Bringing its 'A' game, the ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX Professional offers some serious gaming features for the price.
Looking strikingly similar to the ASUS Crosshair V Formula
, the Fatal1ty 990FX Professional is a board that takes its gaming very seriously. It's not just the support for three-way SLI or CrossFireX that pegs it as a gaming rig, but the extras included to make your games run smoother and faster.
The big difference with this board is the dual PCI Express connected Gigabit Ethernet ports. These high-bandwidth, low-latency ports can be teamed together for greater performance. ASRock includes software under its XFast LAN Technology brand that allows you to prioritise traffic through your network ports as well, for example, always ensuring your game’s network traffic is prioritised over something like streaming video or torrents.
ASRock also identify one of their USB ports as a 'mouse port'. This USB port lets you adjust the mouse polling speed from 125Hz to 1,000Hz. Though many high-end gaming mice allow you to adjust their polling rate, it’s nice to have the flexibility to use that kind of feature with any mouse.
The Fatal1ty 990FX Professional is intelligently laid out, with room for double-width graphics cards, even in three-way CrossFireX configuration. Even with a triple-card setup, you still retain access to a PCI and PCI-E x1 slot. It’s a nice design. Rear IO offers five USB 2.0 ports, plus two USB 3.0 ports and the aforementioned mouse port. There are six SATA 6Gb/s ports for hard disk drive installation.
This is an extremely strong showing from ASRock, with a motherboard that offers some features gamers are interested in, without blowing out the budget. Available from ASRock, retailing for $289
.APC rating: 8/10 (Highly Recommended)