Best Motherboard for AMD FX 8350

Published by Zakriya Amir on

Best Motherboard for AMD FX 8350

The motherboard is a printed circuit board and foundation of a computer, it the biggest board in a computer case. The motherboard is responsible for allocating power to the computer components and allows communication between the processor (CPU), RAM, and all of the other computer components.

A computer has to have a motherboard to operate, whereas a motherboard itself is useless. The main job of the motherboard is to hold the processor chip and let everything else connect to it. Everything that runs the computer or enhances the performance of the computer is either a part of the motherboard or plugs into the motherboard through a port or a slot.

AMD FX 8350

The motherboard is the computer hardware component that provides connectivity between the components of the computer like memory (RAM), processor (CPU), video card (GPU), and hard drive. There are different types of motherboards, which are designed to fit different types and sizes of computer chassis.

Not every motherboard works with every processor and type of memory, each type of motherboard is designed to work with a specific type of processor and memory. Manufacturers optimize chipsets to work with specific processors, which is why chipset selection and CPU selection go hand in hand. Being an integrated part of the motherboard, the chipset cannot be upgraded or removed. This means that the processor must fit the motherboard’s socket, as well as, the motherboard’s chipset must work optimally with the CPU. The layout and shape of a motherboard is called form factor. On the other hand, hard drives work with the majority of motherboards, regardless of the type or brand and are mostly universal.

The part of the motherboard that connects the processor to the rest of the motherboard is called the chipset. On a PC, the chipset consists of two parts: the north-bridge, the south-bridge. All of the computer hardware components communicate with the processor through the chipset.

The north-bridge connects directly to the processor through the front side bus (FSB). There is a memory controller on the north-bridge that gives the processor fast access to the memory. The north-bridge also connects PCI Express or AGP to the memory.

The south-bridge is slower than the north-bridge and information from the processor has to go through the north-bridge before it reaches the south-bridge. The south-bridge is connected to the USB ports, PCI bus and the IDE or SATA hard disk connections via other busses.

The speed of the memory directly controls how fast the computer can access data and instructions, which is why it has a big role in system performance. The amount of memory that is available controls how much data computing can have readily available.

Most of the memory that is available nowadays is the dual data rate (DDR) memory. This means that data can be transmitted twice per cycle instead of one by the memory. Most of the motherboards nowadays have space for more than one memory chips. In most of the newer motherboards, the memory chips are connected to the north-bridge through a dual bus instead of a single bus. This reduces the amount of time it takes for the processor to get information from the memory even further.

How much memory and what kind of memory is supported directly depends on the motherboard’s memory slots. The memory plugs into the slot through a series of a pin. The memory module must have the right number of pins in order to fit into the slot.

All of this connects to the motherboard and makes up your computer.

 

ASUS 970 PRO GAMING

We’re going to have a look at the ASUS 970 Pro Gaming AM3+ motherboard today. The 970 isn’t a new motherboard, but ASUS has put some nice set of features on this motherboard. It’s nice to see an AM3+ motherboard with added features like the USB 3.1 and M.2 SSD. Another interesting feature of the motherboard is the Aura feature that allows the user to customize the color and the rhythm of the onboard RGB LEDs.

ASUS 970 PRO GAMING

The power section is 8 phase but, it uses a 7+1 layout instead of the usual 6+2 layout. This means that it has 7 phases dedicated to the processor and one for the CPU-NB. This is one area where mid-range motherboards usually suffer and limit their overclocking abilities.

The 970 PRO has RGB LED illumination, as part of the “AURA” lineup of motherboards, under the south-bridge heat spreader. The driver disc that the motherboard comes with also has the software that gives the user control over these LEDs with close to a limitless combination of colors and sequences for customized lighting effects, including presets that will give pulse to the beat of the music you’re listening to or even set it so the color scales according to the temperature of the CPU.

Right off the bat, ASUS 970 PRO Gaming provides enough power for a decent overclock with their 8 phase design. ASUS has integrated “superior chokes” that help the CPU operate at up to 13.6% cooler, for extra durability and 10 thousand capacitors from Texas instruments, engineered to be able to resist extreme temperature variations ranging from -70°C to 125°C. The BIOS has all the options such as Load Line Calibration that are needed to help maintain a steady voltage and CPU/CPU-NB Current Capability when just a little bit more power is needed.

