AMD 990FX Mobo Round-Up: Asus, ASRock, Gigabyte

Article Index

BIOS Comparo and Overclocking

All three of the motherboards featured in this article have well-appointed UEFI setup utilities or BIOS menus. In lieu of showing you a dizzying array of pictures from each board, however, we decided to shoot a little video of each one in action. As you’ll see, the graphical UEFI utilities of the Asus and ASRock boards clearly stand apart from the traditional BIOS menus of the Gigabyte board.

In our opinion, the Asus CrossHair V Formula’s UEFI setup utility is among the best we have ever come across. Not only does it just plain look good, navigating through the menus via mouse or keyboard is intuitive and responsive. Asus has done an excellent job here and should be commended. ASRock has also done a good job with their UEFI setup utility, although it lacks a touch of the refinement of Asus’ offering. Gigabyte’s 990FX-UD7 has a full-featured standard BIOS, which would have been great if this was early 2010, but it seems antiquated in light of updated UEFI setup utilities. 

Overclocking With The 990FX
No Issues Here 

With all of that said, these three boards all offer a very complete set up tweaking and overclocking tools in their respective setup utilities that should appease novices and hardened enthusiasts alike. We should also point out that we flash each board with the latest UEFI / BIOS as of this writing before doing any testing. What you see in the video above is representative of the most recent versions available on each company’s website.

Of course, we spent some time overclocking with all three boards as well to see how each would fare with our Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition at the helm. This particular CPU will reliably hit about 4.2GHz on air cooling with stock voltages. With the CPU in each board we first raised the multiplier via the BIOS / UEFI until the test system was no longer stable and all three boards hit the same 21x multiplier before we started seeing random instability. We also tested the CPU and boards with lower multipliers and increased HT clocks and were able to hit 255MHz – 260MHz without issue on all three boards, with stock voltages.

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