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ASRock Extreme comparisons

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October 4, 2012 6:35:29 PM

Can someone briefly explain the advantages/differences between the AM3+ ASRock Extreme3 and Extreme 4 and the 970 and 990 versions of each?

I'm planning (currently) a FX-4170 with 8GB G.Skill Ripjaw X 1600 and Radeon 7770 GHz machine. (though it might be a FX6100...) I had originally picked the 970Extreme4.

-Seems the only difference in the 3 and 4 versions is the PCIe slot setup....?

-Is there any advantage to the 990 vs 970 for this build?

thanks,
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a c 180 V Motherboard
October 4, 2012 6:43:25 PM

The 990 chip is the better chip and will allow more features , such as pci-e lanes so that an additional pci-e slot can be used for a video card.
I would go with the Extreme 4 board.
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a c 93 V Motherboard
October 4, 2012 6:58:20 PM

The 970 Extreme4 can provide x8/x8/x4 PCIe lanes, the Extreme3 only x16/x4 - ie. no SLI and hampered Crossfire performance.

The Extreme4 also adds a USB3.0 header for the frontpanel, a FireWire header, debug LEDs, and more accessories (2 extra SATA cables, an audio cable, and a SLI bridge for obvious reasons).
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October 4, 2012 7:04:27 PM

Not planning on Xfire, so no worries there.

I do want USB 3.0. Though the "features" description on NewEgg shows that both the Extreme3 and 4 both have USB3.0, I am assuming that the Extreme3 is only rear port USB3.0?

That said, either way, looks like its better to go with the 4 board.

Not being an exteme gamer, will I really see any advantage to the 990 NB over the 970?
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a c 93 V Motherboard
October 4, 2012 7:08:22 PM

cpokey26 said:
I do want USB 3.0. Though the "features" description on NewEgg shows that both the Extreme3 and 4 both have USB3.0, I am assuming that the Extreme3 is only rear port USB3.0?

Yes, they have the same two USB3.0 ports on the back, the 4 just adds a header for another two on the frontpanel.
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a c 148 V Motherboard
October 4, 2012 7:15:37 PM

Disclaimer: I've built more AMD rigs than Intel over the past few years. Other than general purpose builds where an APU may make sense, for performance reasons, a new build done today should be Intel. Recent benchmarks and reviews have clearly shown that there is no longer a price point where Intel does not outperform AMD in games. While it may be worth noting that some Phenom II prices are dropping like rocks (and may make them viable choices again), this is not true for the FX line.
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October 4, 2012 7:19:30 PM

cpokey26 said:
Not planning on Xfire, so no worries there.

I do want USB 3.0. Though the "features" description on NewEgg shows that both the Extreme3 and 4 both have USB3.0, I am assuming that the Extreme3 is only rear port USB3.0?

That said, either way, looks like its better to go with the 4 board.

Not being an exteme gamer, will I really see any advantage to the 990 NB over the 970?


990 what? There's 990X and then there's also 990FX.

For you, you probably wouldn't have a major difference. I think that the biggest differences are just the PCIe lanes.
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October 4, 2012 7:22:31 PM

Onus said:
Disclaimer: I've built more AMD rigs than Intel over the past few years. Other than general purpose builds where an APU may make sense, for performance reasons, a new build done today should be Intel. Recent benchmarks and reviews have clearly shown that there is no longer a price point where Intel does not outperform AMD in games. While it may be worth noting that some Phenom II prices are dropping like rocks (and may make them viable choices again), this is not true for the FX line.


It depends on how you use the CPU. For say BF3 MP, an FX-6100 beats the crap out of an i3.

If you overclock, then AMD can be a very tempting option. If you're a more extreme enthusiast who doesn't mind disabling the second core of each Bulldozer module in the eight core models or cutting their P states, then you can actually get them to compete with even the LGA 1155 i5s in both stock versus stock and overclock versus overclock comparisons.
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October 4, 2012 7:24:14 PM

cpokey26 said:
While I'm sure there are differences in gaming versus office use bottlenecks,

http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu_value_available.html

still shows quite a few AMD FX series as good values for performance.


