The Glories of Ebay. (Buying a "new" AM3+ motherboard.)

My Asrock 990FX Extreme6 gave up the ghost. As far as I can tell, the northbridge borked, because at best I get graphical artifacts and constant driver crashes - things that do not happen when I install the exact same GPUs onto another rig. As to why it borked, I am still not sure - I think it may have been from the weight of an aftermarket heatsink, and two GPUs putting stress on the board, along with the natural flex that occurs as the board cycles through various stages of heat.

Thankfully, I have a secondary rig, although FM2+ based. While it was sufficient, I was noticing that the CPU struggled to keep pace during competitive games - that is to say, I have been playing a shitton of Overwatch, and I noticed the hit to performance. Nothing to make the game unplayable, but, like any luxury, you don't miss it until you don't have it anymore.

With Zen just around the corner, I couldn't justify to myself purchasing a brand new motherboard, and I did not want to spend the exorbitant amount of money upgrade most of my rig and have leftover parts to find a home for. So, the hunt on Ebay began... (and quickly ended.)

And thus it ended. I originally set a budget of $50 for a fairly decent board, but when I found a 5th Revision 990FX Gigabyte board, I felt that spending slightly more was worth it. Aside from M.2 and NVMe, it has a good amount of connectivity and more modern features - and the updated BIOS.

And, fuck me sideways, Caption Dyslexia came to my aid, and what I thought was going to be the 990FXA-UD3 R5 ended up being the 990FXA-UD5 R5. The actual difference between the two is not huge - the UD5 allows for a better configuration of three-way Crossfire/SLI, and, if I recall correctly, has slightly better MOSFETs, which is always a bonus. However, the UD5 usually sells for roughly ~$30-50 more than the UD3, so this has been the happiest mistake I've made in a while. I basically saved $80.

(I'm not going to apologize for the blurriness of this photo - it is the motherboard quaking with power, nothing could be done about it.)

(Pristine CPU sockets are pristine)

So, my rig has been resurrected. I do have somethings to nit-pick about the board, and I hope to elaborate more on them later as I tinker. But, for now, I am happily playing Overwatch with a very modest overclock of 4.0ghz on my FX-8320. I know I can get up to 4.4ghz on stock voltage, but - and this brings me to my first complaint - the BIOS only allows for voltage offset input, and some basic load-line calibration settings. So my overclocking features are rather gimped, even compared to a mid-tier ASRock or ASUS board. Mildly disappointing, but that doesn't mean I won't be able to achieve good overclocks.

Buying computer components online is always a scary experience, but when things work out, it is nice to see more money in your wallet. You also don't feel so bad about overclocking the shit out of your hardware Share your experiences! Or leave a question, comment, or concern.