Joined on 01/02/09
Cheap, Fast, Good
Pros: I used this board in my kids computer build which didn’t need to be expensive or high end. Had a spare AMD AM3 Phenom II 965 lying around but wanted to be able to upgrade to FX chip later. Capable of 32 GB of ram, but that’s overkill so went with 8GB on Sale. Also picked up WD AV3200 320 GB HD that does 6GB/sec with 32mb cache on sale so boot time is actually pretty quick. AMD 970 North Bridge means 1 PCIe x16, so a cheap video card for now that can be upgraded later if needed to a high end card. ASRock actually left a space below the PCIe 2.0 x16 slot open, I’m guessing because so many video cards take up 2 slots. What a great idea! No paying for slots that are blocked. Nice black color instead of stupid powder blue. I’m so sick of powder blue! Oh yeah and there's X-Fast, but I haven't used it.
Cons: Not a full width board so it doesn’t use the 3 ATX standoffs near the drive bays on my ATX mid tower case. There is some flexing when you install the 20+4 pin power cable, but if you don’t know how to stick your finger between the board and the case tray during installation to stop this, you should be ejected from the planet. There are no lights on the board indicating power and no power button on the board, so there is no pre assembling and powering up this board without the use of a case power button (like you see in the computer building video on this site). The board labeling is adequate, but the front panel pins could be a little more distinguishable and labeled better. It doesn’t matter though as long as you find them and get it right. The case speaker pins have their own row, so just be aware. The second PCIe 2.0 slot is x4 because of the 970 NB chip so it’s capable of CrossfireX, but why would you do that? If you want a gaming rig just get 1 high end vid card and call it a day.
Overall Review: This is not my first computer build however this is the first time I've used ASRock. I usually use a more expensive brand. I bought all build parts for less than $420 which can easily be turned into a high performance gaming rig with minimal additional cost by upgrading the video card. Thank you ASRock for keeping cost down and performance up! Haven’t tried X-Fast yet, but if the three X-Fast options work even half as good as they sound and this board lasts, ASRock will be my brand of choice!
5 month fail
Pros: Ran great while it worked. Never overclocked and was able to play borderlands 2 on all highest settings. Everything was smooth and good and fast and nice.
Cons: Booted up 5 months later and randomly started getting white screen with faint blue lines running down it that would disappear to leave whole screen white. I tested my ram with memtest86, and cpu with futuremark in one of my other computers. Tested my psu in another computer with an Competing brand 4770 vid card worked fine. Removed Catalyst Control Center and all video Drivers, Then reloaded. Worked almost ok. If it went to sleep it white screened. Funny thing is OS is working fine. I can hit the windows button and arrow over once to shut down and twice to sleep. This was supposed to ben an upgrade to a 5450, If I put my 5450 silent edition in it runs fine. I have run bigger cards in this computer with no issue and my psu is 620w so that shouldn't be an issue with nothing overclocked for last two years.
Overall Review: Thought this would be like having another 4770. Too bad that was such a short lived card. I have never had one problem with it. This card is short so allows good airflow, but thick so it takes up two PCI slots. It runs awesome while it runs. I build a lot of computers for friends and family. This is my second Saphire video product. I usually stick with A different brand. I'm just glad I didn't put it in somebody else's computer
Great monitor but some blurring.
Pros: Beautiful picture. Build quality is top notch VA panel monitor. I have no dead pixels after 1 month. Very bright and colorful. It came with a display port cable and HDMI cable. Very thin bezel. RGB is fun, but not noticeable when placed with back to the wall.
Cons: 60 FPS out of the box with lots of motion blur. You have to turn off G-sync to get higher FPS. I still haven't figured out how to turn on HDR. And there aren't instructions in the box for anything. Also good luck finding any instructions online. Because this is a 1080 monitor that is 27" the picture quality isn't as nice as a 1080 24" because of the size of pixels. Next time I go 27" I get a better graphics card and a 1440 monitor.
