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ASRock 890FX Deluxe 3 review

This motherboard offers a high-end package with a small price

Our Verdict

For

  • AMD's top chipset
  • Two USB 3.0 chips, extra SATA 6Gbps
  • Plenty of overclocking headroom

Against

  • Slightly patchy performance

The ASRock 890FX Delexe 3 is a high end board for mid-range money, what's not to like?

That's what Asrock hopes you'll think when you clock the 890FX chipset and a £125 sticker. But does this performance-orientated board deliver?

If you're in the habit of tag-teaming multiple graphics cards, Asrock has the bases covered with a trio of PCI Express graphics slots and has gone to town on the northbridge and MOSFET cooling, too. It's an active arrangement with a fan on the MOSFET cooler connected to the Northbridge via a heat pipe.

The only slight downside is that it does impinge a little on space around the socket. That said, it is removable.

Anyway, factor in the top-spec 890FX chipset and the 10-phase voltage regulator circuit and we're expecting some spectacular overclocking results.

Next up is the onboard digital status display and CMOS reset switch on the back panel. Neither is essential, but both are genuinely useful and the sort of touches that separate big-money mobos from bargain basement boards.

Indeed, Asrock has gone better than many board makers by soldering on not one but two of those ubiquitous NEC USB 3.0 chips. The Deluxe 3 therefore sports four highspeed USB ports.

Like any 890FX board, the southbridge delivers six SATA 6Gbps ports for nippy storage performance. But Asrock has added an extra SATA 6Gbps controller, allowing a pair of additional ports and also an eSATA socket on the rear panel that also supports the full 6Gbps Monty.

Move into the BIOS and the Deluxe 3's polished act continues. It's heaving with options for both the casual and committed overclocker. You can, for instance, choose from a list of percentage overclocks using pre-optimised settings up to 50 per cent for some quick and easy extra performance.

High, high-end

Alternatively, you can hit the [X] key on boot. This enables Asrock's Turbo UCC feature.

First, it will unlock hidden cores in the CPU. Second, it automatically hunts down the ideal oveclocked settings for any given processor. That's the theory anyway.

For those who prefer to do their own dirty work, all the usual clock, voltage and timing settings are provided. They're also presented in a straightforward and intelligible manner. Handy given that most will not be familiar with Asrock's BIOS menu.

The Deluxe 3 therefore talks like a high-end board. Does it walk like one? In a word, yes. In terms of overclocking prowess, it matches the much more expensive Asus Crosshair with a maximum bus speed of 325MHz. It's not quite as deft with our DIMMs, topping out at 1,600MHz, where the Asus manages 1,800MHz.

As for the Turbo UCC feature, it returns a disappointing 3.45GHz with our 3.2GHz Phenom II chip. Elsewhere, the numbers look pretty solid.

Application and gaming performance is good, as for the most part is storage throughput. The only slight demerits are an underwhelming 297MB/s in the HDTach burst test and a marginally off-the-pace 12.0MB/s of memory bandwidth using default settings.

But this is still an intriguing board with bags of features for a very reasonable price.

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Tech Specs

Product TypeDesktop Motherboard
Chipset ManufacturerAMD
Chipset Model890FX
Multi GPU SupportedCrossFireX
Number of PCI Express x16 Slots3
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Processor SocketSocket AM3 PGA-941
Brand NameASRock
Form FactorATX
Processor SupportedPhenom II X6, Phenom II X4, Phenom II X3, Phenom II X2, Athlon II X4, Athlon II X3, Athlon II X2, Sempron
Total Processor Supported1
Maximum Memory16 GB
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityRoHS
64-bit ProcessingYes
Number of Memory Slots4
Number of PCI Slots2
Audio Channels7.1
Gigabit EthernetYes
Number of IDE Interfaces1
Number of SATA Interfaces8
HyperTransport Speed2600 MHz
RAID SupportedYes
Number of Total Expansion Slots7
eSATAYes
Network (RJ-45)Yes
Total Number of USB Ports8
Number of USB 3.0 Ports4
Total Number of FireWire/i.LINK Ports1
Total Number of Onboard USB Ports2
Number of Onboard USB 2.0 Ports2
Total Number of Onboard FireWire/i.LINK Ports1
PCI Express StandardPCI Express 2.0
Total Number of PCI Express Slots5
Processor TechnologyCool'n'Quiet Technology, HyperTransport Technology
Width304.8 mm
Depth243.8 mm
ManufacturerASRock, Inc
Product Model890FX Deluxe3
Product Name890FX Deluxe3 Desktop Motherboard
Controller TypeFloppy Controller, Serial ATA/600, Ultra ATA/133 (ATA-7)
Manufacturer Part Number90-MXGEZ0-A0UAYZ
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.asrock.com
Marketing Information

ASRock Inc. is established in 2002, specialized in the field of motherboards. ASRock strives to build up its own brand. With the 3C design concept, "Creativity, Consideration, Cost-effectiveness", the company explores the limit of motherboards manufacturing while paying attention on the eco issue at the same time, developing products with the consideration of eco-friendly concept. ASRock has been growing fast and become world third largest motherboard brand with headquarter in Taipei, Taiwan and branches in Europe and the USA. The young and vibrant company targets from mainstream to enthusiast MB segments for different kinds of users, owning reputation around the world market with its reliability and proficiency.

Package Contents
  • 890FX Deluxe3 Desktop Motherboard
  • Quick Installation Guide
  • Support CD
  • 1 x Ultra ATA 66/100/133 IDE Ribbon Cable (80-conductor)
  • 1 x Ribbon Cable for a 3.5-in Floppy Drive
  • 1 x I/O Panel Shield