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ASRock 990FX Extreme3 AM3+ AMD 990FX + SB950 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard with UEFI BIOS
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

3 out of 5 eggs Edit of old review - Not good for 8-Core CPUs 08/12/2014

This review is from: ASRock 990FX Extreme3 AM3+ AMD 990FX + SB950 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard with UEFI BIOS

Pros: I still maintain most of what I said in my previous review, though the board isn't as flawless as I first thought it to be.

Cons: I'm dropping this down 2 eggs over my last review due to a recent and very disappointing discovery that is actually going to lead me replacing this board in my rig.

If you have one of the 8-Core 125 Watt Vishera Core CPUs (ie. 8350) be warned that this board struggles to run it. Now, yes, the specs say that the board can use the 8-core CPUs up to 140 watts, and its not totally lying about that, it can run it, but, and trust me its a big but, the VRMs power phasing struggles to power the CPU under a heavy load and over clocking is nearly impossible.

Using both CoreTemp and SpeedFan I monitored my CPU under a 100% load using Prime95. Initially everything seems to be fine, but once things start to heat up, ussually around 70C the clock speed drops from 4.0GHZ to 1.3GHZ and at the same time, the Vcore voltage drops from 1.25v to about 0.8v. After everything cools down a bit the clock and volts go back up and I initially thought it was just poor cooling since my CPU cooler isn't the best, but after stopping Prime95 and letting the computer idle with the Temp dropping to around 47C the Vcore and Clock speeds will fluctuate sporadically until I restart the computer.

Looking at the official Spec sheet on ASRocks website for the supported CPUs, I noticed a little asterisk and looked to see what it meant. Apparently ASRock recommends a downward blowing CPU cooler for optimal performance on the three 8-Core 125 watt Vishera Core processors and only those three because the VRM can only be cooled properly if the CPU fan is also blowing over the VRMs Heatsink, but if you're using liquid cooler, non-downward blowing heatsink, or just a poor quality heatsink, the VRM doesn't get properly cooled and overheats causing its voltage to drop and in turn throttles the CPU.

What does this mean to everyone? If you plan to use an 8-Core 125 Watt Vishera such as the 8350, then find a better board or you're going to be restricting the CPUs performance. Any other AM3+ CPU that it supports should be fine, though I can't vouch for this.

Other Thoughts: Again, if you want full performance from those 8-Core CPUs, then find a better board and if you want to overclock that CPU then you'll need a better board.

Rosewill CHALLENGER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case, comes with Three Fans-1x Front Blue LED 120mm Fan, 1x Top 140mm Fan, 1x Rear 120mm Fan, option Fans-2x Side 120mm Fan
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: The case is more then worth the money, great ventilation due to the grated front panel and the vented side panel as well as the vented expansion slots. The fans that come with it are pretty good although the rear fan made small amounts of noise at max speed, but not really a con.
One other thing I loved and applaud is the fact the expansion slot covers are replaceable. The last two cases I had (one being a Rosewill) had punch out slot covers that couldn't be replaced so I had to buy covers myself. Its convenient to have replaceable ones as long as I don't lose them.

Cons: A couple gripes about the case that are more personal then anything. To install the motherboard you may want to remove the top fan as it is extremely close the the mounting location and did obstruct me when installing mine. I also wish it had USB 3.0 on the front but that was taken care of by the eSata port.

Other Thoughts: I did replace the rear fan, while the noise wasn't terrible and could be easily ignored, I had better fans from an old build on hand. The top and front fans are barely noticeable so I didn't bother to replace them. I also liked that fact you can mount 2 120 mm fans on the side panel or possibly a liquid cooling radiator (though the rear vent also has a single 120 mm radiator configuration.

AMD FX-8350 Black Edition Vishera 8-Core 4.0GHz (4.2GHz Turbo) Socket AM3+ 125W Desktop Processor FD8350FRHKBOX
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

Pros: Fast! Even when pushing the processor to the limit, it still manages to run flawlessly. The stock heatsink does a decent job at cooling, though an after market cooler might be preferred.

Cons: The main reason for not giving 5 eggs is because of the stock fan it came with. At idle, even when setting the fan controller to the lowest speed, it still ran at about 3500 RPM and at max speed ran at 6500 RPM and sounded like a leaf blower in my case anytime the processor went over the set thermal limit. (which I had to adjust on my board so the leaf blower wouldn't start). I was able to remedy this by swapping the fan for the one on my old AMD board which cut the noise significantly. Replacing the fan also led to the discovery of my second and third con.
When replacing the fan, I discovered it was not mounted with screws but with tiny plastic clips, which, as I'm sure many builders are aware, can easily break if not handled delicately and if they break, its going to render the stock cooler useless.
And my last con pertains to the heatsink, or at least the AM3 mounting clamp it uses. After removing the fan I noticed the clamp was pressing a few of the fins on the heatsink together and bending others. It doesn't seem to effect the cooling significantly, but it is something to note.

Other Thoughts: Overall the processor is great and don't regret the purchase. I would however recommend purchasing an after market cooler as the stock fan is cheap and the heatsink is poorly designed.


Thomas C.'s Profile

Display Name: Thomas C.

Date Joined: 06/25/12

  • Reviews: 8
  • Helpfulness: 2
  • First Review: 06/30/12
  • Last Review: 08/12/14
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