AMD 990FX chipset overview

AMD’s 990FX chipset is based on the AM3+ socket and offers support for AMD CPUs based on the Bulldozer architecture. This chipset was originally released in 2011 and is geared up offering many features for the performance enthusiast. If you are planning to buy a new Bulldozer or Piledriver CPU then the 990FX series motherboards are the way to go for a feature rich experience.

The 990FX chipset has 32 PCI-E lanes with attractive configurations which appeal to users with multi GPU setups. The PCI-E configurations are appealing to dual GPU users with full 16x slots as well as tri users with one x16 and two x8. This chipset of course supports both SLI and CrossFire which is increasingly common in high performance chipsets. Below is three configurations which can be used in dual, tri and quad GPU mode.

  • x16 / x16
  • x16 / x8 / x8
  • x8 / x8 / x8 / x8

This chipset is packing the SB950 Southbridge which enables the support of 6 6GBps SATA ports though motherboard manufacturers have created additional 6GBps SATA ports using third party controllers on their motherboards. It’s disappointing that the SB950 Southbridge does not support USB 3.0 though given that the 990FX chipset was originally released in 2011 it’s not a major issue. Motherboard manufacturers have used 3rd party USB 3.0 controllers on some models and while they are often not as desirable as a AMD controller, they get the job done.

Piledriver is the latest CPU supported by the 990FX chipset at the time of writing. Given the high power requirements of Piledriver CPUs and the performance of them it’s recommended to partner it with a 990FX motherboard to take advantage of the features offered by them, such as the 6GBps SATA 3 ports.

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