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

PCMARK VANTAGE TOTAL SCORE RESULTS

Vantage Total Score

Once again, we expected to see higher total scores, if only from the PCIe M.2 SSDs.  Granted, PCMark Vantage is an ideal testing medium for brand new SSDs, none of which these are, and we would expect the Total Score to be somewhat lower.

ADATA AXNS360E 128GB SATA M.2 SSD in ASRock FX990 Killer Mobo

REPORT SUMMARY AND FINAL THOUGHTS

If we are wondering how ASRock might fit as a new mobo industry leader, there is no need to look further than the ASRock Intel Extreme11/ac and Fatal1ty 990FX Killer AM3+ AMD motherboards.  Both boards bring attention to the importance of SSD storage and the vital importance it plays in every aspect of the PC industry.  Where the Extreme 11/ac floods us with 22 SAS/SAS ports, 2 Thunderbolt 2 connectors, 2 x mSATA as well as eSATA 3, the Fatal1ty 990FX is the worlds first PCIe 2.0 X2 M.2 system capable of 10Gbps.  Its M.2 connector accepts either native PCIe or SATA 3 M.2 SSDs, creating a much wider fan base and this board does a great job of looking to the future;.

Killer Logo

Having said that, M.2 SSDs are still as rare as any UFO sighting but things are changing every day.  It wasn’t so long ago that manufacturers were holding back on mSATA SSD production as they didn’t feel the need was sufficient for sales.  At that time, many failed to appreciate that that there were literally millions of mSATA based Lenovo’s on the market.  Here we seem to be once again, only now with the M.2 SSD dilemma.  Things seem to be trickling right about now but get ready because this will be the year of the M.2 SSD. A quick check of Amazon shows MyDigitalSSD, Crucial and Intel as having retail samples available.

ASRock

FINAL THOUGHTS

Something for ASRock to consider might be how nice this would have been on an Intel motherboard, and as a PCIe 2.0 using 4 lanes vice 2.  These are the only two cogs in the wheel that we see as this board is definitely a premium build, full of unexpected features and at a very reasonable price.  It is the first to allow us to break that SATA bottleneck and use a M.2 PCIe x2 SSD as a more powerful boot drive, and we did just that.  Unfortunately we weren’t so lucky with our favorite Samsung XP941 PCIe X4 M.2 SSD, as it wouldn’t quite cooperate as a boot drive, although it tested great.

ASRock is being awarded our Innovation Award for the inclusion of the native PCIe M.2 on the Fatal1ty 990FX Killer!

Check Out M.2 SSD Availability at Amazon.

TheSSDReview Innovation Award image

Review Overview

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

Works on PCIe or SATA M.2 SSDs!

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: 3.58 ( 9 votes)

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Rod Bland
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Rod Bland

awesome review Les – can you confirm that you were able to boot the Samsung XP941 in this motherboard? It looks like that IS what you did, but just wanted to be sure….

Les@TheSSDReview
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The XP941 will format and work correctly but will not be recignized and boot within the UEFI. The Plextor M6e PCIe 256GB SSD that we have will. We are wondering if the difficulty with the Samsung is that it is a X4 SSD Downgrading to X2.

Arnoldo Giovani
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Arnoldo Giovani

Maybe with BIOS update in the future it can. 🙂

Les@TheSSDReview
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Accomplished.

askeria ASK
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askeria ASK

or german review ?

Les@TheSSDReview
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I am sorry but I don’t quite understand.

Carl Forks
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Carl Forks

Hope to see PCIe X4 M.2 on the upcoming Intel chipset series 9!

Les@TheSSDReview
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Hmmm….might make sense when you think of relationships…

Rafael Moraos
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Rafael Moraos

Could I put 5 r9 cards ? How much watts is needed ?

Rod Bland
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Rod Bland

It’s interesting that the Samsung XP941 PCIe x4 SSD worked in this motherboard, despite the M.2 socket only supporting PCIe x2. We’ve had zero success with installing the XP941 in the ASUS Maximus VI Impact mobo, which also has dual support for PCIe x2 M.2 / SATA M.2. I wonder what they’ve done different in the Asrock board that they haven’t in the ASUS board?

Les@TheSSDReview
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The implementation used in this first ASUS release is poor and will only support a single lane, not a four lane design such as the XP941….and then also, not as a boot device. The 990FX Killer, on the other hand, will support the XP941 and as a bootable drive, whereas initially it would not. We worked with ASRock to achieve such.