Despite its venerable age, the Socket AM3+ desktop platform is still relevant. AMD partners do not offer new solutions for FX series processors very often, but when releasing a new product, they try to show some uncommon solution. ASUS has just recently introduced a motherboard based on AMD 970 chipset, which really stands out from the products of the same class.
ASUS 970 PRO GAMING/AURA belongs to GAMING series and is the first member of this board to feature Socket AM3+ socket. Gaming lineup products incorporate some of the best features of ROG products but are offered at a much more attractive price.
There are six expansion slots on board. Two full-length PCI Express x16, a pair of PCI Express x1 and the same number of PCI. Initially, the AMD 970 chipset did not allow the PCI Express bus lines to be split between full-format modes, not supporting multi-adapter configurations. However, as the years passed, the manufacturer removed this marketing restriction. Not surprisingly, board manufacturers are now taking advantage of this feature. The ASUS 970 PRO GAMING/AURA board allows for 8 lanes (x8+x8) per full PCI Express x16 slot. Thereby all conditions for using a pair of graphics cards are created. Both CrossFire and SLI modes are supported.
The board has six 4 pins slots to connect fans. Two of them are nominally dedicated to the CPU cooler. Another connector is intended to connect the liquid cooling system pump. It’s not that there was no possibility to use liquid cooling before, just that in this case you have more freedom to configure the mode of operation.
One channel is allocated for controlling the case fans. It means that it will only be possible to regulate their rotation speed in parallel. In some cases it can cause certain inconvenience, but we wouldn’t exaggerate the role of this feature. The rotation speed is nominally adjustable both for fans controlled by PWM and DC. However, in the latter case, for three-pin models, the actual speed is not monitored explicitly.
For gaming series motherboards the presence of different overclocker plushies is often not so important. ASUS 970 PRO GAMING/AURA has a number of additional options that may be of interest to enthusiasts, but their choice is not very large.
For disk subsystem organization the owner of the board has six SATA 6 Gb/s ports at his disposal. This is the number of corresponding channels of AMD 970 chipset south bridge. All connectors are placed on the right side of the board opposite the first PCI Express x16 slot. The connectors are positioned parallel to the PCB plane, so you can connect the interface cable even with a large graphics card.
Asus 970 pro download driver for Windows x64 (64 bits) x86 (32 bits)
|Intel LAN Driver V20.2.4001.0||Download|
|Realtek Audio Driver V126.96.36.19992(SonicRadarII_ V2.1.2701.0)||Download|
|Asmedia USB3.1/3.0 Driver V188.8.131.52||Download|
|AMD Chipset Driver V8.0.903.0||Download|
|AMD RAID Driver V3.3.1540.35||Download|
Asus 970 pro download software
|970 PRO GAMING/AURA BIOS 1001||Download|
|Use this tool to create a Windows 7 installation file with USB 3.0 drivers preloaded for 100 series motherboards.||Download|
|BUPDATER Flash BIOS tool under DOS.(V1.31)||Download|
|GameFirst IV v1.5.17||Download|
|DAEMON Tools Pro V6.1.0.0496||Download|
|ASUS PC Diagnostics V184.108.40.206||Download|
|ASUS AI Suite 3 V1.01.33 Install Program||Download|
|ASUS TurboV Core||Download|
|AURA (RGB Lighting Control) V1.01.09||Download|
|ASUS CPU-Z V1.73||Download|
|Media Streamer V3.00.15||Download|
|ASUS AO Help V220.127.116.11||Download|
|ASUS Boot Setting V1.00.22||Download|
The light revolution is sweeping the planet. Motherboard manufacturers are bringing light to the masses, lavishing new models with flashy fireflies. Recently RGB LEDs have been increasingly used for this purpose, with colors of LEDs you can control yourself. In the case of the ASUS 970 PRO GAMING/AURA, several diodes are placed under the heatsink of the Southbridge chip to create the necessary color aura. The light shines through from under the radiator block, as well as through the decorative plexiglass plate glued on the radiator.
The backlight has several operating modes that can be controlled from the ASUS AURA app. By doing so, owners of cases with a transparent side wall will be able to bring into their life a little more bright moments. For others, the thought that they can do the same will be heartwarming.
For a gaming model, the use of the SupremeFX sound subsystem, which is based on the Reltek ALC1150 codec covered by a metal screen, is not surprising. In terms of layout and componentry there is nothing supernatural here. A good module, similar to the ones we see in mid-range devices.
The sound path area is separated from the overall array. The boundary track is highlighted by red LEDs. The circuit includes a TI R4580I 2-channel operational amplifier. Specialized audiophile capacitors also hardly surprise anyone anymore, it’s just that they are there. The components put together give quite a decent result. Connoisseurs of high sound quality will in any case be focused on discrete solutions.
The Intel i211-AT chip is used as an Ethernet controller, so you don’t have to worry about the wired connection. If it is important to be able to independently control network streams, setting a certain priority for different applications, then the already familiar Game First III utility will help to cope with this task.
