With all the noise around Intel Haswell recently, you could almost forget that there exists another CPU manufacturer. One that also needs compatible motherboards. AMD's faster consumer CPU, the FX series, hasn't been a huge success, but it has its strong sides nevertheless. We recently did a round-up of 45 processors, and found out that the € 120 AMD FX-6300 processor was pretty good actually. In some benchmarks it was up to twice as fast as Intel's CPU of the same price. AMD CPUs are however aimed at the more budger-conscious consumer. Manufacturers of motherboards are aware of this, and therefore don't go overboard with special features on AMD motherboards. That doesn't mean there aren't any deluxe boards out there, such as the ASRock het 990FX Extreme9 that we will take a closer look at today.
December 2011 was the last time we did a group test of AMD Socket AM3+ motherboards for AMD FX processors. Most of those are still current, and all of them are compatible with the latest generation of FX CPUs. It's not a bad thing that AMD manages to keep an existing platform around for some time. The AMD 990FX chipset, AMD's high-end model, might be old, but it's not really showing its age and still compete with Intel in most areas. That's also because AMD was ahead in some respects. Intel only introduced support for 6x Serial ATA 600 relatively recently, something AMD has had for years. The main thing that's missing from 990FX is native support for USB 3.0, but manufacturers solve that by adding extra controller chips.
The ASRock 990FX Extreme9 is available for an average of € 194. That's indeed more expensive than the most expensive CPU you can put on it (with the exception of the new AMD-9370 and AMD FX-9590), but we've tested even pricier ones such as the € 218 Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD7. ASRock, once again, does give you a lot for what you pay. That UD7 board has some strong competition from the ASRock 990FX Extreme9.