Passmark is a synthetic, so it's kinda useless for this conversation.
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October 4, 2012 7:27:33 PM

luciferano said:
990 what? There's 990X and then there's also 990FX.

For you, you probably wouldn't have a major difference. I think that the biggest differences are just the PCIe lanes.


990FX I guess, since thats the only ASRock Extreme I see on NewEgg.
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a c 148 V Motherboard
October 4, 2012 7:32:01 PM

Just a little poking around on Anandtech's bench; I needed to go quite a ways down on some game benchmarks to find an AMD CPU; typically a 980, sometimes right under an Intel Pentium. Of course, if you're getting 70+ FPS that's arguably "good enough," but then there's the power usage, with the AMD system wolfing down a lot more juice for lower performance. I'd love for AMD to compete with Intel, but it seems right now they just don't.
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October 4, 2012 7:34:38 PM

luciferano said:
Passmark is a synthetic, so it's kinda useless for this conversation.


Granted.

For $120 what Intel chip is going to perform as well or better than an FX4170 or FX6100?
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a c 148 V Motherboard
October 4, 2012 7:44:41 PM

Well, those AMD chips aren't listed at Anandtech, but the FX-8150 wins most productivity but loses or only manages a tie in every game against the i3-2100...
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October 4, 2012 7:49:58 PM

Onus said:
Just a little poking around on Anandtech's bench; I needed to go quite a ways down on some game benchmarks to find an AMD CPU; typically a 980, sometimes right under an Intel Pentium. Of course, if you're getting 70+ FPS that's arguably "good enough," but then there's the power usage, with the AMD system wolfing down a lot more juice for lower performance. I'd love for AMD to compete with Intel, but it seems right now they just don't.


Those A10s are very power efficient and they can perform around or better than the Phenom II x4s.

The problem with AD is that their CPUs need to be reconfigured in a few ways to perform excellently. For example, what I said earlier about disabling or cutting the P states of one integer core per module (cuts power consumption while improving performance per core by alleviating the front-end bottle-neck of the first core in each module caused by sharing the x86 decoders with a second core), overclocking the CPU/NB frequency, and even just plain CPU frequency overclocking.

AMD, as a company, does not compete with Intel in many ways, but their CPUs compete extremely well for people who know how to use them. Those Piledriver FX-83xx CPUs can easily surpass the i5 K editions in overclocking performance when used like this. It's all about how you use the CPUs.
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October 4, 2012 7:50:53 PM

Onus said:
Well, those AMD chips aren't listed at Anandtech, but the FX-8150 wins most productivity but loses or only manages a tie in every game against the i3-2100...


There are several games such as BF3 MP where the i3 looks like garbage in comparison to the six and right core AMD offerings. Generalizing can be helpful, but overgeneralizing doesn't work because it ignores exceptions.
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a c 148 V Motherboard
October 4, 2012 8:08:50 PM

luciferano said:
...Generalizing can be helpful, but overgeneralizing doesn't work because it ignores exceptions.

Absolutely. I recall very well what an anomaly Civ V is for GPU performance in particular. In this case, however, the OP has not mentioned BF3 multiplayer at all, and has even said he's not an extreme gamer. In that context, I think a generalization in favor of Intel is appropriate.
During its last beta weekend, I tested GW2 with my 970BE+HD7870 and my 3570K+HD7770. The former could play on higher settings, but the latter never suffered dramatic FPS dips in busy areas. Upon release, I switched the HD7870 into the Intel box. Unfortunately, although it was at stock (and slightly undervolted), it seems a VRM fried shorted on the mobo. Fortunately, I'll be rebuilding it by this weekend. I still hope Piledriver is a worthwhile upgrade from the 970BE, but even if it isn't, I still consider the AMD machine a competent backup.

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October 4, 2012 8:30:25 PM

Best answer selected by cpokey26.
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