As a “Gaming” board it’s worth mentioning that the ASUS 970 PRO Gaming is one of the first AMD 970 boards that comes with official Nvidia SLI support as well as AMD’s Crossfire X. This motherboard will support 2-way quad GPU, according to ASUS site.

The ASUS 970 PRO Gaming is also equipped with an Intel Gigabit Ethernet (I211-AT) LAN which reduces CPU load while offering very high TCP and UDP throughput. Having this reduction in CPU workload leaves more CPU power for your gaming. This is coupled with ASUS’s Game First IV Beta software that optimizes traffic for lag-free online gameplay and LANGuard that provides added protection to the LAN connection for 1.9X-greater tolerance to static electricity and 2.5X-greater protection (up to 15KV) against surges.

SupremeFX is an ASUS-exclusive technology for near loss-less audio delivered by the Realtek ALC1150 codec. Along with their EMI cover and shielded design, ASUS has equipped the 970 PRO Gaming motherboard with premium Japanese made Nichion capacitors for clarity and fidelity and a 300Ω headphone amplifier.

The 970 PRO Gaming is also equipped with next-generation storage interfaces such as USB 3.1 and M.2 SSD for improved transfer times. The 970 PRO Gaming is equipped with two USB 3.1 Type-A ports on the back I/O panel that yield up to 10Gbps. It is also equipped with an M.2 socket just below the south-bridge heat sink. This socket supports the M key type NVMe SSDs with transfer rates of up to 16Gbps.

We can see the Supreme FX logo on the EMI shield on the bottom left of the motherboard that protects the Realtek ALC1150 audio chip. The Premium Nichion Gold audio capacitors are directly beneath the shield. Just like most of the motherboards, the audio section is isolated from the rest of the board to help reduce interference. ASUS also includes the red line shielding that further reduces interference and also adds to the customizable lighting.

Two full-length PCIe 2.0 x16 slots for SLI/CFX and two PCIe 2.0 x1 are in the center of the motherboard. The 970 PRO Gaming is also equipped with two PCI slots for additional connectivity.

At the bottom of the motherboard, moving from left to right we will find the front panel audio connector which supports HD and legacy AC97 standards, a serial port, a TPM module port, and three additional USB 2.0 ports.

On the bottom right side, beside the CMOS jumper is the port that ASUS calls their “Overclocking Jack”. These jumpers support the features, Safe Boot, Re-try, and Slow mode by shorting the corresponding jumpers with a metal object or a jumper cap for about five seconds. Just next to this is your usual front-panel connector and directly above it, we have the M.2 socket 3. This socket supports M key type 2242/2260/2280 storage devices up to PCIe 2.0 x4.

On the right side of the motherboard, there are six SATA 6Gb/s ports for your storage devices and right beside the EATX 24-pin, the power connector is a USB 3.0 port for additional connectivity. Just behind these are the four DIMM slots that support up to 32GB of DDR3 RAM.

AUS Motherboard

Just to the left of the processor socket, there are the superior chokes that operate 13.6% cooler and the 10 thousand capacitors from Texas Instruments that are engineered to resist extreme temperature variations. The EATX 12v, 8-pin connectors are located directly beside the chokes. There are three of the six onboard PWM fan headers directly beside the chokes, one of which is designated for a water pump.

