Introduction & Specs

ASRock delivers another AMD socket 754/939 motherboard, but this time both sockets are on board. You may be surprised to see what improves with upgrading to an FX-53 CPU and what doesn’t.

Today we are looking at the ASRock K8 Combo-Z. Like the ASRock K8 Upgrade 760GX board we reviewed not long ago, the K8 Combo-Z touts the ability to support both Socket 754 and Socket 939. But unlike the K8 Upgrade 760GX, the K8 Combo-Z has both sockets onboard!

The ASRock K8 Combo-Z is a full size ATX motherboard that uses the ALi M1689 chipset and comes with a decent set of features.

In addition to being a review of a unique product, today’s article will be an interesting experiment to see how performance improves when a Socket 754 CPU is replaced with a Socket 939 CPU. How much extra performance do you get going to an FX-53 with dual-channel? Does game performance improve at all? What are the cost-performance benefits? Is the K8 Combo-Z worth buying over the competition?

Let’s get on with it!


ASRock K8 Combo-Z Specs


ALi M1689

Bus Frequency

400MHz, 600MHz, 800MHz


DDR 400MHz

Memory Slots

2 DIMMs for Socket 754
3 DIMMs for Socket 939

Memory Capacity

2GB for Socket 754
3GB for Socket 939

Drive Connectivity

2x ATA100 IDE
2x SATA II (RAID 0, 1, JBOD)


Realtek ALC850 5.1 channel audio

Analog Audio Connectivity

6x (front, side, rear, center/bass, mic, input)

Digital Audio Connectivity



Realtek RTL8201BL 10/100

USB 2.0

4 ports on rear panel
2 headers onboard

Firewire IEEE1394



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