ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX Killer AM3+ Motherboard Review


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ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX Killer Detailed Features

The key to selling motherboards is in the details. There are many 990FX motherboards that come in a variety of price ranges. What really sets each motherboard apart are the manufacturer specific features embedded in each board. ASRock sets itself apart from other manufacturers through a set of specific features that can really appeal to certain users. In the case of the ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX Killer motherboard, ASRock is tailoring the motherboard towards gamers.

ASRock_990FX_Fatal1ty_TopThe ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX Killer motherboard is home to ASRock’s A-Style features. A-Style is a series of lifestyle features that includes a lot of interesting functionalities. To start with, A-Style includes Home Cloud, which supports remote desktop and wake-on internet. You can control your PC from a smartphone, tablet, or computer from anywhere with an internet connection, even if your home computer is turned off. With wake-on internet, you can turn your computer on from anywhere. Home Cloud gives you complete access to your computer and all the files on it. You can view pictures or videos from your system, or stream music. I like this idea, especially for my wife. She is constantly complaining because her iPhone only has 8GB of storage. With all the apps, music, videos, and pictures on it, she doesn’t have any room to take more pictures! She doesn’t want to move them off the device, however. She wants to be able to show them to friends and family whenever she gets the chance; much to their chagrin, I am sure. Home Cloud could allow her to keep all those items at her fingertips while lightening the load on her smartphone.

ASRock_990FX_Fatal1ty_USB3I’m more interested in Home Cloud for the document sharing, but there is plenty more you can do as well. You can monitor cameras hooked up to computer, or watch TV if your PC is connected. There are a lot of possibilities. ASRock and other manufacturers have really been improving the onboard sound quality of their motherboards. I remember a time when onboard sound wasn’t very good at all. That’s not the case as much anymore, but audiophiles might still be a little put off by a lot of onboard sound options. A new audio codec, built in amplifiers, component isolation, and the like are a few ways that motherboard manufacturers can really make their devices stand out from the rest without increasing the cost of the motherboard by too much.

ASRock_990FX_Fatal1ty_Bot_IOThe ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX Killer motherboard is home to Purity Sound, a combination of hardware and software audio solutions and technologies. ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX Killer motherboard uses the Realtek ALC1150 audio codec for 7.1 channel HD audio. The ALC1150 includes a 115dB signal to noise ratio Digital to Analog Converter (SNR DAC) with a differential amplifier. Purity Sound adds to that the Texas Instruments NE5532 premium headset amplifier with support for headphones up to 600 ohms to replace traditional audio capacitors. Rounding out Purity Sound is an EMI shielding cover for the codec and PCB isolated shielding  to block noise from onboard components.

ASRock_990FX_Fatal1ty_longAnother of the features that ASRock uses to set the ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX Killer motherboard apart from the competition is a high density glass fabric PCB designed to help with humidity and moisture issues. I really don’t have much of a problem with humidity shorting out any of my components because I live in Southern Arizona. If you happen to be from a more tropical environment, the high density glass fabric PCB on the ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX Killer motherboard could extend the life of your motherboard. Along with a lot of other manufacturers, ASRock has moved to using gold capacitors for some of their higher-end products. The gold capacitors obviously cost more, but they are touted as being ultra-stable and extremely long-lasting. Interestingly enough, I’ve repaired a lot of motherboards over the last few years by replacing leaking capacitors, including solid caps. While the use of gold caps is relatively recent, I haven’t seen any leaking gold caps.

The ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX Killer motherboard uses a digital PWM design rather than a traditional analog design. This isn’t really unusual, but it is a very nice touch that should draw any potential overclockers. A digital VRM design allows overclockers to be much more precise in their voltage regulation. ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX Killer motherboard uses an 8+2 phase power design. In terms of voltage control, the ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX Killer motherboard should be an excellent overclocker. ASRock also offers XFast5 RAM on the ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX Killer motherboard. ASRock measures the 5x faster RAM speeds by creating a virtual disk from system memory and using Photoshop tests.


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  1. Tom J

    The FX-9590 results in AIDA might be because of throttling – I think that Fatal1ty board is only rated for the 125W CPUs, not sure if it does any downclocking or anything for the 220W FX CPUs (the 9590 and 9370 aren’t officially supported on that board). It’d be interesting to hear what the temperatures were on that 9590 during those tests.

  2. johnniedoo

    Excellent review, my thoughts were similar to TomJ on using the 9 series AMD in this board. Being a high density glass board, maybe less susceptible to the temp warping, but doubt it- not being an engineer or even close. I knew there was a board made by ASRock that was certified for the 220W processors though. that and only the Gigabyte UD7, I think.
    Seeing that the 9590 was included in the testing did catch my eye though. and for just over $100 new is an even greater eye catcher. Am needing to upgrade a couple of AM3 boards since I can not find any new Phenom II 4 or 6cores retailing anymore. Not even sure how long this AM3+ will last for my FX processors . thanks again for a great review.

  3. TourDeForce

    Interesting review, but it seemed to quickly morph into a processor comparison rather than the motherboard review indicated.

  4. Rich

    No benchmarks with an m.2 SSD installed??!! Like, what are the boot times, program load times compared to other systems with an SSD connected to SATA This is one of the few AMD boards with m.2…. come on guys!

    1. Olin Coles

      While you’re at it, rant about how car review magazines never test all the different tires available for that model. The M.2 slot on this board supports SATA 6 Gb/s M.2 cards, so it would perform pretty much the same as other SATA 6Gb/s SSDs. The only difference would be if a M.2 PCI Express Gen2 x2 card is used, which could reach 10 Gb/s. Of course, the sky is the limit for what is tested, and then it becomes an SSD review. See here: http://benchmarkreviews.com/category/comprehensive-product-reviews/computer-hardware-reviews/pc-storage/

  5. WAEL

    They are, of course, PCIe 3.0 slots???? mine is 2.0 and on ASROCK site they wrote : 3 PCIe 2.0 x16, 2 PCIe 2.0 x1 . maybe you got a new Rev ?


    Fatal1ty Killer,supports processor TDP 220W? As demonstrated in the test FX9590

  7. Kennith Jay Rosenthal

    They actually are NOT, of course, PCIE Gen 3.0 slots.

  8. DJ Estioco

    I’ve been reading around and I thought the 990FX Killer isn’t compatible with the 9590 FX? I’ve bought both and it said the CPU isn’t on the Mobo Support List? Am I doing something wrong?

  9. Gemma

    Great review, great board! I like the look of the gaming series motherboards, they look better than the extreme or overclocking series.

  10. Caring1

    Still a nice board, and I happen to like the inclusion of PS2 ports on the rear for the keyboard, if you’re whining about lack of USB ports when there is that many, you are doing it wrong.

  11. Michael

    It’s not pcie 3.0 it’s only 2.0

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