ASRock 890GX Extreme 4 Motherboard - Closer Look at the Extreme 4

Article Index
ASRock 890GX Extreme 4 Motherboard
Closer Look at the Extreme 4
890GX Extreme 4 Features and Specs
BIOS and Overclocking
Test Setup, HDD Testing and More
Synthetic System, CPU and More
Real World Application Benchmarks
Game Performance and Final Thoughts

Closer Look:

If you're a stickler for passive cooling, you'll be happy to see that the 890GX Extreme 4 is all about noise-less cooling.  There are no fans mounted anywhere on the board and the VRMs and Northbridge are connected by a heatpipe in addition to the fins located on each of these areas.  This should provide adequate cooling, but if you plan on using this board for serious overclocking, you'll want to make sure that you have excellent case ventilation or a fan blowing on the motherboard as these components could get quite hot in a stuffy case.  With that said, we experience no issues with system stability - at least in regards to heat.

 

Cooling
Cooling

 

The rear I/O of the 890GX Extreme 4 has six USB ports - with only two of these being USB 3.0.  In addition to USB, there is also a PS/2 keyboard connector and VGA, DVI-D as well as HDMI video connectors.  To complete the external storage connection options, there is a Firewire connector as well as an eSATA 3 connector.  In amongst these are the 8-channel audio jacks, a CLR CMOS button and a 10/100/1000 network port.

Rear I/O
Rear I/O

 

As we carry on through the memory slots, we've got nothing too special to mention here.  They are placed far enough away from the CPU socket so as not to interfere with large heatsinks.  The CPU socket area is quite clear and shouldn't pose any issues with all but the largest low-profile heatsinks around.

CPU Socket
CPU Socket
PCIe Slots
PCIe Slots
SATA and More
SATA and More

 

There are a total of four PCIe slots - three of them are 16x length.  These long slots only run at 8x (top two) when used together - or 16x if the top one is used alone.  The bottom "16x" slot is stuck at 4x speed.  The double spacing is great for those that want to use multiple graphics cards as this gives them some room to breathe.  The bottom corner contains a bundle of SATA ports - all of which are SATA3(6Gbps) ports which gives you a lot of fast pots to keep you running Crucial's RealSSD drives at full speed.

 

The bottom edge of the board is quite interesting as it has extra USB headers, and extra Firewire header as well as the Diagnostic LED, power and reset buttons and more.  It also has ASRock's own USB3.0 header that can be used in conjunction with their front USB 3.0 panel to give you the fastest USB speeds possible - conveniently on the front of your PC.

Bottom Close
Bottom Close
Front USB 3.0 Header
Front USB 3.0 Header

 

On the next page we'll take a look at the motherboard specifications before we jump into testing.