Posted by Dan Stoltz| Thu, Apr 29, 2010 - 12:00 AM
ASRock 890GX Extreme3 Motherboard
With the recent release of the new AMD six-core processors like the AMD Phenom II X6 1090T and 1055T many PC users will be looking for a new motherboard to go along with one of these new processors. AMD has previously released the 800 chipset series and the SB850 chipsets to support the new platform. Today we have the opportunity to test one such board, the ASRock 890GX Extreme3. The ASRock 890GX Extreme 3 comes priced at only $129.99 plus $2.99 shipping. This low price tag puts it near the bottom of the price margin of other 890GX/SB850 motherboards, but it comes with all the features found on the more expensive motherboards. The ASRock 890GX Extreme3 mainboard features support of up to 140W processors, a pair of SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ports, six SATA III 6Gbps connections and has the ability to unlock CPU cores on AMD Phenom II X2 and X3 processors! Not bad features for a board for under $130!
Some of the motherboards out there will sacrifice bandwidth in one area to satisfy the needs of another. That is not the case with ASRock’s True 333 technology. The ASRock 890GX Extreme3 features the True 333 technology. This technology allows you to run the PCI-E for the latest graphics cards, SATA3 and USB 3.0 at full speed simultaneously!
ASRock True 333 technology isn’t the only key feature of the ASRock 890GX Extreme3 as it also features ASRock UCC (unlock CPU Core) technology). This technology is similar to unlocking that was done with AMD’s ACC feature, but it was only available on the SB710 or SB750 motherboards. With the new SB850 chipset ACC is no longer present, so motherboard makers had to come up with a new method to unlock the cores. ASRock did a video of UCC on the 890GX Extreme3 technology, which is the board we are reviewing, so take a look at it below.
As you can see unlocking the processor is as easy as enabling just one setting in the motherboard BIOS and after the system is rebooted the processor will have an additional core as shown in the video! Other key features of the ASRock 890GX Extreme3 motherboard can be seen below.
Phenom II X6 6-Core CPU Ready
Supports Exclusive ASRock UCC Chip – Unlock CPU Core feature
ASRock DuraCap (2.5 x longer life time), 100% Japan-made high-quality Conductive Polymer Capacitors
Advanced V8 + 2 Power Phase Design
Supports CPU up to 140W
Supports Dual Channel DDR3 1800(OC)
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
Supports ATI Quad CrossFireX, 3-Way CrossFireX, CrossFireX and Hybrid CrossFireX
Multi VGA Output options: D-Sub, DVI-D and HDMI
1 x eSATA3 Connector, 6 x SATA3 6.0 Gb/s connectors, 2 x USB 3.0 ports, 2 x IEEE1394 ports
Smart Switch Design : 1 x Power Switch with LED, 1 x Reset Switch with LED, 1 x Clear CMOS Switch with LED
Dr. Debug (7-Segment Debug LED)
Supports ASRock Instant Boot, Instant Flash, OC DNA, OC Tuner, IES, Multi-Speed Fan Control
7.1 CH HD Audio with Content Protection, DAC with 110dB dynamic range (VIA VT2020 Audio Codec with QSound) , Premium Blu-ray audio support.
– Support for Socket AM3 processors: AMD Phenom II 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
– Northbridge: AMD 890GX
– Southbridge: AMD SB850
– Dual Channel DDR3 memory technology
– 4 x DDR3 DIMM slots
– Supports DDR3 1800(OC)/1600(OC)/1333/1066/800 non-ECC, un-buffered memory
– Max. capacity of system memory: 16GB
Due to the operating system limitation, the actual memory size may be less than 4GB for the reservation for system usage under Windows 32-bit OS. For Windows 64-bit OS with 64-bit CPU, there is no such limitation.
– 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
Let’s take a look at they layout of the ASRock 890GX Extreme3 motherboard on the next page!