Gigabyte 990FX-Gaming Motherboard Review

Introduction

The Bulldozer FX series CPU’s have been with us since late 2011. Updates to the FX series were brought to us with the release of the Vishera architecture. That was in late 2012. Rumors were abundant in 2012 that AMD would release a new chipset with the release of Vishera. That did not happen however. The AM3+ socket and 900 series chipset is now coming up on 5 years old. Motherboard manufacturers have taken it upon themselves to freshen up their products and offer new value to the aging platform, thus several new AM3+ motherboards have been released recently.

Gigabyte has decided to expand their Gaming line to the AMD 900 series AM3+ platform. Our first sample of this new line was the 970-Gaming SLI we reviewed a short time ago. Now we have an opportunity to review the flagship of the Gigabyte AMD 900 series AM3+ Gaming line the 990FX-Gaming.  Like all the AMD Gaming line, new red and black details adorn it. Many of the Gaming line features that we have seen on their Intel platform motherboards have found their way to these new AMD motherboards.

The 990FX-Gaming supports all AMD AM3 and AM3+ socket processors.  2-Way Graphics Support is available over the dual metal shielded PCI-E 16x slots. There is a PCI-E Gen2 x4 M.2 connectors with up to 20Gb/s data transfer. Audio is powered by the Realtek ALC1150 audio processor with a TI Burr Brown OPA2134 operational amplifier with replaceable OP-Amps. Gigabyte has also included dual USB 3.1 ports, one Type-A and one Type-C. Gigabyte’s APP Center software that has been so popular on their Intel motherboards is also included. All in all there are quite a few new features to get excited about, many of which are common to recent Intel motherboards, but are new to the world of AMD motherboards.

Gigabyte’s take on the 990FX-Gaming

Fast USB 3.1 Solution

The latest USB 3.1 offers a staggering 10Gb/s transfer speed, 2x faster than USB 3.0 and backward compatibility with existing USB devices

Fast Onboard Storage with 20 Gb/s M.2

GIGABYTE 22110/2280/2260/2242 M.2 solution offers considerably faster storage performance and support for both PCIe and SATA interface for M.2 SSD devices.

2-Way CrossFire™/2-Way SLI™ Multi-Graphics

Multi-graphics configuration offers better graphics performance for gaming enthusiasts who demand the highest frame rates without compromising on resolution.

Industry Leading Ultra Durable™ PCIe Metal Shielding

The innovative one piece stainless steel shielding design from GIGABYTE reinforces the PCIe connectors to provide the extra strength required to support heavy graphics cards.

High Definition Audio Design

The Realtek ALC1150 is a high-performance multi-channel high definition audio codec that delivers an exceptional audio listening experience with up to 115dB SNR, ensuring users get the best possible audio quality from their PC.

High Quality audio capacitors deliver the highest quality sound resolution and sound expansion to create the most realistic sound effects for professional gamers.

Ambient LED

GIGABYTE motherboards feature LED lighting for the audio guard path, providing a cool, custom look to your rig. Not only does the Audio Noise Guard protect the board’s sensitive analog audio components, but its LEDs can also be programed to beat at the rhythm of the music you are listening to, or pulse at a soothing pace to create a great atmosphere to enhance the environment of your game, movie or music.

GIGABYTE Exclusive : Upgradable OP-AMP

Customizable

  • Users can choose audio quality based on individual listening preferences.
  • Wide availability of additional OP-AMPs.

Low Cost way to dramatically improve audio quality

  • Improve audio dynamics and overall sound-quality with little cost.
  • No need for expensive speakers or high-end audio equipment.

Exclusive onboard ‘Gain Boost’ selector switches

  • Select either standard 2.5x or high-amplification 6x mode.
  • 6x mode is ideal for high impedance speakers and headphones.

USB DAC-UP

Clean, low-noise power for your Digital-to-Analog Audio converter. GIGABYTE USB DAC-UP provides clean, noise-free power delivery to your Digital-to-Analog Converter. DACs can be sensitive to fluctuations in power from the other USB ports, which is why GIGABYTE USB DAC-UP takes advantage of an isolated power source that minimizes potential fluctuations and ensures the best audio experience possible.

Killer™ E2200 Gaming Network

GIGABYTE G1™ Gaming motherboards feature the Killer™ E2200, a high-performance, adaptive gigabit Ethernet controller that offers better online gaming and online media performance compared to standard solutions.

GIGABYTE Patented DualBIOS™ (UEFI) Design

GIGABYTE Ultra Durable™ motherboards feature GIGABYTE DualBIOS™, an exclusive technology from GIGABYTE that protects arguably one of your PC’s most crucial components, the BIOS. GIGABYTE DualBIOS™ means that your motherboard has both a ‘Main BIOS’ and a ‘Backup BIOS’, making users protected from BIOS failure due to virus attack, hardware malfunction, improper OC settings or power failure during the update process.

GIGABYTE App Center Including EasyTune™ and Cloud Station™ Utilities

GIGABYTE APP Center gives you easy access to wealth of GIGABYTE apps that help you get the most from your GIGABYTE motherboard. Using a simple, unified user interface, GIGABYTE APP Center allows you to launch all GIGABYTE apps installed on your system.

GIGABYTE EasyTune ™ App

GIGABYTE’s EasyTune™ is a simple and easy-to-use interface that allows users to fine-tune their system settings or adjust system and memory clocks and voltages in a Windows environment. With Smart Quick Boost, one click is all it takes to automatically overclock your system, giving an added performance boost when you need it the most.

GIGABYTE  Cloud Station™  APP

GIGABYTE Cloud Station™ is composed of several GIGABYTE’s unique apps that allow your smart phones/tablet device to communicate, share resources, and control desktop PCs via wireless connection.

 

Let us take a look at the product packaging and full specifications next.

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