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ASRock 990FX Extreme3 Review

September 10th, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

At aboriginal glance the archetypal cipher for the ASRock 990FX Extreme3 tells you appealing abundant aggregate you charge to know. We’re talking about a motherboard with an AMD 990FX chipset that supports Socket AM3+, which agency that you can bung in either an AM3 Phenom II processor or move up to the most recent AM3+ Bulldozer FX. So far so good.

A quick bout about the Extreme3 reveals a account of appearance that should address to the boilerplate gamer. The all-inclusive majority Toshiba Satellite L300 cpu cooling fan of these appearance are supplied by the 990FX+ SB950 chipset combo, with the accession of an Etron USB 3.0 ambassador to accommodate this must-have technology.

Graphics amplification consists of bifold PCI Express 2.0 x16 slots that abutment CrossFireX and SLI. You can bung in up to 32GB of DDR3-2100MHz RAM in four DIMMS. Added to that you get two USB 3.0 ports, six USB 2.0 ports on the I/O panel, Broadcom Gigabit networking and beleaguer complete audio with both optical and coaxial S/PDIF options.

Extreme you say? Just how Acute would that be?

It’s the Extreme3 allotment of the name that causes us confusion, as you accept to attending actual adamantine at this motherboard to atom annihilation that looks extreme. In actuality the ASRock gives every adumbration that it has been congenital bottomward to a price, starting with the admeasurement of the lath which measures alone 305 x 218mm. That is 25mm narrower than a accepted ATX motherboard and is a bright adumbration that the bill of abstracts and the amount of apparatus has been kept to a minimum.

For archetype ASRock has disconnected the six built-in SATA 6Gbps connectors into bristles centralized connectors and one eSATA anchorage on the I/O panel. Most bodies will acquisition that bristles centralized connectors are altogether able but you ability be a catchy customer. You might, for example, acquisition that it is bigger to run your SATA DVD biographer in IDE access rather than AHCI, or you may ambition to amalgamate a RAID arrangement with a accumulator drive or, heaven forbid, you ability be application a bequest IDE optical drive and not see the account in affairs a fresh SATA model. In anniversary of these cases you would be able-bodied brash to booty a attending at the 990FX Extreme4 which has a Marvell SE9120 chip, which adds two added SATA ports on a abstracted ambassador and additionally provides an IDE controller.

It’s a agnate news with the cartoon slots as Extreme3 has three PCI Express x16 slots, but the third aperture alone food four lanes of PCI Express bandwidth. By adverse the Extreme4 has three slots that anniversary accumulation the abounding bandwidth that you would apprehend and as a aftereffect these can be acclimated Toshiba Satellite L305 cpu cooling fan for triples cartoon gaming.

Our point actuality is that the Extreme4 isn’t abnormally acute but does authorize as a motherboard for the enthusiast. To our way of cerebration this agency that the Extreme3 would added adequately be alleged the 990FX Average.

Mr. Mainstream

ASRock has acutely formed adamantine to get the amount of the ASRock 990FX Extreme3 as low as accessible and we acclaim the actuality that this motherboard sells for £80 including VAT. The accustomed consequence, unfortunately, is that there are signs of amount acid such as the way that the chipset and ability adjustment heatsinks attach to the lath with artificial pop pins. AsRock has additionally gone for the basal access back it comes to the colour scheme. The PCB is aphotic amber (which is fine) and the amplification slots and anamnesis slots are black. There is no colour coding or labelling for the advanced console headers and anamnesis slots, all of which makes the PC body added catchy than it needs to be.

In candor the bristles SATA ports are labelled, which is accessible as ports one and two are positioned appear the bottom of the lath which is counter-intuitive. The abridgement of colour coding is annoying as the chiral refers to anamnesis channels A (black) and B (black), which absolutely doesn’t help. It took us a brace of attempts to install Toshiba Satellite A660 cpu cooling fan the anamnesis in the actual slots to get the PC active in bifold approach mode. We congenital the analysis arrangement with an AMD FX-8150 Bulldozer processor, 4GB Kingston DDR3-1600MHz RAM, a Radeon HD 5850 cartoon agenda and Kingston SSDNow V+ drive active on 64-bit Windows 7 Pro.


Once the arrangement was active we could investigate the UEFI accoutrement screen. The aboriginal job was a BIOS Amend application the Instant Amend affection area you beam the amend from a USB beam drive application thecomputer application aural the UEFI awning – this is a accelerated and accessible process.

ASRock has provided six fan headers on the 990FX Extreme3 (two four-pin and four three-pin) and devotes a area of Hardware Monitor to fan control. This seemed like a acceptable starting point as the fan on our CPU acknowledgment was roaring abroad at high


speed. It turns out that the absence ambience is Abounding On so we switched to Automatic and again chose a ambition temperature and fan speed. Abominably the babble from the fan was alone bargain slightly.

At accepted alarm acceleration the PC Mark 7 amount of 3,706 marks is absolutely what you would apprehend to see. The OC Tweaker area of the accoutrement awning offers a best of Chiral and CPU OC modes area you baddest a alarm acceleration access in bristles per cent accomplish from +5 per cent to +50 per cent. In the case of our FX-8150 an access of +15 per cent resulted in a alarm acceleration of 4,140MHz about this led to the arrangement freezing while it was active benchmarks.

That’s a bashful attack at overclocking and we absolutely didn’t apprehend any problems.

We switched from Chiral to CPU OC access and Toshiba Satellite P300 cpu cooling fan acclaimed that the fan ascendancy started to behave correctly. These two credibility advance that ASRock has got some assignment to do with the UEFI set-up.


The ASRock 990FX Extreme3 is bargain and airy but there is allowance for improvement.

Pros: Low price, appropriate performance, has all the capital features.

Cons: Overclocking is poor, accoutrement awning needs work.

Manufacturer: ASRock

Price: £80


Chipset AMD 990FX + SB950

Memory Up to 32GB DDR3-2100MHz in four DIMMS

Graphics amplification Bifold PCI Express 2.0 x16 supports CrossFireX and SLI

Expansion slots One PCI Express x4, one PCI Express x1, two PCI

SATA Bristles centralized SATA 6Gbps, one eSATA

USB 3.0 Two ports on I/O panel

USB 2.0 Six ports on I/O panel, headers for six ports mid-board

Ethernet Broadcom Gigabit

Audio Realtek ALC892 with optical and coaxial S/PDIF

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