990FX Extreme4 2 ASRock launches its AMD 900 series chipset motherboards

The launch of AMD 900-series chipset motherboards appear to have been more or less up to the motherboard manufacturers and ASRock seems to have been a little bit behind Asus, Gigabyte and MSI, but has today announced two new models. What we're looking at is one 990FX board and one 970 board.

The launch of AMD 900-series chipset motherboards appear to have been more or less up to the motherboard manufacturers and ASRock seems to have been a little bit behind Asus, Gigabyte and MSI, but has today announced two new models. What we're looking at is one 990FX board and one 970 board.

First up we have the 990FX Extreme4 which is an updated version of the 890FX Deluxe 4, but with a few tweaks here and there. For starters ASRock has changed the capacitors to a fancier looking kind with a silver and gold packaging, but it's unlikely that there's any major functional difference, but it's very visible. Of course the CPU socket and retention mechanism has changed as well, but the power phases, chipset location and most of the heatsinks remain the same. The southbridge have been kitted out with an updated heatsink though.

990FX Extreme4 ASRock launches its AMD 900 series chipset motherboards

Other changes include a pair of Etron USB 3.0 host controllers in lieu of the Renesas chips on the older board. ASRock has also kitted out the board with a Broadcom Gigabit Ethernet controller which should be seen as an upgrade over Realtek. The final change we noticed is a move to UEFI away from BIOS, but this was a fairly predictable move as well.

990FX Extreme4 2 ASRock launches its AMD 900 series chipset motherboards

The second board is the 970 Etreme4 which is very similar to the 870 Extreme3 2.0, but not quite the same board. The rear I/O is identical of the two boards, but some of the on-board features differ, some quite significantly. As both models support AM3+ CPUs there are no changes around the CPU or PWM area, but the 970 Extreme4 has gained support for ASRock's multi-media remote via a USB 2.0 with a CIR connector right next to it.

970 Extreme4 ASRock launches its AMD 900 series chipset motherboards

ASRock has also changed USB 3.0 host controller supplies to ASMedia and in this case we have both rear and front ports. The only downside here is that the front pin-header has replaced a couple of fan headers. The slot layout has been improved ass well with a second x4 PCI Express slot tacked on at the bottom of the board and ASRock is claiming that the board works in dual x8 for the topmost two slots, something the 970 chipset isn't supposed to support, but the switches are there suggesting that it works. Finally ASRock changed the Ethernet controller, in this case a move from Atheros to Realtek.

970 Extreme4 2 ASRock launches its AMD 900 series chipset motherboards

No word on availability or pricing as yet, but we'd expect both boards to be available shortly.

Source: ASRock