Test Setup and Errata
The board installed without a problem and was booted using the UEFI functionality. The OS was installed and the latest drivers were downloaded from the MSI website. None of the software installations went amiss and all worked as expected.
Another view of the ports available on the 990FXA.
The board does not support the FX-9590 processor that I have used for previous tests. Instead I retested the current board in my testbed (the ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX Killer) and compared the results. I also received a USB 3.1 storage device that is comprised of a USB 3.1 controller and two 250 GB Samsung 840 EVO SSDs. I compare that performance to the standard USB 3.0 device featuring a 256 GB Samsung 840 Pro SSD.
Two Samsung 840 EVO SSDs drive the USB 3.1 enclosure to high speeds.
My subjective audio testing that I described above used a set of Grado SR225e headphones and a wide variety of source material. The audio results were honestly some of the best I have experienced so far with an integrated solution. It certainly ranks up there with the Asus Crosshair Ranger board which was the previous champ for audio quality and functionality.
The I/O panel is all business with plenty of USB 2.0 ports as well as the USB 3.1 Type A ports. Gold plating ensures a solid connection for analog, PS2, and "Gaming" USB ports.
2 x 4 GB AMD Gaming DDR-3 2133 DIMMs
Asus R9 280X Graphics Card
WD 1 TB Caviar Black HD (OS Drive)
Samsung 256 GB 840 Pro SSD (Test Drive)
Corsair TX-750M Power Supply
Windows 8.1 64-bit
Catalyst 15.6 Beta 2 Drivers