On the left side, there is the rear I/O panel that includes:

1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse combo port(s)
1 x LAN (RJ45) port(s)
2 x USB 3.1 (red) Type-A
8 x USB 2.0
1 x Optical S/PDIF out
6 x Audio jack(s)

 

Specifications

CPUBuild in AMD AM3+ FX/Phenom II/Athlon II/Sempron 100 Series Processors
Supports AM3+ 32nm CPU
Support CPU up to 125W
AMD Cool ‘n’ Quiet Technology
ChipsetBuild in AMD 970/SB950
Memory4 x DIMM, Max. 32GB, DDR3 2133(O.C.)/1866/1600/1333/1066 MHz
Non-ECC, Un-buffered Memory *
Dual Channel Memory Architecture
System BusUp to 4.8GT/s HyperTransport 3
Multi-GPU SupportSupports NVIDIA Quad-GPU SLI Technology
Supports AMD Quad-GPU CrossFireX Technology
Expansion Slots2 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (x16 or dual x8)
2 x PCIe 2.0 x1
2 x PCI
StorageAMD SB950 controller :
6 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), black
Support Raid 0, 1, 5, 10
1 x M.2 Socket 3, with M Key type 2242/2260/2280 storage devices support (PCIe 2.0 x4)
LANIntel 1211-AT, 1 x Gigabit LAN Controller(s), GameFirst technology, Anti-surge LANGuard
AudioSupremeFX 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC
Supports : Jack-detection, Multi-streaming, Front Panel MIC jack-retasking
High quality 115 dB SNR stereo playback output
Audio FeatureSupremeFX Shielding Technology
Optical S/PDIF out port(s) at back panel
Sonic Radar II
Back I/O Ports1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse combo port(s)

1 x LAN (RJ45) port(s)

2 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 (red)Type-A

8 x USB 2.0

1 x Optical S/PDIF out

6 x Audio jack(s)

Internal I/O Ports1 x ReTry jumper

1 x Safe Boot jumper

1 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 connector(s) support(s) additional 2 USB 3.1 Gen 1 port(s) (19-pin)

3 x USB 2.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 6 USB 2.0 port(s)

1 x M.2 Socket 3 for M Key, type 2242/2260/2280 devices

1 x TPM header

1 x COM port(s) connector(s)

6 x SATA 6Gb/s connector(s)

1 x CPU Fan connector(s) (1 x 4 -pin)

1 x CPU OPT Fan connector(s) (1 x 4 -pin)

3 x Chassis Fan connector(s) (3 x 4 -pin)

1 x 24-pin EATX Power connector(s)

1 x 8-pin ATX 12V Power connector(s)

1 x Front panel audio connector(s) (AAFP)

1 x System panel(s)

1 x Clear CMOS jumper(s)

1 x Water Pump header (4-pin)

1 x Slow Mode jumper(s)

USB PortsASMedia USB 3.1 controller :
2 x USB 3.1 port(s) (2 at back panel, Type-A)
ASMedia USB 3.0 controller:
2 x USB 3.0 port(s) (2 at mid-board)
AMD SB950 controller:
14 x USB 2.0 port(s) (8 at back panel, 6 at mid-board)
Special FeaturesGamer’s Guardian
ASUS Exclusive Features
ASUS Quiet Thermal Solution
ASUS EZ DIY
ASUS Q-Design
Media Streamer
RAMCache
AURA: RGB Lighting Control
ManageabilityWfM 2.0, DMI 2.0, WOL by PME, WOR by PME, PXE
Form FactorATX Form Factor
12 inch x 9.6 inch (30.5cm x 24.4cm)

 

 

Pros
  • Highly durable components
  • Digi+ VRM voltage-regulator module is one of the finest in the industry
  • 4 LEDs indicate problems with the CPU, memory, graphics card or boot device
  • RGB LED Illumination
Cons
  • Expensive

 

GIGABYTE GA-990FXA-UD3

The Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3 from Gigabyte’s Ultra Durable 3 series has two PCB layers with 2oz copper and has a dual BIOS in case of a bad BIOS update or crashed BIOS chip. The GA-990FXA-UD3 has a fine finish and has even colored connectors with a mark for the polarity inside of the front panel connector.

GIGABYTE GA-990FXA-UD3

This motherboard supports 2-Way CrossFireX or Nvidia SLI and offers four PCIe 2.0 video card slots. One card can operate with x16 bandwidth, or two cards can operate in x16 bandwidth and two cards operate in x4 bandwidth. It’s not necessary to get an SLI/XFire switch card in order to get the optimal performance for single or CF operation. Apart from the four PCI Express 2.0 slots, there are two x1 PCIe 2.0 slots and one PCI slot.

The Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3 supports DDR3 RAM up to 32GB. The memory can be optimized in the BIOS for 800, 1066, 1333, 1600 clock rates and faster Dual Channel modules. 2000 or higher clock rates can be achieved by overclocking.

Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3 motherboard has six SATA3 6Gb/s connectors and two eSATA3 ports. The SATA 3 ports support Raid 0, Raid 1, Raid 5, Raid 10, JBOD, AHCI and the Hot Plug function in AHCI mode. The eSATA3 ports support Raid 0 and Raid 1.

There are two USB 3.0 connectors on the board and two additional USB 3.0 connectors and a connector for two additional optional USB 3.0 front panel. The board also has eight USB 2.0 connectors on the panel and three internal USB 2.0 plugs for up to six optional USB ports. The board supports up to 14 USB 2.0 ports.

The GA-990FXA-UD3 has the Realtek RTL 8111E chip with a 10/100/1000 network connector. The motherboard is also equipped with the ALC889 audio codec that supports Dolby Home Theater 7.1 surround sound.

On the rear I/O panel, there are 10 x USB 2.0 ports and 1 x PS/2 connector, optical S/PDIF out, IEEE1394, 2 x eSATA3 ports, RJ45 Gigabit LAN and 6 x 3.5mm jacks for analog sound.

The BIOS offers a very comprehensive DDR3 memory setting like the memory frequency setting ranging from 400MHz, 533MHz, 667MHz, 800MHz, 1066MHz, 1333MHz, 1600MHz.

This motherboard also has a Vcore setting ranging from -0.600 Volt to +0.600 Volt. This motherboard has a CPU Smart Fan option that provides fan control for a 4-pin CPU fan, a 3-pin CPU fan, and a 4-pin chassis fan.

Specifications

CPUAM3+ Socket:
Support for AMD AM3+ FX processors support for AMD AM3 Phenom™ II processors / AMD Athlon™ II processors
Hyper Transport Bus5200 MT/s
ChipsetNorth Bridge: AMD 990FX

SouthBridge: AMD SB950

Memory4 x 1.5V DDR3 DIMM sockets supporting up to 32 GB of system memory (Note 1)

Dual-channel memory architecture

Support for DDR3 2000(O.C.)/1866/1600/1333/1066 MHz memory modules (Note 2)

Back I/O Panel1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse port

1 x optical S/PDIF Out connector

1 x IEEE 1394 port

8 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports

2 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports

2 x eSATA 6Gb/s connector

1 x RJ-45 port

6 x audio jacks (Center/Subwoofer Speaker Out/Rear Speaker Out/Side Speaker Out/Line In/Line Out/Microphone)

Internal I/O connectors    1 x 24-pin ATX main power connector

1 x 8-pin ATX 12V power connector

6 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors

1 x CPU fan header

2 x system fan headers

1 x power fan header

1 x front panel header

1 x front panel audio header

1 x S/PDIF Out header

3 x USB 2.0/1.1 headers

1 x USB 3.0/2.0 header

1 x IEEE 1394a header

1 x Trusted Platform Module (TPM) header

1 x serial port header

1 x clearing CMOS jumper

AudioRealtek ALC889 codec

High Definition Audio

2/4/5.1/7.1-channel

Support for Dolby Home Theater

Support for S/PDIF Out

LAN1 x Realtek RTL8111E chip (10/100/1000 Mbit)
Expansion slots2 x PCI Express x16 slots, running at x16 (PCIEX16_1, PCIEX16_2) (Note 3)

2 x PCI Express x16 slots, running at x4 (PCIEX4_1, PCIEX4_2)

2 x PCI Express x1 slots

Multi-Graphics TechnologySupport for NVIDIA Quad-GPU SLI and 2-Way NVIDIA SLI Technologies

Support for AMD Quad-GPU CrossFireX and 2-Way AMD CrossFire Technologies

Storage InterfaceSouthBridge:

6 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors (SATA3_0~SATA3_5) supporting up to 6 SATA 6Gb/s devices

Support for SATA RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID5, RAID 10 and JBOD

2 x Marvell 88SE9172 chips:

