Friday , 25 April 2014
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8 PCIe & SATA M.2 SSDs Test ASRock’s Fatal1ty 990FX Killer AM3+ AMD MotherBoard

Some time ago, Asus released their newest Z87 ROG Maximus VI motherboard and it was the first  to take a crack at M.2 SSDs. Our review of the ADATA AXNS360E M.2 SSD looked at the Maximus VI first hand   As much as we loved such things as SSD Secure Erase and the UEFI on the board, their M.2 design just seemed to be a last minute throw in as it was an add on adapter that shared space with their newest 802.11ac WiFi.  Compound that with frustrations trying to switch M.2 SSDs on the adapter, the fact that it only accommodate M.2 SSDs up to 2260 (6cm), and the fact that performance really wasn’t any different than what we have now as they limited this idea to a single PCIe lane.


ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX Killer M.2 Slot

It was only a matter of time before another motherboard manufacturer integrated M.2 SSDs into their motherboard and ASRock did so with their release of the AMD Fatal1ty 990FX Killer motherboard.  No sooner did they send one along for testing that we realized ASRock had put some great ideas into the Fatal1ty 990FX Killer, at least from a storage standpoint.

990FX PCIe

To start, M.2 SSD placement on the board is set between two PCIe slots, it uses 2 PCIe lanes at 10Gbps which eliminates the 6Gbps SATA 3 bottleneck, and even better yet, one could use either PCIe or SATA M.2 SSDs in the same slot.

990FX Speeds

The M.2 SSD shares the PCIe lanes with eSATA creating an either/or relationship; both cannot be used simultaneously.  As well, we are a bit curious why ASRock would have integrated it into their AMD solution rather than say… the Intel Extreme 11/ac that we also have on hand and have already posted a report on in the past week.ASRock Z87 Extreme 11 ac motherboard Dual mSATA

On the Extreme11/ac, ASRock used the space between the PCIe slots to add two 6Gbps mSATA connectors.  Add to this the 6 Intel SATA ports, another 16 which can be used for SAS or SATA with the LSI SAS 3008 host bus adapter, 2 x Thunderbolt 2 connectors and eSATA to boot, and you have one monster of a motherboard.  M.2 on that board would have been a natural.

ASRock Z87 Extreme 11 ac motherboard SAS Ports2


Getting back to the ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX Killer motherboard, it is a given that it has great features as well, being that it has the Fatal1ty name attached.  To start, the 990FX is the worlds first motherboard with a M.2 Gen 2 X2 10Gbps socket.

990FX Specs

It get’s the ‘Killer’ designation from its use of the Qualcomm Atheros Killer E2200 Series Gigabit LAN that detects and accelerates the users game traffic ahead of others on the network. It also just might attract the audiophile with its Purity Sound that supports 7.1 channel HD audio with the Realtek ALC1150 audio codec.

Killer E2200

The 990FX supports AM3+/AM3 AMD processors, up to four DDR3 2450 (OC) RAM modules, has five SATA 3 connectors, along with 3 x PCIe 2.0 x 16 slots and two PCIe 2.0 X1 slots.  It also has 5 USB 3.0 connectors, 10 USB 2.0 ports, an eSATA SATA 3 port, as well as a Fatal1ty mouse port. Perhaps the most encouraging thing about the Fatal1ty 990FX Killer motherboard, in comparison to the – Extreme11/ac, is its price.  Where the Extreme 11 is probably the most expensive retail motherboard available at over $600, the Fatal1ty 990FX Killer  can be found for just over $200 which is less than a third of the Extreme 11/ac.


Whether you are an AMD fan or not, this board is as good as it gets.  Curiosity has us wondering about whether we might see the same … lag … in PCIe as we do when comparing AMD to Intel based storage benchmarks.

Some time ago, Asus released their newest Z87 ROG Maximus VI motherboard and it was the first  to take a crack at M.2 SSDs. Our review of the ADATA AXNS360E M.2 SSD looked at the Maximus VI first hand   As much as we loved such things as SSD Secure Erase and the UEFI on ...

Review Overview

Product Build
Product Features
M.2 SSD Adaptability
Price and Availability
Ease of Installation

Works on PCIe or SATA M.2 SSDs!

Summary : The ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX Killer AM3+ AMD motherboard is yet another example of the quality of which make up ASROck products. Not only is it the worlds first native PCIe 2.0 X2 motherboard, but also, SATA M.2 SSDs work as well and the features included for the gamer are amazing!

User Rating: 3.88 ( 2 votes)

About Les Tokar

is a technology nut and Founder of The SSD Review. His early work includes the first consumer SSD review along with MS Vista, Win 7 and SSD Optimization Guides. Les is fortunate to, not only evaluate and provide opinion on consumer and enterprise solid state storage but also, travel the world in search of new technologies and great friendships. Google+
  • Tiago

    With two graphic cards, does it run at (x16/x16)?

    • Les@TheSSDReview

      WE haven’t the cards to test such sorry but specs point out that it should.

  • Dale

    Hi Les, just did a new build. ASrock990FXKiller, FX8320 3.5Ghz, 16G G.Skill Trident X DDR3-2400 PC3-19200, 2×8 , HD 7850 graphics powered with 600 w Thermallake.
    Dead on post! Unhooked everything but both 12v connectors and jumped the ps posts, worked, started adding one thing at a time allowing time for post then shutting down to add one more thing. I am on it now, but it does not run like it should and not been able to run B2 memory slot. Any ideas?

    • Les@TheSSDReview

      Jut had that same problem when moving the Intel system over to the new build…Turns out the retaining screw on the bottom of the mobo was off ever so slightly creating indirect pressure from the cooler to the cpu. That was the exact result… Read the new posted article on the new build…P.2

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