Like Gigabyte, ASRock has launched a new range of motherboards based on AMD 870/880G/890GX/890FX chipsets with a new Socket AM3+. To recap, ASUS and MSI have announced AM3+ CPU compatibility with AM3 motherboards via a simple bios update.
ASRock is now questioning the stability of this solution, no doubt for marketing reasons. They put forward several arguments:
- Socket AM3+ holes are 0.51mm in size, against 0.45 on AM3, which they say simplifies insertion of the CPU and gets rid of the likelihood of any pin-bent problems
- The link between the CPU and the motherboard power controller is at 3.4 MHz, against 400 KHz previously, which supports better power management
- Higher current support for the CPU: 145A on AM3+ compared to 110A on AM3
Other improvements specific to ASRock are also highlighted, such as better Vcore variation and lower CPU noise and a more compact backwards compatible cooler retention system.
Of course nothing stops an AM3 card from supplying 145A to the CPU, as long as its power stage is large enough and arguments such as Socket hole size or the speed of the link between the CPU and power stage seem thin.
Here’s the list of ASRock AM3+ cards:
- 890FX Deluxe5
- 890GX Extreme4 R2.0
- 890GX Pro3
- 890GM Pro3 R2.0
- 880GM Pro3 R2.0
- 880G Pro3
- 870 Extreme3 R2.0
- 870iCafe R2.0