2 x eSATA 6Gb/s connectors on the back panel supporting up to 2 SATA 6Gb/s devices

Support for RAID 0 and RAID 1

USBSouthBridge:

Up to 14 USB 2.0/1.1 ports (8 ports on the back panel, 6 ports available through the internal USB headers)

2 x Etron EJ168 chips:

Up to 4 USB 3.0/2.0 ports (2 ports on the back panel, 2 ports available through the internal USB header)

I/O ControllerITE IT8720 chip
H/W MonitoringSystem voltage detection

CPU/System temperature detection

CPU/System/Power fan speed detection

CPU overheating warning

CPU/System/Power fan fail warning

CPU/System fan speed control (Note 4)

BIOS2 x 32 Mbit flash

Use of licensed AWARD BIOS

Support for DualBIOS™

PnP 1.0a, DMI 2.0, SM BIOS 2.4, ACPI 1.0b

Unique FeaturesSupport for @BIOS

Support for Q-Flash

Support for Xpress BIOS Rescue

Support for Download Center

Support for Xpress Install

Support for Xpress Recovery2

Support for EasyTune (Note 5)

Support for Easy Energy Saver

Support for Smart Recovery

Support for Auto Green

Support for ON/OFF Charge

Support for Cloud OC

Support for 3TB+ Unlock

Support for Q-Share

Bundled SoftwareNorton Internet Security (OEM version)
Form FactorATX Form Factor; 30.5cm x 24.4cm

 

Pros
  • 4x PCI Express x16 slots (2x running at x16 + 2x running at x4)
  • Support for AMD CrossFire and Nvidia SLI
  • 2x eSATA and FireWire ports
  • Cheaper
Cons
  • Software could be better
  • No RGB Illumination

 

ASUS 970 PRO Gaming vs Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3 Comparison

Specifications with ASUS 970 PRO Gaming

Processor: AMD FX-8350
GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti
SSD: Samsung 850 EVO 250GB
RAM: HyperX Fury DDR3 1866 C10 2x8GB

Specifications with Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3

Processor: AMD FX-8350
GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti
SSD: Samsung 850 EVO 250GB
RAM: HyperX Fury DDR3 1866 C10 2x8GB

 

Benchmark

MotherboardGameDeskWorkCPUGPUSSDHDDRAM
ASUS 970 PRO GamingUFO – 11411581531405455759
Nuclear submarine – 100625456137929240
UFO – 101615356144978949
Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3UFO – 1016960571351477154
Nuclear submarine – 93544752142727946
Nuclear submarine 916556541191456753

*Higher is better

 

Conclusion

Both ASUS 970 PRO Gaming and Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3 are really great to pair up with the AMD FX-8350 processor. As we can see above that the ASUS 970 PRO Gaming actually performs better than the Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3 when paired with the AMD FX-8350. We will recommend the ASUS 970 PRO Gaming motherboard if you are going to be pairing it with the AMD FX-8350 over the Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3. But, this doesn’t mean that the Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3 will not perform good, it will perform really good, but not as good as the ASUS 970 PRO Gaming motherboard, especially when coupled with the AMD FX-8350 processor. If you get the ASUS 970 PRO Gaming motherboard, then you also get some RGB action integrated on the motherboard whereas the Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3 doesn’t have RGB LEDs integrated on the motherboard, if you’re not much into RGB lighting and don’t care much about losing some slight performance then we will recommend that you get the Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3.


Zakriya Amir

Zakriya is right from Pakistan. He was raised with a quest for gaming craze with an organization of specialized folks. This is the place he understood that computer games can grow your creative mind to unlimited universes. Gaming is no longer for him only a methods for amusement, yet an enthusiasm. From the youthful age of 8, gaming was simply the main method for communicating. At whatever point he got the opportunity to play computer games, he took it with two hands and played for quite a long time. Much to his dismay that gaming would turn into his closest companion. Zakriya consistently appreciates a challenge, and gaming gave him that again and again, and here and there it's difficult to overcome those difficulties, yet you simply continue attempting until you succeed. He trusts he can rouse individuals all around the globe to see and realize what gaming is all about.