Overall Review: After turning off G-sync in the monitor settings, my FPS went up from 60 to over 100 in most games. Sometimes over 200. I read online that you have to change the Nvidia settings on your computer to 10 bit for hdr but for now that option is grayed out. The monitor is very bright, I actually have to sit a bit further back from my monitor than usual because the motion blur is a lot to deal with in some games. I got this monitor on sale with a rebate. I would probably that did make it worth it. My system: Amd 3800x ASSUS 570x TUF PRO CORSAIR 3200 MHZ LPX EVGA RTX 2060
Deep Dark Blue Awesomeness
Pros: Quiet two bearing fan The color is unlike anything else Perfect replacement for hyper 212 fans
Cons: Can't change to any other color
Overall Review: OK, let's just get this out of the way... I'm a red team fan (AMD) so when I went looking for replacement 120 mm fans the preference was red lights or no lights. Everything out there now has aRGB and is more expensive now, and I had red lights, but was bored of them. I saw these and the price and thought, what the heck, I'll give them a try. I expected that sky blue that you get from every intel based over priced machine that is so hard to look at. Instead was rewarded with a deep dark blue that isn't hard on the eyes. It's there, but not distractingly there if you know what I mean. Now I have a blue case that doesn't remind me of the blue team that I love.... I would buy this again.
So Far So Good
Pros: Fast enough to not know the difference between 120 GB SSD with OS and programs loaded on this 1 TB Hybrid Disk!
Cons: It's a Full size HDD... And there's not telling how long it will last.
Overall Review: How do you breathe life into an old computer? Remove all of the bottle necks. Take an AMD Phenom II X6 Throw in 4 Corsair 4 GB DDR3 Sticks of RAM Add a Semi Modern ATI RX560 with a SEAGATE 500 W Power Supply and... The bottleneck is still the CPU in gaming... But... With a 120 GB SSD for the OS And all of the folders (Documents, Downloads, Pictures, Video) mapped to this Hybrid drive and All of the programs and games (Steam) installed on this Hybrid drive She boots up in 15 seconds, and launches apps faster than the corona virus spread from china to the rest of the world... I mean that took like three months so, maybe that was a bad analogy.... Well, It loads apps fast. and I have no complaints. I just hope it lasts.
Fast, Full Featured and Full of Fun but Funky
Pros: Motherboards are something you don’t really think about once you install them. If they work good, then you can play your games and use your applications without even thinking about them. If you can tweak them in the bios or through built in apps that’s even better. If they come with features that you would normally spend monon (cards for audio or WiFi or Bluetooth) that’s even better. Well this motherboard delivers on all fronts. It even comes with customizable LED’s. I bought a Mushkin M.2 SSD and my boot time is about 20 seconds. I love this board. It does everything I need and it does it without issue. Sort of.
Cons: I purchased a HYPER 212 LED cpu cooler that glows red and set the motherboard LED’s to blue. That’s pretty cool. You can choose any color from the entire color spectrum for the LED’s. I don’t mean to be pessimistic, but I have never seen an LED that lasted a long time. These seem to work well so far. I haven’t tried any Bluetooth with this motherboard yet (it says it supports it, but I don't know if that means I need an adapter or it's built in). WiFi was pretty good. Yes I said WAS. It became very slow and spotty. Sometimes it would recognize the signal, sometimes not. I updated the driver and the bios and gave up. I happened to have a TP-Link T6E lying and now I’m back up and running better than stock. Sometimes dedicated cards with heat sinks are better than on board equipment. Ok, Most of the time they are.
Overall Review: This is a great board. It’s sleek, classy looking, and has lots of features. The stuff I expect to work works well. The stuff that doesn’t, I expected to be wonky going into this purchase. Save yourself some time and buy a TP-Link Wifi Card from the start. It doesn’t really matter what brand of Mobo you buy. This will save you the headache when the onboard stops working.