- AMD 990FX
- FX / Phenom II / Athlon II / Sempron 100 Series
- DDR3 2100(OC) /1866
- $119.99 119.99
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Edit of old review - Not good for 8-Core CPUs 08/12/2014
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.
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.
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.
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