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ASRock 870 Extreme3 (AMD 870) Motherboard - BIOS and Overclocking

With the AMD chipset family rounding out, we hit up ASRock to see if the new 870 chipset can hang with its bigger bothers.

By: | Socket AM3/AM3+ in Motherboards | Posted: Aug 5, 2010 2:51 pm
TweakTown Rating: 85%Manufacturer: ASRock



The BIOS on the 870 Extreme3 is an AMI BIOS with some of ASRock's tweaks and features exposed to the end user.




The OC Tweaker Menu is where the average enthusiast will spend the majority of their time. ASRock has not made this board (or BIOS) just for the typical enthusiast; they have also added in a nice feature for the newcomer or the novice. This is the Load Optimized CPU settings option.






As you can see, to get the CPU speed you want all you have to do is select the percentage and CPU speed you are trying to achieve. That is not to say that you will get it, but you can quickly get all of the settings in line with this one selection.






The Memory timings page is typical and does not need much explanation.




The Advanced menu has your options for CPU settings,








and Storage.




Overall, it looks like the 870 Extreme3 has a pretty functional BIOS.




Our overclocking experience with the 870 Extreme3 was not spectacular. We ran into quite a few issues once we pushed past 233MHz. We finally topped out at 240MHz x16 (3.84GHz) for a stable overclock but it was a pain to get there.




You can see the validation for the ASRock 870 Extreme3 here.


OC Tuner


ASRock does include an overclocking utility called OC Tuner. However, this was not the cleanest or most precise software we have used. Looking at it, you get the impression that it is not quite done yet. The colors and shapes seem to be unfinished. That does not stop you from using it, bu it is a consideration.




There are pages for all of the normal overclocking needs and for the most part they work well. We did notice that at times the software had a hard time figuring out what was going on with the system. It would hang and all of the information would be blank. We ended up staying away from the OC Tuner and just using the settings in the BIOS.


As all overclocking results are dependent on the hardware you use, your results may vary. Results of our overclocking tests are included in the performance section with the stock scores.


Important Editor Note: Our maximum overclocking result is the best result we managed in our limited time of testing the motherboard. Due to time constraints we weren't able to tweak the motherboard to the absolute maximum and find the highest possible FSB, as this could take days to find properly. We do however spend at least a few hours overclocking every motherboard to try and find the highest possible overclock in that time frame. You may or may not be able to overclock higher if you spend more time tweaking or as new BIOS updates are released. "Burn-in" time might also come into play if you believe in that.


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