Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

ASRock 890FX Deluxe3

Five AMD 890FX-Based Motherboards Compared
By

The only board in today’s roundup to include two USB 3.0 controllers, ASRock’s 890FX Deluxe3 provides users with twice the 5.0 Gb/s connectivity, in addition to a surprisingly large 10-phase CPU voltage regulator. Normally known as a value brand, a PCB designed to host only two high-end graphics cards is the 890FX Deluxe3’s biggest concession towards a lower price.

Gaming fanatics can still get their quad-GPU fix using two Radeon HD 5970 graphics cards in CrossFireX, and the triple-spaced x16 slots even allow improved airflow to the top card in this type of configuration. A third x16-length slot at the board’s bottom edge can still host a graphics card at reduced bandwidth, while its four PCIe 2.0 pathways are adequate for most desktop-expansion needs.

ASRock continues its northward trend for front-panel connections, placing the front-panel button connector, internal FireWire, and a dual-port USB 2.0 header just below the 24-pin ATX connection. This allows for easy cable reach for cases that have ports and buttons near the top, and builders with excess cable length can usually stuff it behind an adjacent drive cage. The front-panel audio connector is placed ahead of the rear-panel analog jacks for similar reasons.

The SB850’s six SATA 6Gb/s ports face forward, allowing cables to slip under the ends of extra-long graphics cards, while mandating that the builder choose a case that doesn’t block access to the motherboard’s front edge. Two additional SATA 6Gb/s ports are stuffed into the bottom-rear corner, but the second of these is shared with eSATA. Thus, while most SATA cables would be long enough to reach the lower drive bays of most tower cases, most builders will likely leave the added-in ports unused.

A CLR_CMOS jumper, port 80 diagnostics display, power, and reset buttons are located at the bottom-front corner, all handy for bench testing. Remaining connectors are conveniently placed for case mounting, with the exception of the rarely-used floppy header beneath the four-lane x16-length bottom slot.

BIOS Features

The ASRock OC Tweaker menu provides convenient access to frequency and ratio controls, along with a few automatic overclocking modes that experienced users will likely avoid. Likely a carryover from its 890GX boards, 890FX core voltage is confusingly labeled “mGPU Voltage.”

Three custom BIOS configurations can be saved as user profiles.

The 890FX Deluxe3’s Memory Timing submenu includes a full range of controls with independent “automatic” settings for each timing.

Accessories

Windows XP users who prefer AHCI mode will be happy to see that the 890FX Deluxe3 includes a floppy cable, which is necessary for loading drivers at the F6 prompt during setup. The installation kit is otherwise ordinary, including only four SATA cables.

Ask a Category Expert

Create a new thread in the Reviews comments forum about this subject

Example: Notebook, Android, SSD hard drive

Display all 75 comments.
This thread is closed for comments
Top Comments
  • 12 Hide
    makwy2 , June 1, 2010 6:41 AM
    Great article. Very informative!

    One little suggestion, in the features comparison it would be nice to include a row on the cost of these mobos. As one eventually reads in the Conclusion there is quite a bit of difference between them in this area but if this 'stat' was featured I would be able to focus only on the boards within my price range. I know that it would be hard to keep up to date and such but it would really be a service to those of us who are not made of money.
Other Comments
  • 12 Hide
    makwy2 , June 1, 2010 6:41 AM
    Great article. Very informative!

    One little suggestion, in the features comparison it would be nice to include a row on the cost of these mobos. As one eventually reads in the Conclusion there is quite a bit of difference between them in this area but if this 'stat' was featured I would be able to focus only on the boards within my price range. I know that it would be hard to keep up to date and such but it would really be a service to those of us who are not made of money.
  • 7 Hide
    wintermint , June 1, 2010 6:43 AM
    I own a gigabyte mobo and I'm happy with it :) 
  • 2 Hide
    Lmeow , June 1, 2010 6:57 AM
    I'd personally go for the Crosshair IV Formula simply because of the kickass colour scheme. :D 
  • 2 Hide
    xurwin , June 1, 2010 7:56 AM
    uhuh! i really like the crosshair IV formula for its design and Awesome color! wish every mobo has a creativity design
  • 0 Hide
    joytech22 , June 1, 2010 8:19 AM
    Ugh this year i already made some horrible decisions, honestly didn't think the Asus board would look so beautiful! i really wanted that board too but i already ordered a different Asus board for SLi support (with AM3)..

    *Sigh*
  • 3 Hide
    liquidsnake718 , June 1, 2010 9:24 AM
    interesting and very persuasive article as i was seriously thinking of getting an AMD based system instead just a few weeks ago until I finally bought a new processor. I still dont have the mb yet but reading this article made me want to get the Asus or the Gigabyte board. I would have possibly gone for a phenom II x4 or even x6 but its too late! What a good read this was and I am slowly understanding the value oriented target market that AMD and ATi offer to beginners and enthusiast builders and overclockers.

