ASRock 890GX Extreme3
AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition "C3"
ASRock 890GX Extreme3 Motherboard
4GB Corsair XMS3 PC3-12800C8 RAM
Samsung Spinpoint F1 320GB SATA II Hard Disk Drive
XFX Radeon HD 5670 1GB GDDR5 Graphics Card
Samsung 22x DVD+/-RW SATA
Windows 7 Home Premium x64
The ASRock BIOS shares many elements of the Asus 890 based boards that we have previously tested. As such, the important parameters are easy to find and the nomenclature is simple to understand.
In terms of overclocking, there is plenty of flexibility to attempt a large overclock on your Socket AM3 system. Looking good...now it's time to see how far the 890GX Extreme3 can be pushed
Our overclocking attempts with our proven Phenom II X4 965BE C3 processor were reasonable, taking us all the way to 300MHz before the motherboard refused to POST. Alas the ASRock Boot Failure Guard had failed us, which ultimately commanded a CMOS Clear to fully revive the system. For what it's worth the CMOS Clear Button is at least accessible from outside of the case but I digress...
Following some stability testing, we found our maximum stable base HTT frequency at 290MHz.
We weren't quite as lucky with finding an acceptable CPU Northbridge Frequency with this motherboard. While Asus' Crosshair IV, M4A89TD and M4A89GTD saw frequencies nearing 2800MHz, we were struggling to push north of 2400MHz with the 890GX Extreme3. With this in mind, we eventually found our maximum clockspeed at 3.80GHz, utilising a HTT of 262MHz and a Multiplier of 14.5x
One interesting observation is that the board has a tendency to overvolt the CPU ever so slightly. More to the point, it exhibits similar behaviour to our tested Asus 890GX/890FX boards when Load Line Calibration is enabled.
With a determined overclock, it is finally time to get on with some benchmarks. Shall we?