ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX Professional Motherboard

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Product: ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX Professional
Provided By: ASRock

Price: Find Low Prices on ASRock Boards Here


Introduction: 

Today we’ve got the latest and greatest from ASRock on the test bench, the ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX Professional motherboard.

This motherboard was hand-crafted by Fatal1ty himself in his basement and guarantees that you will dominate your friends at any video game played on it. Ok, that was a complete lie, but the features that this board include are features that Fatal1ty himself approves of and falls into the Fatal1ty lineup of gaming products.

Fatal1ty is probably the best known name when it comes to gaming and he's worked very closely with companies to produce products with his name on them. So far from every Fatal1ty product I've seen in the past every single one of them has been very high quality and had features that top gamers would want. When the first round of Fatal1ty products started coming out a few years ago I thought it was just a cash grab by Fatal1ty to put his logo on some products in exchange for some money but it really seems like he won't put his name of something he wouldn't use.

We’ve reviewed quite a few ASRock motherboards over the years and one thing we’ve found is that when they put the “Professional or Extreme” tag onto the name of any of their products they usually have the features to back it up. This motherboard has so many features that even after over a month of it being on my test bench I was still finding features that I hadn’t had a chance to play with yet. This isn’t your average workstation board, this board is built for the person who wants to tweak every last bit of performance out of their PC and that's exactly what the Fatal1ty 990FX Professional motherboard is designed for.

In the next section we’ll take a closer look at the design of this motherboard.

 

First Impressions:

The ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX Professional motherboard comes in packaging that features Fatal1ty himself all over the box and pretty much everything inside.

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ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX Pro - Packaging
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ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX Pro - Accessories


The accessories that come with the 990FX are pretty standard and should give you everything you need to get going. You also get a USB 3.0 plate that will allow you to add 2 more USB 3.0 plugs to the front or rear of your system in addition to the 2 USB 3.0 ports that are on the rear of the motherboard. Overall there really aren't any other accessories that you should need or that I would like to see be included with this board.
 
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ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX Pro - Top View
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ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX Pro - Full View


The ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX Professional motherboard has some pretty decent cooling attached to the chipsets (as you can see in the pictures). This might be a little overkill as during all of our testing we never found any other them to get overall hot, but it's a nice feature to have (especially when you are trying to push your system to the limits).

 

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ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX Pro - Ports!
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ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX Pro - Power Button, Reset Button, Cooling

 

As you can see in the picture above (left) there are enough ports to hook up pretty much anything you can image. One nice feature for any overclocking board is the "Clear CMOS" button which will allow you to quickly reset your settings if you got a little too carried away with the overclocking. In addition to the Clear CMOS button you get:

 

- 1 x PS/2 Mouse Port
- 1 x PS/2 Keyboard Port
- 1 x Coaxial SPDIF Out Port
- 1 x Optical SPDIF Out Port
- 5 x Ready-to-Use USB 2.0 Ports
- 1 x Fatal1ty Mouse Port (USB 2.0)
- 2 x Ready-to-Use USB 3.0 Ports
- 2 x eSATA3 Connectors
- 2 x RJ-45 LAN Ports with LED (ACT/LINK LED and SPEED LED)
- 1 x IEEE 1394 Port
- HD Audio Jack: Side Speaker / Rear Speaker / Central / Bass / Line in / Front Speaker / Microphone

 

Another feature that enthusiasts and overclockers will like is the push button power on and reset buttons on the bottom right of this board (pictured above, right). This is pretty handy if you want to put together your system before you put it all into your case for testing out various components.

So there you have it, the ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX Professional motherboard. In the next section we'll take a closer look at all the fine details of this motherboard then move onto testing.


