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ECS Black Series A990FXM-A Review


Closer Look: BIOS

Like many new motherboards, ECS's A990FXM-A utilises the UEFI and provides a GUI that seems more form over function, which is completely unnecessary and not what a BIOS is for. That said, the UEFI works well enough and provides just as many options as the traditional BIOS. The first thing encountered after entering the BIOS is the welcome screen that shows basic system information and a selection screen that provides quick access to some settings that may need to be changed quickly, including the boot drive priority order. Interestingly, all major languages are offered as part of the GUI should English not be the preferred one. German, Korean, and Russian are just some of the options.














Quick commands and controls are slightly different from the traditional BIOS, but once you figure them out it's no issue. In addition, being a very showy GUI interface, settings and menus can be navigated and changed via the mouse. USB or PS/2 matters not, only your preference. The 'Main' tab allows the quick change of the language, date, and time.


The 'Advanced' tab provides the opportunity to fine-tune things just so. All the onboard features, power settings, and AMD specific tech, like Cool 'n' Quiet, can be enabled or disabled here. The 'Smart Fan' function allows one to set fans connected to the CPU and SYSTEM_FAN headers to be controlled either based on temperature or at a constant speed.






The lonely 'Chipset' tab is home only to the two settings concerning the onboard audio controller and what the computer ought to or not to do when power is restored after a power failure.


ECS calls its performance adjusting section 'M.I.B. X' or Motherboard Intelligent BIOS X. Why 'X'? Because 'X' is cool, that's why. Voltages, frequencies, timings, and a few curious options under 'Power Planes and Voltage Controls' are all of the things that can be adjusted within. My only gripe is that there is not option to adjust the processor's bus multiplier and the RAM speed can only be adjusted by selecting a particular speed, while no divider is shown, and what speed the RAM boots when overclocked is a mild nightmare to figure out. Otherwise, it's rather thorough.




Booting up with the A990FXM-A will either be a nightmare or great depending on whether you're the type to be cluttered or neat. ECS offers eight selections for boot priority. Just in case the four hard drives, two optical drives, and both your USB sticks all happen to fail at the same time, you can still have your rig boot on sheer willpower alone.


An admin password can be enabled for extra security, and various settings can be saved under profiles for one setup or another. Additionally, the final window lets one know how to manually override the previously selected boot drive by pressing and holding the number of the desired drive.


  1. Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Closer Look (The Motherboard)
  3. Closer Look: BIOS
  4. Closer Look: Drivers & Programs
  5. Specifications & Features
  6. Testing: Setup & Overclocking
  7. Testing: Apophysis, WinRAR, Geekbench 2.1, Bibble 5
  8. Testing: Office 2007, POV Ray, PCMark 7
  9. Testing: SiSoft Sandra 2011 SP3
  10. Testing: ScienceMark, Cinebench, HD Tune
  11. Testing: Alien vs. Predator
  12. Testing: Call of Duty: Modern Warefare 2
  13. Testing: Batman: Arkham Asylum
  14. Testing: 3DMark 11
  15. Conclusion
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