 AM3 motherboard which is based on AMD’s 870 chipset and SB850. This looks set to be MSI’s first AMD motherboard with support for both USB 3.0 and SATA3 6Gbps, although the latter is of course a standard feature of AMD’s SB850.

As strange as this might sound, this is actually not a new board at all, as it carries the same internal MSI product number as the current 770-G45 board, namely MS-7599, although the 870A-G54 is revision 3.1 rather than 2.0. This suggests that AMD’s 870 chipset and SB850 are indeed pin-to-pin compatible with the 770 and SB750/SB710.

MSI has done some minor changes to the board layout though, as the despite some markings on the board certain features aren’t there any more, such as the Easy OC Switch which of course wouldn’t work since AMD has removed the overclocking and core unlocking features in the SB850. The solid capacitors in the power regulation circuitry have also been replaced by the Hi-c caps that MSI favours these days.

The last noticeable change is of course the addition of an NEC/Renesas USB 3.0 controller which adds an additional pair of USB ports around the back. The rear ports are fairly basic on this board, as you only get six USB 2.0 ports, the two aforementioned USB 3.0 ports, a single PS/2 port, a serial port, a Gigabit Ethernet port and 7.1-channel audio jacks with optical S/PDIF out.

In terms of slot layout there’s a single x1 PCI Express slot, two x16 PCI Express slots – although we don’t know if there’s support for CrossFire or not – as well as three PCI slots. There are an additional three headers for extra USB 2.0 ports and of course six SATA3 6Gbps ports as well as an IDE connector and a floppy connector. There are also a couple of overclocking buttons at the bottom edge of the board.

This is a far-cry from MSI’s upcoming 890FX-GD70 board, but it should be a much more affordable board. Again we managed to dig up a price for this board and once again it happens to be from German retailer Alternate. The 870A-G54 is listed for €98.90 or $132 which seems quite expensive considering the features and even more so when you consider that the 770-G45 is listed for a much more affordable $93.50 by the same retailer. We can’t see that many buyers in the potential target market for this board that are willing to pay a nearly $40 price premium to get a couple of USB 3.0 ports and SATA3 6Gbps support.S|A

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