You can understand when Fatal1ty endorses a 1337 gaming mouse, but when a motherboard is emblazoned with the fatal one's name and face, it sends a slightly more confusing message.

Is it a no-compromise AMD 990FX-based board capable of outperforming any other with raw performance and features? Or is it a stripped down racing car of a board, equipped with only the features you need? A quick glance over the ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX Professional's spec sheet reveals it's definitely the former.

The board's well endowed with gold capacitors and special mouse ports, but it's the software that impresses us most.

F-Stream is a slick all-in-one program that enables you to fiddle with overclocking, energy levels and fan settings from the desktop.

The UEFI Bios is similarly comprehensive, although rendered slightly unnerving by featuring Mr Wendel's face in blood red as a background.

Things get slightly silly when you start looking into the I/O though. One of the USB 2.0 ports is the Fatal1ty mouse port. Once a mouse is plugged in here, you can alter the polling rate from 100 to 500MHz with the F-Stream tuning software.

It's no less than we'd expect from a Fatal1ty-endorsed motherboard, but since we're not quite at pro gamer levels, it's difficult to see how much of a difference this actually makes.

TechRadar Labs

tech labs

AMD 9-Series

CPU video encoding performance
X246 v4: Frames per second: Higher is better
ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX: 33
Asus M5A99X EVO: 33
Asus RoG Crosshair V: 33
Asus Sabertooth 990FX: 32
Gigabyte 970A-UD3: 33
Gigabyte H67MA-UD2H: 33
Gigabyte 990FXA-UD7: 33
MSI 970A-G45: 33

CPU rendering performance
Cinebench 11.5: Index score: Higher is better
ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX: 5.86
Asus M5A99X EVO: 5.86
Asus RoG Crosshair V: 5.86
Asus Sabertooth 990FX: 5.72
Gigabyte 970A-UD3: 5.78
Gigabyte H67MA-UD2H: 5.83
Gigabyte 990FXA-UD7: 5.74
MSI 970A-G45: 5.71

Verdict

The Jury's out on the number of pro gamers crying out for three-way CrossFireX support and six SATA 6Gbps ports. But there are certainly plenty of enthusiasts out there who don't get paid to click buttons quicker than anyone else who'll appreciate these features.

Whether or not pwning is your bread and butter, this board has a lot to offer.

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