A truly pure black motherboard, that is a rarity in and of itself.
- Richtek RT8871A 4+1 phase controller
- 4 true phases
- Unlabeled MOSFETs, probably rated for 30A.
- Unlabeled inductors
- Miniscule heatsink
- Unkown minimum to 500KHz max
- 1 true phase
- Same MOSFETs as CPU core - Has a heatsink
- Unknown minimum to 500KHz
- 2 true phases
- Same MOSFETs as CPU core - No heatsink
- Unknown minimum to unknown maximum KHz
This board doesn’t officially support the 9000 series of FX CPUs. The fact that none of the components making up the VRM phases are from name brands is concerning. However, the BIOS does limit you to only using safe voltages from which I calculated that the VRM is most likely built for 120A on the core and 30A on the NB. Honestly this board annoys me because building a small high current VRM is not hard. The only obstacle is the expense, and considering how many AM3+ boards cost more than this one I don't think that putting a 160A, 200A, or 240A VRM on this board would make it less desirable. However cheap the VRM may be, it holds voltage very well. The board doesn't support LLC, but at any core voltage while running IBT, I wasn’t getting more than 15mv of VDroop. This is better than what any other board I've used has ever managed.
- Max VCC: 1.55V
- Max VNB: 1.75V
- Max VDDR: 2.05V
- NB clock from 400 to 6300
- Full active core control (you can run 1 core per CU)
- XMP Support
- Missing sub timings
- No support for asymmetrical timings
Why Asrock why? Why do I have to scroll through a mile long voltage table to set a voltage when I have a perfectly functional keyboard. The voltage limits are low, as expected, but I’m not taking points for this. This is because higher voltages would most likely kill the VRM. The board also lacks LLC settings. This is not a bad thing because there is only a very slight VDroop of 15mv on all the VRMs. However the NB voltage is a mess, similarly to the A85X Extreme 6. The board defaults the NB voltage to 1.4V for whatever reason. This is way too high when stock NB voltage is 1.15V and AMD recommends not going over 1.35V on 32nm CPUs.
The following hardware ran stable, using Intel Burn Test (IBT) for stress testing.
- RipjawsX 2x2GB 1600 7-8-7-24 1.6V/max clock: 1866mhz 8-9-8-25-1T 1.75V
- Max CPU clock 1.55V 4core: 4770mhz
CPU-Z validation stable.
-Max CPU clock 1.55V 8 core: 4500mhz
-Max FSB clock: 230mhz
The error recovery ability of this board is superb. It handles failed RAM settings with the utmost ease, and I only had to wipe the BIOS once throughout my testing. Unfortunately this board is awful at RAM overclocking. The kit of RAM I used on it today was my best RAM kit that usually sits inside my FX 6350 system, which runs at 2133 9-12-9-28-1T on 1.7V. Now I don't think this a problem with the board's capabilities. However, due to the missing settings you can't do anything when going outside of the XMP spec of your RAM. I'm pretty sure that a kit with a 2400mhz XMP profile would run 2400mhz without problems, but don’t expect to overclock RAM 200mhz above it’s advertised spec, The FSB was similarly painful. On my Sabertooth 990FX R2.0 and the ASUS A88X-PRO, I overclocked by turning down all the multipliers, then tried to boot with a higher FSB in increments of 10mhz. The 970m Pro3 however, refuses to work above 230mhz, no matter what I do.
Conclusion: 16/30 Points, 0.246pts/$
This board is the best MATX AM3+ board you can buy. Physically, this board is solid for basic overclocking. Except for some easily fixable BIOS quirks, I see no reason why you would pick any other board when building an MATX AM3+ system. The VRM can handle up to 120A, so it won't handle the FX 9000 series. This board will however, handle ALL FX CPUs overclocked up to 4.75Ghz on 1.525V. This means that if cooling on the VRM is sufficient, you can overclock on this board above 1.45v. Otherwise, you will need to stay under 1.45v or it will overheat and thermal throttle or even burn out. This board is very poor for RAM and FSB overclocking, so it's no good for benchmarking. Regardless, this board meets the needs of a daily gaming PC based on FX CPUs.
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