Event Coverage

HWM+HardwareZone.com Tech Awards 2012: Editor's Choice - Part 2

By Team HardwareZone - 2 Mar 2012

Best Enthusiast Motherboard for AMD (AMD 990FX)

Best Enthusiast Motherboard for AMD (AMD 990FX)

The boards featuring AMD 990FX chipset have been on the market before the launch of the AMD FX series of CPUs. Even then, there were a couple of vendors who unfortunately couldn't send their boards in time for our evaluation. Here then are four of the very best in the market:-


  • ASRock 990FX Extreme4
  • ASUS Crosshair V Formula
  • ECS A990FXM-A
  • MSI 990FXA-GD80

And the Winner Is...

The ASUS Crosshair V Formula is our best AMD 990FX motherboard.

In terms of features, ECS A990FXM-A has outstanding high-end ones like dual Gigabit on-board LAN and Bluetooth v2.1+ EDR technology. ECS has even implemented thermochromic coating on its PCH heatsink that will give visual cues on how hot the system is running.

ASRock 990FX Extreme4 is the cheapest of all the compared boards and didn't let us down much in the features department either. However, we had to penalize it on layout as one of its VRM heatsink was placed too close for comfort to the CPU socket which made removal of the CPU cooler an uphill task. We did not encounter this problem with the rest of the boards. On the other hand, the MSI 990FXA-GD80 had quality build components and plenty of LED indicators for troubleshooting purposes, but its performance was a let down as it consistently lagged behind the competing boards. Furthermore, it wasn't outstanding in our overclocking tests either.

This means the ASUS Crosshair V Formula is the clear winner as it excelled in almost all the areas we scrutinized the boards, including acing the performance tests such as the productivity oriented SYSmark 2007 benchmark. Although it was the most expensive board, we felt that the price disparity is warranted in terms of its strong lead over the rest as well as its well-implemented UEFI BIOS that will strike a chord with power users and overclockers.

Scoring Breakdown
Criteria/Model ASRock 990FX Extreme4 ASUS Crosshair V Formula ECS A990FXM-A MSI 990FXA-GD80
Performance 8.0 9.0 8.5 7.5
Features 8.0 9.0 8.5 8.0
Layout  6.5  8.5  8.0  8.5
Value 8.0 7.0 8.0 8.0
Temperature  8.0  8.5  6.0  8.0
Power  8.5  8.5 6.0  9.0
Overall 8.0 8.5 8.0 8.0
Price S$249 S$359 S$289 S$289

For more details on how we selected our winners, check out the full reviews and articles listed at the References section at the end.

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