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AMD 990FX Review: ASUS Sabertooth 990FX vs ECS A990FXM-A

By on July 15, 2011
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Preparing you for the eight-core Bulldozers.

Good: AMD 8-Core CPU support, SLI support, Other minor improvements
Bad: No USB 3.0 native support, Hardly an increment over the 890FX chipset
Price: AED 850
* The price is the Suggested Retail Price at the time of review. Please call a retailer to confirm the latest price for this product.


First let’s take a quick look at the ASUS Sabertooth 990FX motherboard. The TUF look of the motherboard has a certain charm to it, with light green and black colors, not to mention the CeraM!X cooling, which is basically ceramic coating on the heatsinks for better heat dissipation. Outside of that, the Sabertooth 990FX has the now regular suite of features found on most high-end ASUS motherboards, such as the DIGI+VRM design, UEFI BIOS, “Military standard” choke, CAP and MOSFETs.

For a full list of specifications on the ASUS Sabertooth 990FX, you can visit the official page for more details.

And now for the ECS A990FXM-A Black Series motherboard, which remains pretty much the same as the Sabertooth 990FX in terms of specifications, except for the Dual Gigabit LAN and Bluetooth module. Obviously ECS have their own UEFI BIOS, but I must say I prefer the user-friendliness of the ASUS BIOS. The ECS board does have a Clear CMOS button on the rear I/O panel which makes it very easy to sort things out should a computer fail to reboot after an overly enthusiastic, but unsuccessful, overclock.

For a full list of specifications on the ECS A990FXM-A Black Edition, you can visit the official page for more details.

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About

From auditing to editing, I now test and analyze the latest gadgets and games instead of the latest financial statements. Both jobs are equally intense and rewarding. When I'm not burning up hardware in the name of science, you'll find me nuking in DOTA 2 or engineering in TF2.

Comments
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  • Avro Arrow

    One thing I noticed that you left out is something that might be very interesting to someone with IDE DVD-RW drives.  The ECS A990FXM-A has an IDE header onboard but the ASUS does not.  Don’t you think that might be an important feature for some people who don’t necessarily want to spend another $20 on a new DVD-RW drive?  In my case, I have 2 IDE DVD-RW drives and it would cost $40+tax to replace them.  Quite honestly, that makes the ASUS board $40 more expensive to me.  To those who don’t know, DVD-RW drives are limited primarily by the physical limitations of the disc itself and are relatively slow devices.  Changing from IDE to SATA in this case makes little to no difference at all except that IDE drives leave 2 extra SATA ports empty for things that actually need them like Blu-Ray and hard drives.  For myself and many others, that point alone means that the ECS board is the clear winner because there isn’t a noticeable difference in performance between the two.  Why did you completely overlook this feature?  I can’t believe that someone who is supposed to be a “techie” and writes reviews doesn’t know the potential added value of that IDE header.

  • Avro Arrow

    One thing I noticed that you left out is something that might be very interesting to someone with IDE DVD-RW drives.  The ECS A990FXM-A has an IDE header onboard but the ASUS does not.  Don’t you think that might be an important feature for some people who don’t necessarily want to spend another $20 on a new DVD-RW drive?  In my case, I have 2 IDE DVD-RW drives and it would cost $40+tax to replace them.  Quite honestly, that makes the ASUS board $40 more expensive to me.  To those who don’t know, DVD-RW drives are limited primarily by the physical limitations of the disc itself and are relatively slow devices.  Changing from IDE to SATA in this case makes little to no difference at all except that IDE drives leave 2 extra SATA ports empty for things that actually need them like Blu-Ray and hard drives.  For myself and many others, that point alone means that the ECS board is the clear winner because there isn’t a noticeable difference in performance between the two.  Why did you completely overlook this feature?  I can’t believe that someone who is supposed to be a “techie” and writes reviews doesn’t know the potential added value of that IDE header.

  • lsd-techno

    I’m so happy that my asus no have IDE and LPT connectors on the board…
    I have 6+2 sata3 connectors (it is CROSSHAIR V board almost same with sabertooth)…

    there is plenty of “1 usd converters” sta->ide (if one day i decide to put ide drive into my case)…

    i’m using dvd’s once in a year… i believe almost same as 90% of users…

    I think they just don’t think that somebody may use 2 ide drives in the end of 2011.

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