ASRock Fatal1ty FM2A88X+ Killer Review

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[section_title title=”Conclusion”]Conclusion

Now that we have seen how this board performs and what it comes with; is it worth the nearly £80 price tag? ASRock have always had a good performance to price ratio, so is that still the case with theFatal1ty FM2A88x+ Killer?

While I have not personally tested any other A88X motherboards, comparing the ASRock Fatal1ty FM2A88x+ Killer to the likes of the Gigabyte G1.Sniper and MSI’s A88X-G45 on a spec for spec basis, I feel it has earned its spot atop the ranks as one of the best A88X boards out there. It offers some additional features over the likes of its competitors, in way of premium gold caps, as well as the onboard 4 pin molex port to help get power to the PCIE lanes.  While some may not see this as much of a big deal as Kaveri, it is meant to target a mid-range gamer on a budget and I for one love the addition of such premium components and features. Let us also not forget that the ASRock FM2A88X+ is a bit cheaper which let be honest, is a good thing.

Taking a the look at the aesthetics, I think ASRock have done a very good job. The black PCB with the premium gold caps gives a nice look when paired with the brushed aluminium heatsinks and the black and red RAM and PCI slots. While red is personally not my favourite colour there is no denying ASRock have a good design with their Fatal1ty Killer boards and it will bode well with AMD fans looking to match it up with some AMD R9 Gaming RAM and an AMD GPU.

Overall the performance of the board fits in well with what you would expect to accompany a mid-range gaming rig. Taking that into consideration I would highly recommend that once you get this board installed and up and running you head to the ASRock site and download the latest bios and get it flashed ASAP. If you are not running the latest bios you may encounter a lot of problems, including things like the dreaded Blue Screen of Death when trying to run RAM at 2400MHz. I ran into this problem myself and it was mostly rectified with a BIOS flash, whether it was the APU or the board at fault it is hard to say, but the updated bios sure helped out a lot. Once updated the board had no problem using the AMP profile on the AMD Radeon R9 Gamer Series Ram and worked well with it.

Overclocking is made simple thanks to the FATAL1TY UEFI SETUP UTILITY and the F-STREAM TUNING UTILITY. I used the UEFI Bios for all my overclocking needs and found it easy to navigate. One thing I was a bit disappointed with was the fact I could not seem to properly monitor my APU temperatures. Whether this is down to the board, or more than likely the APU itself, I really cannot say but it did hold me back from trying to see what this board could do. Nonetheless, I was able to overclock both the 7850K and 7700K chips to 4.5GHZ with ease. While I couldn’t 100% monitor the temps, I feel they would have been “acceptable”. Please keep in mind that this motherboard is more geared towards gamers, so any real overclocking is just an added bonus in my eyes.  While overclocking the CPU alone will not help your gaming, it will help with more everyday applications as our 2D benchmarks have shown.

Overall I feel the ASRock Fatal1ty FM2A88X+ Killer should be at the top of the list for motherboards when considering a build based around the Kaveri APU and FM2+ Socket. It offers performance, stability, ease of use and is definitely pleasing to look at if red is your thing, or so I am told anyway.  It also has a few added features over its competitors to help try and sway your decision.

While I have not currently tested any other A88X based boards I am more than happy to award the ASRock FM2A88X+ with our Silver Award.

I would like to thank ASRock for sending me the board to test and look forward to seeing more from them in the future.

  • Performance
  • Design
  • Value
3.7

Summary

The ASRock Fatal1ty FM2A88x+ Killer offers good performance with an aesthetically pleasing design. The addition of gold caps and a dedicated molex connector to help bring power to the PCIE lanes is sure to help this board stand out in the crowd. If you are looking for an A88x Motherboard you should definitely at least consider the ASRock Fatal1ty FM2A88x+ Killer

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