Specifications:

cooling.jpg

All specifications taken from ASRock.com

 

Features:

  1. Premium Gold Caps (2.5 x longer life time), 100% Japan-made high-quality Conductive Polymer Capacitors
  2. Digital PWM Design, Advanced V12 + 2 Power Phase Design
  3. Supports Dual Channel DDR3 2100(OC)
  4. Supports AMD Quad CrossFireX™, 3-Way CrossFireX™ and CrossFireX™
  5. Supports NVIDIA® Quad SLI™ and SLI™
  6. Dual PCIE GLAN with Teaming function
  7. Dr. Debug, Smart Switch Design: Power/Reset/Clear CMOS Switch with LED
  8. Supports Fatal1ty XFast RAM, XFast LAN, XFast USB Technologies
  9. Supports Fatal1ty F-Stream, Graphical UEFI, On/Off Play, Turbo UCC
  10. 7.1 CH HD Audio with Content Protection (Realtek ALC892 Audio Codec), Supports THX TruStudio™
  11. Free Bundle : 1 x 3.5mm Audio Cable, 1 x Front USB 3.0 Panel, CyberLink MediaEspresso 6.5 Trial

 

Product Specifications

 General
CPU - Support for Socket AM3+ processors
- Support for Socket AM3 processors: AMD Phenom™ II X6 / X4 / X3 / X2 (except 920 / 940) / Athlon II X4 / X3 / X2 / Sempron processors
- Supports 8-Core CPU
- Supports UCC feature (Unlock CPU Core)
- Digital PWM Design
- Advanced V12 + 2 Power Phase Design
- Supports CPU up to 140W
- Supports AMD's Cool 'n' Quiet Technology
- FSB 2600 MHz (5.2 GT/s)
- Supports Untied Overclocking Technology
- Supports Hyper-Transport 3.0 (HT 3.0) Technology
Chipset - Northbridge: AMD 990FX
- Southbridge: AMD SB950
Memory - Dual Channel DDR3 memory technology
- 4 x DDR3 DIMM slots
- Supports DDR3 2100(OC)/1866*/1800*/1600*/1333/1066/800 non-ECC, un-buffered memory
- Max. capacity of system memory: 32GB**

*1866/1800/1600MHz memory speed is supported depend on the AM3/AM3+ CPU you adopt. For detail CPU specification, please refer AMD official website.

