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AMD FX-8120 Black Edition CPU Review (with Asus M5A99X EVO)

Asus have adopted a black and blue colour scheme for the Asus M5A99X EVO.  The PCB itself is black and the board has a combination of black, blue and white fittings.

There is a substantial heatsink to the left of the CPU socket which will help to cool the power regulation circuitry supplying the CPU.  The chipset is located just below the power regulation circuitry and is covered with a similarly styled blue heatsink.  Asus haven’t placed the heatsinks too close to the CPU socket so there shouldn’t be any issues installing CPU coolers of any size.  We used a Noctua NH-D14 for testing which fitted easily.

We find the 8-pin power connector for the CPU nestled just above the heatsink, along the top edge of the board in close proximity to the CPU socket.

All four of the DDR3 memory slots are located just to the right of the CPU socket and are black and blue in colour highlighting the different channels.

Be warned that large CPU coolers such as the Noctua NH-D14 will obstruct some of these RAM slots, so low profile memory may be required.  The board supports up to 32 GB of unbuffered memory running at speeds of 2133 (OC)/1866/1600/1333/1066 MHz in a dual channel configuration.

The internal USB3.0 header is located just underneath the memory slots, which isn’t ideal for most cases as it can be difficult to route cables neatly.  We would have preferred to see this located along the bottom edge of the motherboard.  We also find the 24-pin power connector and a 3-pin fan header adjacent to the memory slots.

Moving further down the right hand side of the motherboard we find the eight SATA ports in total.  Six of these are SATA-600 ports connected to the AMD SB950 controller which support RAID 0, 1, 5 and 10.  The two remaining SATA-300 ports are connected to the JMicron JMB362 controller which also feeds the onboard eSATA ports.

Along the bottom edge of the motherboard we find all the front panel headers.  These include an HD Audio connector, three USB2.0 connectors a fan header and the front panel switch and LED connectors.  We also find a further 3-pin fan header and switches for the TPU and EPU here.

There are three PCI Express x16 slots on the motherboard in total.  The top two will only run at x16 if there is a single graphics card installed in the system and will switch down to x8 with dual graphics cards installed.  The motherboard supports both Quad SLI and Quad CrossfireX. The third runs in x4 mode when three cards are installed.  In addition to the three PCI Express x16 slots, there are two PCI Express x1 slots and a single legacy PCI slot.

The rear I/O panel supports:

  • 1x PS2 connector keyboard/mouse combo port
  • 1x eSATA 3 GB/s
  • 1x Power eSATA 3 GB/s
  • 1x IEEE 1394a
  • 1x LAN (RJ45) port
  • 2x  USB3.0 ports
  • 8x USB2.0 ports
  • 1x Optical S/PDIF out
  • 6x Audio jacks

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