J&W Minix 890GX-USB3 Review

November 30, 2010 | 13:33

Tags: #6-core #890gx #am3 #crysis #mini-itx #motherboard #oc #overclock #overclocking #pci-express #performance #result #review #thuban

Companies: #amd #jw #test

Minix 890GX-USB3 Board Layout

J&W packs the chipset and Southbridge under one heatsink that’s located between the CPU and PCI Express slot, while the other heatsink cools the 3+1-phase MOSFETs. Four ultra-thin chokes corresponding to these power phases have been put on the backside of the board. Both heatsinks are the same height as the rear I/O, but if you are trying to squeeze a low, fat heatsink into a slim case, you'll probably be out of luck. Those heatsinks are needed, as they get nice and warm when the system is running, so unfortunately don't think you can just whip them off.

*J&W Minix 890GX-USB3 mini-itx review Minix 890GX-USB3 Board Layout *J&W Minix 890GX-USB3 mini-itx review Minix 890GX-USB3 Board Layout
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As we mentioned, J&W packs in a wireless card (which supports 802.11n) and Bluetooth combo card, but this is only one facet of the networking options of this board, as there is a pair of Broadcom Gigabit Ethernet sockets, with teaming function, included too.

To round off the rear I/O hardware there's also two USB 3 ports, four USB 2 (with four more from on-board pin-outs), 7.1-channel High Definition audio via five 3.5mm stereo jacks, and also optical S/PDIF.

*J&W Minix 890GX-USB3 mini-itx review Minix 890GX-USB3 Board Layout
Click to enlarge

Display outputs for the 890GX IGP includes DVI, HDMI and D-Sub, although due to the AMD chipset limitation both digital outputs don't work together, so dual display requires use of the D-Sub. output

Surprisingly, J&W has squeezed in three fan connectors on such a small board, but only one is speed-controlled via the BIOS.

*J&W Minix 890GX-USB3 mini-itx review Minix 890GX-USB3 Board Layout *J&W Minix 890GX-USB3 mini-itx review Minix 890GX-USB3 Board Layout
Click to enlarge

Finally, thanks to the SB850 Southbridge, J&W has managed to cram in four SATA 6Gbps ports, This is the only mini-ITX board with so many, so you could use four super-fast Crucial C300 SSDs, or take advantage of the RAID capabilities of the Southbridge.
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