**Due to the operating system limitation, the actual memory size may be less than 4GB for the reservation for system usage under Windows® 32-bit OS. For Windows® 64-bit OS with 64-bit CPU, there is no such limitation.
BIOS - 32Mb AMI UEFI Legal BIOS with GUI support
- Supports "Plug and Play"
- ACPI 1.1 Compliance Wake Up Events
- Supports jumperfree
- SMBIOS 2.3.1 Support
- CPU, VCCM, NB, SB Voltage Multi-adjustment
 Audio, Video and Networking
Graphics - n/a
Audio - 7.1 CH HD Audio with Content Protection (Realtek ALC892 Audio Codec)
- Premium Blu-ray audio support
- Supports THX TruStudio™
LAN - PCIE x1 Gigabit LAN 10/100/1000 Mb/s
- Broadcom BCM57781
- Supports Wake-On-LAN
- Supports Energy Efficient Ethernet 802.3az
- Supports Dual LAN with Teaming function
- Supports PXE
 Expansion / Connectivity
Slots - 3 x PCI Express 2.0 x16 slots (PCIE2/PCIE4: x16 mode ; PCIE5: x4 mode)
- 2 x PCI Express 2.0 x1 slots
- 2 x PCI slots
- Supports AMD Quad CrossFireX™, 3-Way CrossFireX™ and CrossFireX™
- Supports NVIDIA® Quad SLI™ and SLI™
SATA3 - 6 x SATA3 6.0 Gb/s connectors, support RAID (RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 0+1, JBOD and RAID 5), NCQ, AHCI and "Hot Plug" functions
USB 3.0 - 2 x Rear USB 3.0 ports by Etron EJ168A, support USB 1.0/2.0/3.0 up to 5Gb/s
- 2 x Front USB 3.0 headers (support 4 USB 3.0 ports) by Etron EJ168A, support USB 1.0/2.0/3.0 up to 5Gb/s
Connector - 6 x SATA3 6.0 Gb/s connectors
- 1 x IR header
- 1 x COM port header
- 1 x IEEE 1394 header
- 1 x HDMI_SPDIF header
- 1 x Power LED header
- CPU/Chassis/Power FAN connector
- 24 pin ATX power connector
- 8 pin 12V power connector
- Front panel audio connector
- 2 x USB 2.0 headers (support 4 USB 2.0 ports)
- 2 x USB 3.0 headers (support 4 USB 3.0 ports)
- 1 x Dr. Debug (7-Segment Debug LED)
Rear Panel I/O I/O Panel
- 1 x PS/2 Mouse Port
- 1 x PS/2 Keyboard Port
- 1 x Coaxial SPDIF Out Port
- 1 x Optical SPDIF Out Port
- 5 x Ready-to-Use USB 2.0 Ports
- 1 x Fatal1ty Mouse Port (USB 2.0)
- 2 x Ready-to-Use USB 3.0 Ports
- 2 x eSATA3 Connectors
- 2 x RJ-45 LAN Ports with LED (ACT/LINK LED and SPEED LED)
- 1 x IEEE 1394 Port
- 1 x Clear CMOS Switch with LED
- HD Audio Jack: Side Speaker / Rear Speaker / Central / Bass / Line in / Front Speaker / Microphone
 Other Features / Miscellaneous
Unique Feature - F-Stream
- ASRock Instant Boot
- ASRock Instant Flash
- ASRock APP Charger
- ASRock SmartView
- ASRock XFast USB
- ASRock XFast LAN
- ASRock On/Off Play Technology
- Hybrid Booster:
- CPU Frequency Stepless Control
- ASRock U-COP
- Boot Failure Guard (B.F.G.)
- Turbo 50 / Turbo 60 CPU Overclocking
- Turbo UCC
Smart Switch - 1 x Power Switch with LED
- 1 x Reset Switch with LED
- 1 x Clear CMOS Switch with LED
Support CD - Drivers, Utilities, AntiVirus Software (Trial Version), CyberLink MediaEspresso 6.5 Trial, AMD Fusion, AMD Fusion Media Explorer, ASRock Software Suite (CyberLink DVD Suite - OEM and Trial)
Accessories - 1 x ASRock SLI_Bridge_2S Card
- Quick Installation Guide, Support CD, I/O Shield
- 6 x SATA Data Cables (optional)
- 2 x SATA 1 to 1 Power Cables (optional)
- 1 x 3.5mm Audio Cable (optional)
- 1 x Front USB 3.0 Panel
- 4 x HDD Screws
- 6 x Chassis Screws
- 1 x Rear USB 3.0 Bracket
Hardware Monitor - CPU Temperature Sensing
- Chassis Temperature Sensing
- CPU/Chassis/Power Fan Tachometer
- CPU Quiet Fan
- CPU/Chassis Fan Multi-Speed Control
- Voltage Monitoring: +12V, +5V, +3.3V, Vcore
Form Factor - ATX Form Factor: 12.0-in x 9.6-in, 30.5 cm x 24.4 cm
- All Solid Capacitor design (100% Japan-made high-quality Conductive Polymer Capacitors)
OS - Microsoft® Windows® 7 / 7 64-bit / Vista™ / Vista™ 64-bit / XP / XP 64-bit compliant
Certifications - FCC, CE, WHQL
- ErP/EuP Ready (ErP/EuP ready power supply is required)
 
 
 
Caution:
Please realize that there is a certain risk involved with overclocking, including adjusting the setting in the BIOS or using the third-party overclocking tools. Overclocking may affect your system stability, or even cause damage to the components and devices of your system. It should be done at your own risk and expense. We are not responsible for possible damage caused by overclocking.

