ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX Professional review

The pro gamer has put his name on this AMD 990FX motherboard, but is it any good for amateurs?

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Our Verdict

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

For

  • 3 PCI-e slots
  • 6 SATA 6 GB/s ports
  • Nifty software

Against

  • Bit too much of Fatal1ty's face

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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Tech Specs

Product TypeDesktop Motherboard
Chipset ManufacturerAMD
Chipset Model990FX
Multi GPU SupportedCrossFireX, SLI
Onboard VideoNo
Number of PCI Express x16 Slots3
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Processor SocketSocket AM3+
Brand NameFatal1ty
Form FactorATX
Processor SupportedPhenom II X3, Phenom II X4, Phenom II X2, Phenom II X6, Athlon II X3, Athlon II X4, Athlon II X2, Sempron
Total Processor Supported1
Maximum Memory32 GB
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityRoHS, WEEE
64-bit ProcessingYes
Number of Memory Slots4
Number of PCI Slots2
Audio Channels7.1
Gigabit EthernetYes
Number of SATA Interfaces6
HyperTransport Speed2600 MHz
RAID SupportedYes
Number of Total Expansion Slots7
eSATAYes
Number of Network (RJ-45) Ports2
Network (RJ-45)Yes
Total Number of USB Ports7
Number of USB 3.0 Ports2
Total Number of FireWire/i.LINK Ports1
PS/2 PortYes
Number of PS/2 Ports3
Total Number of Onboard USB Ports8
Number of Onboard USB 2.0 Ports4
Total Number of Onboard FireWire/i.LINK Ports1
PCI Express StandardPCI Express 2.0
Total Number of PCI Express Slots5
Memory Form FactorDIMM
Number of eSATA Ports2
Processor TechnologyHyperTransport 3.0 Technology, Untied Overclocking Technology, Cool'n'Quiet Technology
Width304.8 mm
Depth243.8 mm
ManufacturerASRock, Inc
Product Model990FX
Product NameProfessional 990FX Desktop Motherboard
Product LineProfessional
Controller TypeSerial ATA/600
Manufacturer Part Number990FX-PROFESSIONAL
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.asrock.com
Marketing Information

ASRock Inc. is established in 2002, specialized in the field of motherboards. ASRock strives to build up its own brand. With the 3C design concept, "Creativity, Consideration, Cost-effectiveness", the company explores the limit of motherboards manufacturing while paying attention on the eco issue at the same time, developing products with the consideration of eco-friendly concept. ASRock has been growing fast and become world third largest motherboard brand with headquarter in Taipei, Taiwan and branches in Europe and the USA. The young and vibrant company targets from mainstream to enthusiast MB segments for different kinds of users, owning reputation around the world market with its reliability and proficiency.

Package Contents
  • Professional 990FX Desktop Motherboard
  • 1 x ASRock SLI_Bridge_2S Card
  • Quick Installation Guide
  • Support CD
  • I/O Shield
  • 1 x Front USB 3.0 Panel
  • 4 x HDD Screws
  • 6 x Chassis Screws
  • 1 x Rear USB 3.0 Bracket