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ASRock 990FX Extreme9 Motherboard Review

The main page of the ASRock 990FX Extreme9 motherboard’s UEFI BIOS displays information such as the processor and memory frequencies.

The OC tweaker page features the system’s main settings, and those that can be tweaked when overclocking.

We noticed that the board was highly over-compensating for our memory voltage. The ‘Auto’ setting should configure the modules at 1.50V, but instead they were operating at 1.58V – a significant difference.

Many voltage and power settings can be heavily tweaked to allow for maximum performance to be obtained from a processor.

As the FX-8350 processor that we used is a ‘Black Edition’ part, the ASRock 990FX Extreme9 can take advantage of the unlocked multiplier which can be used to achieve higher CPU overclocks, without sacrificing the system stability that exists with a 200MHz base clock.

The main memory dividers up to DDR3-2400MHz are supported by the 990FX Extreme9. A 2000MHz divider would be useful to many enthusiasts. XMP is supported by the 990FX Extreme9, but our 2133MHz Patriot Viper modules were getting wrongly configured by the board. Instead, we had to manually set the frequency and timings.

A good amount of timings and settings can be tweaked, but the options are certainly more confined than some other motherboards that we have used, such as the Asus P8Z77-V.

A maximum memory voltage of 1.800V can be set. This is a too conservative for an enthusiast-grade motherboard which could possibly be used to attempt record-breaking overclocks.

CPU settings can be tweaked without hassle.

Users can flash the BIOS version through the UEFI interface. A system browser indicates which components are installed, such as a graphics card and memory.

Up to three user-definable setting configurations can be saved. This isn’t good enough for a board that is designed for overclocking. At least five should be provided to give users the flexibility to save a 24/7 setting, maximum speed setting, and multiple test settings when overclocking.

The H/W Monitor page provides accurate and believable readings, thanks to the Nuvoton NCT6776F hardware monitoring controller.

Fan speed settings can be edited to set the minimum speed. A target CPU temperature can also be set so that the fans have a level of performance to aim for, rather than operate at a constant speed.

SATA modes and boot devices can be changed to suit a user’s individual requirements.

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  • Rt23ds

    Great motherboard, they deserve to be recognised more in the enthusiast sector. I love my ASROCK Z77 board

  • Kim

    Nice look board and excellent overclocks. I want to upgrade my AMD system this year, but have been waiting on the new products.

  • Indloon

    It is a little expensive IMO for what you get, Intel boards start way under £100 today.

  • Horacio Perez

    Great board, sexy layout and well featured. BUT as overclocker i feel 1.5v core is just too much, even for AMD CPUs…. The marginal gains that you get from 600mhz for about 0.3 vcore increase is not worth it. For 5.0ghz, is ok, 1.5 vcore would be understable, but going upper than that is just too away from my comfort zone. I dont know if I can blame the board or a bad chip. Good review !

  • Warren Puckett

    The Extreme9 990FX will do very well with a 8370E. Does good enough with 9590 (I call the lazy overclockers board combo). Don’t expect it to overclock the 9590 much. It does run all 8 cores at 4.9 ghz all day with turbo turned off (a little better than 4.7/5.0 stock setting for most things). Recognizes the Avexir 2400 speed ram and sets it automatically. Just make sure you have room for a big twin tower air cooler.or a least a 240mm water cooler so you can keep that temps down.
    It does very well with crossfired R9 285s OC to 1100 Mhz (water cooled also).
    If you are going to do something likes need a big case and big power supply too. Like around 1100 watts. 285/380s need a lot more cooling to push them over 1000Mhz