 

ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX Professional Testing:

Thanks to previous reviews we have a pretty good idea what the AMD Phenom II X6 1050T CPU is capable of (we used the same CPU in our testing of the ASRock 890GX Extreme 4 Motherboard here). In this testing we are going to focus more on comparing the Fatal1ty 990FX Professional motherboard to the 890GX Extreme 4 motherboard to see how much of a performance difference there is. For this testing we have tried to recreate the test system that we used in our previous review as closely as possible to keep the results are accurate as we could.

 

Test Systems:

 
ASRock 890GX Extreme 4
ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX Professional
CPU
AMD Phenom II X6 1050T
AMD Phenom II X6 1050T
Motherboard
ASRock 890GX Extreme 4
Memory
Graphics
Radeon HD 5870 1GB
Radeon HD 5870 1GB
Cooling
Stock
Stock
Hard Drives
Intel 320 160GB SSD
Operating System
Windows 7 Ultimate x64
Windows 7 Ultimate x64
GPU  Drivers
Catalyst 10.8 Drivers
Catalyst 10.8 Drivers

 

Let's get on with the testing!

 

PMCore Testing:

PMCore is pretty heavy on the CPU in terms of testing but as you can see in the next chart the 990FX chipset actually made a bit of a difference when compared to the 890GX.

As you can clearly see when we ran the test using multi-threads the 990FX was able to beat the 890GX but when we ran this on only one core the 890GX was able to win by a decent margin.

pmcore.jpg

 

3DMark Vantage:

3DMark tests the overall gaming performance of a PC and its components. While 3DMark might not be completely accurate of all games it does give us a pretty fair overview of the performance you can expect with most games available.

The results of this test were in the favor of the 990FX when compared to the 890GX. While testing at stock speeds we found that the scores were similar for the CPU scores but the 990FX helped jump our graphics score by almost 2,000 points and overall the score jumped by over 1,000 points. Overall this improvement would amount to a little less than 5% which isn't that large of a number but if you are an enthusiast who wants to make your computer run as fast as possible you'd be happy to squeeze another 5% performance out of your system.

When we did the overclocked results we once again found that the 990FX was the clear winner and was able to put up some decent performance numbers.

 

3dmark.jpg


 

Cinebench 11.5:

Cinebench is a good "multimedia" benchmark and it tests both the graphics performance (in the OpenGL test) and the CPU performance (in the CPU test).

After the first couple tests that we ran I was expecting pretty much the same results (the 990FX being ~5% higher than the 890GX).

In the CPU test we however found the 890GX was able to slightly edge out the 990FX. While the performance difference between the two boards was very minimal it was interesting to see. I'm not really sure how to explain why the 890GX would be a hair better, I guess it just is what it is.

In the OpenGL testing we found that the 990FX once again came out on top (like in the other testing). While the 990FX was able to come out slightly ahead, it wasn't by much and chances are good you probably wouldn't really notice the difference in everyday use.

 

cinebench.jpg

 


 

CrystalDiskMark:

This next test wasn't so much of a comparison as just a point of reference for our test setup. For this test system we were using an Intel 320 160GB SSD. With this SSD installed these were the hard drive numbers we achieved.

According to Intel this drive is capable of Seq Read speeds of up to 270MB/s and Seq Write speeds of up to 165 MB/s. As you can see in the chart below the read speeds were a little bit below the specs provided from Intel but our write speeds were pretty much bang on.

crystal.jpg

 

Overclocking:

While the AMD Phenom II X6 CPU's might not be the most overclockable CPU's available, we found that when paired with the ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX Professional motherboard we were able to get a decent amount of additional performance out of this combo.

The new UEFI (BIOS) interface is pretty easy to use when it comes to trying your hand at overclocking. This board has a bunch of features for overclocking that pretty much anyone could figure out. If you are a more seasoned overclocker you will also find pretty much every option imaginable to squeeze an extra point our two out of your system.

