ASRock 890GX Extreme4 and 890FX Deluxe4 Motherboard Reviews

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A Pair of ASRock AMD 890 Chipset Boards

ASRock 890GX Extreme4 and ASRock 890FX Deluxe4 Motherboard Performance Review

If you have ever used Super Speed USB3.0 you already know how conveniently fast it is. Although, to date there has been a single drawback. That drawback is Super Speed USB3 has only been found on the rear I/O panel of newer motherboards. There are a few cases out there, like the ThermalTake Armor A60, that have a cable that will plug into the rear I/O panel USB3 ports to bring USB3 ports to the front of the case. Unfortunately, cases that feature this are not as common as one might hope, and the cases that do have this feature may not be a style that everyone likes. Insteps is a comparatively small company with what I believe is a groundbreaking new feature and the first to make it to market. ASRock has now released four new motherboards that will supply you with an additional two Super Speed USB3 ports on the front of your machine.

ASRock Releases Four Motherboards with On Board USB3

At the time of this writing ASRock is the only manufacturer to offer an onboard header for Super Speed USB3. The four motherboards that ASRock has included front panel Super Speed USB3 on are the 890FX Deluxe4, the 890GX Extreme4, X58 Extreme6 and the P55 Extreme4. These four motherboards from ASRock have an on board header and a free bundle that includes a 3.5″ bracket with a pair of Super Speed USB3 ports.

ASRock USB3 Front Panel Free Bundle

Today we are fortunate enough to have two of these motherboards on hand to put through the paces. The first board that we are going to look at today is the ASRock 890GX Extreme4. A few short months back we took a look at the ASRock 890GX Extreme3. I was impressed with the performance of the ASRock 890GX Extreme3, especially considering that it was priced below the competition. The ASRock 890GX Extreme4 is priced a little bit higher, but it is sitting pretty at $139.99 plus $2.99 shipping which is a decent price, especially if you take into consideration that it is the only AMD 890GX motherboard that is offering front panel Super Speed USB3.

The second motherboard that we are going to look at today is the ASRock 890FX Deluxe4. The ASRock 890FX Deluxe4 also offers front panel Super Speed USB3 technology and is based on the AMD 890FX chipset. The ASRock 890FX Deluxe4 is aimed at those looking for the best performance out of a CrossfireX set-up, as it will run dual AMD graphics cards at the full PCIe x16 bandwidth. The ASRock 890FX Deluxe4 is priced at $159.99 plus $2.99 shipping. This low price makes the ASRock 890FX Deluxe4 the second least expensive AMD 890FX chipset motherboard, second only to its predecessor, the ASRock 890FX Deluxe3.

ASRock 890GX Extreme4 and ASRock 890FX Deluxe4 Motherboard Specifications

Motherboard ASRock 890FX Deluxe4 ASRock 890GX Extreme4
General 
CPU
  • Support for Socket AM3 processors: AMD Phenom II X6 / X4 / X3 / X2 (except 920 / 940) / Athlon II X4 / X3 / X2 / Sempron processors
  • Six-Core CPU Ready
  • Supports UCC feature (Unlock CPU Core)
  • Advanced V8 + 2 Power Phase Design
  • Supports CPU up to 140W
  • Supports AMD’s Cool ‘n’ Quiet Technology
  • FSB 2600 MHz (5.2 GT/s)
  • Supports Untied Overclocking Technology
  • Supports Hyper-Transport 3.0 (HT 3.0) Technology
Chipset
  • Northbridge: AMD 890FX
  • Southbridge: AMD SB850
  • AMD Vision Black
  • Northbridge: AMD 890GX
  • Southbridge: AMD SB850
Memory
  • Dual Channel DDR3 memory technology
  • 4 x DDR3 DIMM slots
  • Supports DDR3 1866(OC)/1800(OC)/1600(OC)/1333/1066/800 non-ECC, un-buffered memory
  • Max. capacity of system memory: 16GB
BIOS 8Mb AMI Legal BIOS
- Supports “Plug and Play”
- ACPI 1.1 Compliance Wake Up Events
- Supports jumperfree
- SMBIOS 2.3.1 Support
- CPU, VCCM, NB, SB Voltage Multi-adjustment
Audio, Video and Networking
Graphics n/a
  • Integrated AMD Radeon HD 4290 graphics
  • DX10.1 class iGPU, Shader Model 4.1
  • Max. shared memory 512MB
  • Built-in 128MB DDR3 1333/1200MHz SidePort Memory
  • Multi VGA Output options: D-Sub, DVI-D and HDMI
    - Supports HDMI Technology with max. resolution up to 1920×1200 (1080P)
  • Supports Dual-link DVI with max. resolution up to 2560×1600 @ 75Hz
  • Supports D-Sub with max. resolution up to 2048×1536 @ 85Hz
  • Supports HDCP function with DVI and HDMI ports
    - Supports Full HD 1080p Blu-ray (BD) / HD-DVD playback with DVI and HDMI ports
Audio 7.1 CH HD Audio with Content Protection (Realtek ALC892 Audio Codec)
- Premium Blu-ray audio support
- Supports THX TruStudio Pro
LAN PCIE x1 Gigabit LAN 10/100/1000 Mb/s
- Realtek RTL8111E
- Supports Wake-On-LAN
- Supports LAN Cable Detection
- Supports Energy Efficient Ethernet 802.3az
Expansion / Connectivity 
Slots
  • 3 x PCI Express 2.0 x16 slots (PCIE2/PCIE4 @ x16 mode; PCIE5 @ x4 mode)
  • 2 x PCI Express 2.0 x1 slots
  • 2 x PCI slots
  • Supports ATI Quad CrossFireX, 3-Way CrossFireX and CrossFireX
  • 3 x PCI Express 2.0 x16 slots (PCIE2/PCIE3: single at x16 or dual at x8/x8 mode; PCIE4: x4 mode)
  • 1 x PCI Express 2.0 x1 slot
  • 3 x PCI slots
  • Supports ATI Quad CrossFireX, 3-Way CrossFireX, CrossFireX and Hybrid CrossFireX
SATA3
  • 6 x SATA3 6.0 Gb/s connectors by AMD SB850, support RAID (RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 10 and RAID 5), NCQ, AHCI and “Hot Plug” functions
  • 2 x SATA3 6.0 Gb/s connectors by Marvell SE9120, support NCQ, AHCI and “Hot Plug” functions
  • 5 x SATA3 6.0 Gb/s connectors, support RAID (RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 10 and RAID 5), NCQ, AHCI and “Hot Plug” functions
USB 3.0
  • 2 x Rear USB 3.0 ports by NEC UPD720200, support USB 1.0/2.0/3.0 up to 5Gb/s
  • 1 x Front USB 3.0 header (supports 2 USB 3.0 ports) by NEC UPD720200, supports USB 1.0/2.0/3.0 up to 5Gb/s

The above chart shows the primary differences between our two boards today. The first of the differences is the chipset. The ASRock 890GX Extreme4 is based around AMD’s 890GX chipset, which has integrated video based on the Radeon HD 4290 and is limited to 16 PCIE lanes. The ASRock 890FX Deluxe4 is based on the AMD 890FX chipset (I know, feel free to call me Captain Obvious), which is lacking in the onboard graphics department and has 32 PCIE lanes. There are several other differences, like the number of SATA3 ports and varying expansion ports, but we will be covering those in the coming pages. I know we are all dying to get to the performance of the ASRock 890GX Extreme4 and the ASRock 890FX Deluxe4, but first let’s take a look at the retail packaging and bundles that come with our boards.

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