Where the Deluxe 4 shines is its feature front, and doing so it takes advantage of everything the 890FX chipset has to offer.  At its forefront is its excellent USB 3.0 performance and compatibility. Unlike most boards on the market that offer two USB 3.0 ports, ASRock offers total four USB 3.0 ports, and from our experience the performance and compatibility is top-notch.  Out of the four ports, two of them are accessible at the front of enclosure via a bundled 3.5” front-panel bay unit.  We had no trouble installing it in popular tower cases like Antec Nine Hundred and Cooler Master HAF 932.  Coupled with whopping eight SATA 6.0 Gbps ports, the Deluxe 4 seems as feature-rich as any you can find in a today’s motherboard.

3.5” Front-bay USB 3.0 ports - ASRock

Another area the Deluxe 4 impressed us is its fan control ability.  The board has total 6 fan headers, and 5 of them are controllable in one way or another via BIOS or the excellent OC Tuner utility in Windows.  The OC Tuner Utility is the Deluxe 4’s command center for system monitoring and in-OS overclocking, and despite its appearance it does what it is supposed to do with no fuss.  However, we wish ASRock was a bit more attentive to the individual headers’ locations.  All six headers are somewhat crowded around the CPU socket, making it difficult to reach if you want to use them for your case’s front or side fans.     

Overall, ASRock’s entry (the short-lived Deluxe 3 notwithstanding) into this high-end AMD market is solid, but with a couple of nagging issues such as over- voltage and tight memory parameters that hinder high frequency overclocking.   We are aware that this is our first evaluation of the 890FX-based board and do not want to be unfair to the Deluxe 4 without comparing it to similar products, but at this segment of market users tend to expect perfection.

Putting that aside, the Deluxe 4 offers everything but the kitchen sink, and everything except the kitchen sink just worked without a hitch.   The board showed an exceptional compatibility with a wide range of add-in cards, and its USB 3.0 ports worked out of the box with the included drivers unlike ASUS M4A89GTD Pro/USB3 whose USB 3.0 ports seem finicky to date.  The way ASRock configured SATA ports for AHCI and hot-swap function in the BIOS is brilliant, and will bring smiles to users who have ever struggled to get hot-swap working in Windows.  We feel the Deluxe 4’s MSRP of $180 is fair enough for the majority of users who are looking to build a Phenom II X4/X6 based system with reasonable 24/7 overclocking in mind and with room to grow. (N.B.: undervolt your memory!)  Extreme overclockers and memory aficionados may well be better served by looking elsewhere.

Introduction and User Experience The Leo Platform - 890FX Redux
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  • jonup - Tuesday, August 31, 2010 - link

    Very impressed to see this approach to your testing. I hete when reading an MB reveiw and reach the benchmark section. Same chipsets tend to perform the same. A guess this would be an one-off since in the next review it will be redundant.
  • vol7ron - Tuesday, August 31, 2010 - link

    agreed, nice review.
  • Finally - Tuesday, August 31, 2010 - link

    I must say that this review was nice to have, I'm much more interested in the 870 Chipset.
    It's almost identical, except the support of Crossfire, which I have no use for.
  • RequiemsAllure - Wednesday, September 1, 2010 - link

    ahh, but on the ASRock 870 extreme 3 Crossfire is supported.
  • SpaceRanger - Tuesday, August 31, 2010 - link

    In the article:
    USB 3.0 Performance

    We use Acronis TrueImage Home (v. 10) to make a backup of our installation drive to an external SATA 3.0 Gbps drive via USB 3.0 and compare it with USB 2.0 and SATA 3.0 Gbps transfers. The total data backed up is approximately 20 GB. We could not complete the backup on the 890GTD Pro/USB3 in a consistent manner.

    My Question:

    Why were you not able to complete the backup on the 890GTD Pro/USB3? At the conclusion you state :
    Is it worth $180 when ASUS 890GTD Pro/USB3 is $30 less? We think the difference largely comes down to the board’s selection of components.

    I would call not being able to do a simple backup with the 890GTD enough of a showstopper to not even consider the board. Am I missing something here?
  • semo - Tuesday, August 31, 2010 - link

    I'm also wondering about the SATA3 performance. An issue was identified here on AT with the new 8xx chipset earlier which slowed down SSDs considerably compared to ICH10 controllers. Has this been fixed yet?
  • Kane Y. Jeong - Tuesday, August 31, 2010 - link


    Please check Raja's ASUS M4A89GTD Pro/USB3 review here.


    We purchased another retail M4A89GTD Pro/USB3 off the shelf, and still ran into inconsistent USB 3.0 performance. Sometimes the drives lost connections, and Acronis reported error in the middle of backup process. Success ratio to complete the backup was about 30~40%. An alternative would be to purchase M4A89GTD Pro (not Pro/USB3) for $10 less and go with an add-in card. We did not experience this issue on ASRock 890FX Deluxe 4.
  • SpaceRanger - Tuesday, August 31, 2010 - link

    Thank you for the response. So you're advising getting the Pro (not Pro/USB3) instead of the 890FX? Cause Raja's findings would be enough for me to not want to get it.
  • nbjknk - Thursday, November 25, 2010 - link

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  • optarix12 - Tuesday, August 31, 2010 - link

    This is a very nice writeup and relevant to my interests to boot. Thank you for the concise article Kane. Oh, and if you ever figure out why you saw the inexplicable results you should do a part 2!

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