This board also features "Turbo UCC" which allows you to easily overclock, unlock CPU cores, and power saving options with the simple press of a button (X) while you are booting up your system. In the past overclocking has been an activity that involved a ton of trial, error, and research but with features like Turbo UCC you can literally be overclocked in minutes as opposed to hours.

Due to the limits of our CPU we weren't able to pull of any 20% overclocks, however, thanks to the easy features pushing our CPU up an additional 10% was a breeze and as you can see in our testing section was able to push our benchmark scores up a fair bit.

 

Testing Final Thoughts:

After all of the performance testing I think we could safely say that the 990FX board has outperformed the 890GX in the majority of the testing. In some more CPU intensive testing the 890GX might have had a bit of an edge but in more overall system testing it was normally a bit behind the 990FX. The performance difference between the two boards was really overall very minimal and I’d bet good money that you’d never see a real world difference between the two. In the majority of testing I’d say the difference between the two boards would be ~1-3% which isn’t a big enough reason to pick one board over the other.

Probably the biggest thing to point out was that the 990FX probably was able to overclock a bit better than the 890GX which is a good sign as I’d expect a motherboard more aimed at the “Enthusiast” market should be able to overclock better than a board that isn’t necessarily an enthusiast board.

In the next section we will go over our final thoughts and award a final score.

 

ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX Professional Final Thoughts:

The ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX Professional motherboard has got pretty much every feature you can imagine and is most definitely aimed more towards the enthusiast.

Throughout our testing we were comparing this board head-to-head with the ASRock 890GX Extreme4 which we reviewed a while back. Overall in most of the testing we found that the 990FX was the winner performance-wise, however, when you figure out by how much it beat the 890GX by it would be most likely not be even noticeable in most applications (which isn’t too surprising considering we used all the same components in both test machines). Chances are good if you aren’t concerned about any of the fancy features that the 990FX board offers you’d be just as happy saving a few bucks and sticking with a board like the 890GX Extreme4.



The real reason that most people will pick the 990FX board over a board like the 890GX is the features. The 990FX is truly an enthusiast board with many options to truly customize this board to do exactly what you want it to do. Some of the features you get with this board:

  • Crossfire and SLI capable if you want to add a 2nd video card for more gaming performance. Included on board is 7.1 channel HD audio sound that support THX TrueStudio sound.
  • Overclocking is a breeze thanks to ASRock’s “Turbo UCC” which basically lets you overclock your system with the push of a button.
  • The “Fatal1ty Mouse Port” allows you to adjust the polling rate of your mouse from 125Hz to 1000Hz for a smoother gaming experience.
  • Dual-LAN Teaming - You can combine 2 LAN connections to act as a single connection for twice the bandwidth.
  • Premium Gold Capacitors

I could go on and on in regards to the features this board offers (and chances are good most people will never use half of them), but if you like to tweak every last ounce of performance out of your system you will find that this board is up for the challenge.

The value of this board is actually very good when you consider all the “high end” features that you are getting. At the time of publishing we found this board online for $179.99 USD which is quite a bargain if you want to try your hand at overclocking or you just want maximum performance while gaming. When compared to other brands of motherboards with the same features we found that the ASRock 990FX Fatal1ty Professional board is one of the best values currently.

At the end of the day if you want a board to really push your new 6 or 8 core AMD CPU you’ll probably want to give the ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX Professional motherboard some serious consideration. With more features than you can shake a stick at and a price tag that isn’t going to break the bank we can very easily recommend this board and have awarded it our “Editor’s Choice - Gold” Award.

  

Pros:

  • Features, Features, Features
  • Great Performance
  • Premium Gold Capacitors

 

Cons:

  • Nothing Major

 

BCCRating 

Gold 
 

I'd like to thank ASRock for sending us the Fatal1ty 990FX Professional. If you have any questions, comments, or general feedback, please leave it at the "Comments" link below.