    Truly.... if not for getting my i7930 I would have bought these motherboards first!

    I have just purchased a i7 chip x58 chip but reading this article actually made me regret it! I have yet to buy a mb as the ud4 isnt available in Manila yet.

    I will build this pc slowly but make it the best possible in the timeframe while I eke out the best of my current c2d system and netbook in the meantime.
  • 5 Hide
    alexcheng , June 1, 2010 9:36 AM
    URRGH!!! X58 or 890FX?!?!! AMD and Intel are causing me a mental breakdown!!!!!!!
  • 1 Hide
    dEAne , June 1, 2010 9:52 AM
    I have a gigabyte mobo and Its good, One thing I don't like is that DDR3 cannot use past 1333 range if you want to use 1600 only few slots are available.
  • -3 Hide
    aquicl , June 1, 2010 10:16 AM
    wow
  • 2 Hide
    xurwin , June 1, 2010 10:51 AM
    dEAneI have a gigabyte mobo and Its good, One thing I don't like is that DDR3 cannot use past 1333 range if you want to use 1600 only few slots are available.
    now now. breathe slowly. ASUS CROSSHAIR IV FORMULA 890FX!!!
  • 0 Hide
    sohei , June 1, 2010 11:21 AM
    hello guys! what does it mean ? 1.47v-1,50v is not safe 10x for answer
    "Based on reader recommendations for long-term operation of C3-stepping Phenom II cores, we’ve dropped today’s O/C voltage to 1.45V."
  • 0 Hide
    heroictofu , June 1, 2010 12:02 PM
    I tried the ASUS Crosshair IV motherboard, but I was one of the unlucky few that got hit with a bad northbridge heatsink. The northbridge was idling up to 70C. Not very fun. So, I RMA'd it and got the MSI 890FXA-GD70 and couldn't be happier! It stays incredibly cool.
  • 8 Hide
    terrybear , June 1, 2010 12:09 PM
    AlexChengURRGH!!! X58 or 890FX?!?!! AMD and Intel are causing me a mental breakdown!!!!!!!

    liquidsnake718interesting and very persuasive article as i was seriously thinking of getting an AMD based system instead just a few weeks ago until I finally bought a new processor. I still dont have the mb yet but reading this article made me want to get the Asus or the Gigabyte board. I would have possibly gone for a phenom II x4 or even x6 but its too late! What a good read this was and I am slowly understanding the value oriented target market that AMD and ATi offer to beginners and enthusiast builders and overclockers.Truly.... if not for getting my i7930 I would have bought these motherboards first!I have just purchased a i7 chip x58 chip but reading this article actually made me regret it! I have yet to buy a mb as the ud4 isnt available in Manila yet. I will build this pc slowly but make it the best possible in the timeframe while I eke out the best of my current c2d system and netbook in the meantime.


    Here's a nice little fact for anyone whom doesn't know it yet ... Intel has made it clear that Core i5 & Core i7 platforms next year are being replaced with Core i6 ( sand bridge) equivelents which means your current setups with Core i5/i7 basing is done & not forwards compatible.

    with that said when sledgehammer hit next year your AM3 platform will have AM3 versions of the cpu for it.
  • -4 Hide
    ivaroeines , June 1, 2010 1:30 PM
    I love the fact that you seem to be the only hardware website that puts a finger on the default overclocking that some motherboards do. I dont know if its done deliberatly or are if it happens by accident, but anyway its a clear sign of poor quality. That the engineers even cant get their clocks to run at the right speed only mean one thing, poor engineers, i doubt if i wanna buy products designed by people who clearly cant do their job.
  • 0 Hide
    MQ1hunter , June 1, 2010 1:33 PM
    I just bought a Asrock....
    While the board is great, I did have an issue with VIA 2020 HD sound, and still do. I am still in belief this a driver issue/ati. Googling showed how many other people, ran into ATI taking over their sound!!!
  • -2 Hide
    enzo matrix , June 1, 2010 1:59 PM
    "AMD’s flagship northbridge has evolved into the 890FX"

    What is this? Pokemon?
  • -5 Hide
    Poisoner , June 1, 2010 2:27 PM
    kelemvor4No SLI. Waste of time.


    It would be nice to see more nVidia chipsets for AMD boards.
  • 8 Hide
    devrahul , June 1, 2010 2:55 PM
    Quote:
    "AMD’s flagship northbridge has evolved into the 890FX"

    What is this? Pokemon?

    LOL gave me good laugh, that is one reason i freaking enjoy reading comments so much.
  • 5 Hide
    noob2222 , June 1, 2010 3:06 PM
    Where is the comparison to the older 790FX? Would be nice to know if there was any improvements to the 790 other than adding of the sata6 and usb3. Would be informative to know whether its worth it or not.

    As far as layout, asrock is no good. Gigabyte isn't bad, but did they include the bridge to go from slot 1 to 5 for dual CF on the 16x lanes?
Display more comments