The lower side of the board is traditionally densely packed up. Here are located the connector for audio ports output, internal COM and TPM connector. Also at the bottom edge there are three USB 2.0 connectors, from which you can get 6 corresponding ports, thereby making full use of the chipset resources. On the right side there’s a jumper for CMOS memory cleaning, the already mentioned OC Jack and one of the fan jacks. In the very corner there is a panel for connecting the controls and indicators.
The PCB has classic dimensions for the ATX format, that is why the PCB corners are firmly fixed and do not bend when connecting the interface connectors. It should also be noted that if a second video card is used, even a two-slot cooling system will not block the access to the interface connectors at the bottom edge.
On the back side of the PCB a metal mounting plate draws attention. There are almost no surface mount elements here, with the exception of the driver chips of the power stabilization system.
The interface panel will frankly please those who own a large amount of additional peripherals. First of all because there are 10 (!) USB ports. At that, eight of them are USB 2.0 and another pair is USB 3.1. In addition, there is also a PS/2 connector and RJ-45 socket. To connect the speakers there are six 3.5mm jacks and optical S/PDIF. Reminder that the Socket AM3+ processors do not have integrated graphics, so there are no video outputs on boards with this socket. The only exception – models based on chipsets with integrated video core. In fact, only devices based on AMD 760G, chipset with IGP, which was introduced in 2009, have survived to this day. In other cases you need a discrete graphics card.
Asus 970 pro motherboard package
The board comes in a cardboard box, decorated in dark colors. On the front panel is a large photo of the device and the name of the model. On the back side there is a brief specification and a general overview of key technologies.
The package includes manual, rear panel cover, two SATA interface cables and mounting screws for M.2 drives. The presence of SLI bridge is quite symbolic, a sure sign that the board allows to use two graphics cards with NVIDIA chips. This is not usual for AMD 970 based devices, now it is a fact. The board also comes with a set of seven plastic cable ties which will help you keep your cables in order inside the system unit. A set of marker stickers for drives will also be useful for orientation when connecting/disconnecting interface cables.
UEFI and software 970 pro
We are already familiar with the concept of UEFI graphical shell for ASUS boards. It has a user friendly and logical structure. The functionality of the version for AMD platform is a bit less than for Intel-based boards. But the approaches are the same, and the number of available settings is more than enough to configure the PC.
The supply voltage of the compute cores can be adjusted between 0.675-2.075V in increments of 0.00625V. The voltages on the memory modules change in the range of 1.2-2.2 V. Recall that for DDR3, the standard supply voltage is 1.5V, with many high-speed sets using 1.65V.
Overclocking AMD 8-core chips is a serious stress for motherboards. To increase clock speeds you have to increase the power supply voltage. In this case the loading and heating of both processor and power subsystem elements increases significantly. Very significantly increases and power consumption of the platform. That is why overclocking of such CPUs is the lot of self-confident users, who know exactly why they have to change certain parameters in the board’s settings, and what the aim of all this is.
On the other hand, having an unlocked multiplier on all AMD FX-series CPUs allows you to at least have a taste of what the processor can do and find out for yourself if the benefits are worth the effort.
ASUS 970 PRO GAMING/AURA comes with OC Tuner feature that allows you to automatically overclock your processor. Using this option on the FX-8370, the final chip frequency was boosted to 4320MHz under load of all processing cores. In this case, the frequency of the reference bus was increased from 200 to 216 MHz. For stable operation in this mode, we additionally needed to set CPU Load Line Calibration parameter to High to reduce voltage sags at high loads.
During manual express overclocking FX-8370 clocked up to 4600 MHz by increasing power supply voltage to 1,465V and using High mode for CPU Load Line Calibration option. The board has a safety margin, but you should pay more attention to VRM cooling when you’re overclocking. During tests we used new AMD Wraith cooler which actively blew the heat sink of power elements during overclocking. But even in this case the cooler heated up to 60 degrees under load.
The board does not support X.M.P. profiles for obvious reasons, therefore if you use a higher speed memory than DDR3-1333 and the kit does not have any firmware for A.M.P., you will have to set the modules operating parameters manually, i.e. in the old way.
Using the DDR3-2133 set, which has no A.M.P profiles, we were able to use the mode and timings settings prescribed in the X.M.P tables without any problems, but we will have to set them ourselves.
The software setup from Windows is done in the AI Suite III application. Functional set is also familiar. There is some difference in details, but the structure and approaches are the same as for boards with Intel logic.
For ASUS 970 PRO GAMING/AURA the manufacturer offers to use RAMCache application that allows you to dynamically cache memory accesses using a certain amount of RAM. If you have plenty of RAM, a part of it can be allocated for this purpose. The setup is very simple. All you need to do is to specify the physical drive to be cached and determine the amount of buffer in RAM.