Manufacturer:ASRock UK price (as reviewed): £125.66 (inc VAT) US price (as reviewed):$149.99 (ex tax)
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The LGA1155 ASRock P67 Extreme4 put in a great performance and just missed out on an award. Its Socket AM3+ sibling, the 890FX Deluxe5, eschews the bling-bling black and gold for towering blue and white heatsinks. While this is ASRock’s latest motherboard designed for AMD CPUs, the Deluxe5 isn’t equipped with AMD’s new 990FX chipset, which AMD says is part of its official support list for its forthcoming Zambezi CPUs.
ASRock, however, claims that the Deluxe5 will support the new CPUs and has fitted a black CPU socket – the colour identifying motherboards that support (as yet unreleased) Zambezi CPUs. The dark brown PCB is well laid out, with the SB850 Southbridge’s six SATA 6Gbps ports aligned parallel with the motherboard. There are two further SATA 6Gbps ports by way of a Marvell SE9120 controller, although these are located at the rear of the PCB, near the I/O panel.
A 40mm fan is included, which can be installed on the large VRM heatsink to improve cooling. It’s very quiet, and can shift a noticeable amount of air through the heatsink and over the PCB, so it’s worth using if you’re performing a heavy overvolt or your CPU cooler doesn’t blow much air over the VRMs.
All the power sockets are located at the edge of the PCB, as are a majority of the Deluxe5’s six fan headers. The latter, however, are all located in the top half of the PCB, which isn’t ideal if you want to power fans in the bottom of your case.
One feature we do like is the addition of a second CPU fan header – something that both Asus motherboards of this test also feature. The pair of headers means that you can easily use a CPU cooler with two fans; such coolers are increasingly common, and tend to be very useful for heavy CPU overclocks. Overclocking the board is easy too, with power and reset buttons, and a POST error code readout located on the motherboard; a CMOS clear switch is positioned on the I/O panel.
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Like the P67 Extreme4, the Deluxe5 includes a USB 3 breakout box – this is a 3.5in drive bay unit sporting two USB 3 ports, which makes use of the single USB 3 header on the motherboard. There are two further USB 3 ports on the I/O panel, along with eSATA 3Gbps, FireWire ports and six USB 2 ports. There are three 16x PCI-E slots, which support 3-way CrossFireX, although only the top two are able to run with 16 PCI-E lanes – the third runs with only four PCI-E lanes. The Deluxe5 is also the only motherboard on test not to support SLI.
Chipset AMD 890FX
CPU support Socket AM3+ Athlon II, Phenom II, Sempron 100-series, future Socket AM3+ CPUs
Memory support 4 slots: max 32GB DDR3
Expansion slots three 16x PCI-E 2 slots (two 16x and one 4x), two 1x PCI-E, one PCI
Sound 8-channel HD Audio via Realtek ALC892
Networking Realtek RTL8111E Gigabit Ethernet
Overclocking HTT frequency 150– 500MHz; max voltages, CPU 2.0V, CPU NB 2.0V, chipset 1.795V, HT 1.39V, RAM 1.795V
Ports 8 x SATA 6Gbps, PS/2, 12 x USB 2, 6 x USB 3, 2 x FireWire, LAN, 4 x surround audio out, line in, mic, optical S/PDIF out, eSATA 3Gbps