ASRock Fatal1ty X99X Killer Motherboard Review

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One of the last hats into our review ring for the Haswell-E launch and X99 chipset is the ASRock Fatal1ty X99X Killer. This board is loaded with features that should entice a well rounded group of PC enthusiasts. It has a lot of features geared towards gamers (‘Fatal1ty) and has solid hardware ready to take your overclock wherever your cooling will take it. Strap in for the ride as we take a look at the features this board offers, and then put it through the usual benchmarks to see how things shake out in the end!

Specifications and Features

Below is a list of the Specifications from the ASRock website for the Fatal1ty Killer. As I mentioned above, there is a lot to offer here for most every kind of enthusiast, being a gamer, or a an overclocker willing to push things. Solid on board sound with the Realtek ALC1150 CODEC, dual NIC’s with one being the Atheros E2200 Killer NIC, the Fatal1ty mouse port that should intrigue the gamer in you, and the robust power section sporting 12 phases and the ability to pass through up to 1,300W of power! Now, even under LN2 and extreme clock speeds and voltages that isn’t needed, but overkill in that area is never a bad thing as the components should have an easy time with anything being pushed through it.

Take a look at the full list below:

Asrock Fatal1ty X99 Killer
Chipset  Intel X99 Express Chipset
CPU Support – Supports Intel® Core™ i7 and Xeon® 18-Core Processors Family for the LGA 2011-3 Socket
– Digi Power design
– 12 Phase CPU Power design (Supports up to 1300w)
– Supports Intel® Turbo Boost 2.0 Technology
– Supports Untied Overclocking Technology
Memory – Quad Channel DDR4 Memory Technology
– 8 x DDR4 DIMM Slots
– Supports DDR4 3000+(OC)*/2933+(OC)/2800(OC)/2400(OC)/2133/1866/1600/1333/1066 non-ECC, un-buffered memory
– Supports non-ECC RDIMM (Registered DIMM)
– Supports DDR4 ECC, un-buffered memory/RDIMM with Intel® Xeon® processors E5 series in the LGA 2011-3 Socket
– Max. capacity of system memory: 128GB
– Supports Intel® Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) 2.0
BIOS – 2 x 128Mb AMI UEFI Legal BIOS with multilingual GUI support (1 x Main BIOS and 1 x Backup BIOS)
– Supports Secure Backup UEFI Technology
– ACPI 1.1 Compliant wake up events
– SMBIOS 2.3.1 Support
– CPU, DRAM, PCH 1.05V, PCH 1.5V, VPPM Voltage Multi-adjustment
Audio – 7.1 CH HD Audio with Content Protection (Realtek ALC1150 Audio Codec)
– Premium Blu-ray Audio support
– Supports Surge Protection (ASRock Full Spike Protection)
– Supports Purity Sound™ 2
– Nichicon Fine Gold Series Audio Caps
– 115dB SNR DAC with differential amplifier
– TI® NE5532 Premium Headset Amplifier (Supports up to 600 ohm headsets)
– Direct Drive Technology
– EMI shielding cover
– PCB isolate shielding
– Supports DTS Connect
LAN
– 1 x Intel® I218V (Gigabit LAN PHY 10/100/1000 Mb/s)
– 1 x Qualcomm® Atheros® Killer™ E2200 Series (PCIE x1 Gigabit LAN 10/100/1000 Mb/s)
– Supports Qualcomm® Atheros® Security Wake On Internet Technology (on Qualcomm® Atheros®Killer™ E2200 Series)
– Supports Wake-On-LAN
– Supports Lightning/ESD Protection (ASRock Full Spike Protection)
– Supports Energy Efficient Ethernet 802.3az
– Supports PXE
Slots

– 3 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 Slots (PCIE1 @ x16 mode; PCIE3 @ x16 mode; PCIE5 @ x8 mode)*
– 2 x PCI Express 2.0 x1 Slots
– 1 x mini-PCI Express Slot
– Supports AMD Quad CrossFireX™, 3-Way CrossFireX™ and CrossFireX™
– Supports NVIDIA® Quad SLI™, 3-Way SLI™ and SLI™***

*If you install CPU with 28 lanes, PCIE1/PCIE3/PCIE5 will run at x16/x8/x4.

**If M.2 PCI Express module is installed, PCIE5 slot will be disabled.

***If you install CPU with 28 lanes, 3-Way SLI™ is not supported.

Storage – 10 x SATA3 6.0 Gb/s Connectors, support RAID (RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 10 and Intel® Rapid Storage 13), NCQ, AHCI, Hot Plug and ASRock HDD Saver Technology
– 1 x eSATA Connector, supports NCQ, AHCI and Hot Plug
– 1 x Ultra M.2 Socket, supports M.2 SATA3 6.0 Gb/s module and M.2 PCI Express module up to Gen3 x4 (32 Gb/s)
Audio • Realtek® ALC1150 Codec
– 7.1-Channel High Definition Audio
– Supports S/PDIF output
Onboard Connections / Rear IO

– 1 x COM Port Header
– 1 x TPM Header
– 1 x Power LED Header
– 2 x CPU Fan Connectors (1 x 4-pin, 1 x 3-pin)
– 3 x Chassis Fan Connectors (1 x 4-pin, 2 x 3-pin) (Smart Fan Speed Control)
– 1 x Power Fan Connector (3-pin)
– 1 x 24 pin ATX Power Connector
– 1 x 8 pin 12V Power Connector (Hi-Density Power Connector)
– 1 x 4 pin 12V Power Connector (Hi-Density Power Connector)
– 1 x HDD Saver Connector
– 1 x PCIe Power Connector
– 1 x Front Panel Audio Connector
– 1 x Thunderbolt™ AIC Connector
– 2 x USB 2.0 Headers (support 4 USB 2.0 ports) (Supports ESD Protection (ASRock Full Spike Protection))
– 1 x Vertical Type A USB 3.0
– 2 x USB 3.0 Headers (Support 4 USB 3.0 ports) (ASMedia ASM1074 hub) (Supports ESD Protection (ASRock Full Spike Protection))
– 1 x Dr. Debug with LED
– 1 x Power Switch with LED
– 1 x Reset Switch with LED
– V-Probe™: 7-set of onboard voltage measurement points laid
– Rapid OC Buttons: +/- buttons to adjust OC frequency
– 1 x Menu Button
– 1 x PCIe ON/OFF Switch
– 1 x Slow Mode Switch
– 1 x LN2 Mode Switch
– 1 x BIOS Selection Switch
– 1 x Direct Key Button

Rear I/O

– 1 x PS/2 Mouse/Keyboard Port
– 1 x Optical SPDIF Out Port
– 1 x eSATA Connector
– 1 x USB 2.0 Port (Supports ESD Protection (ASRock Full Spike Protection))
– 1 x Fatal1ty Mouse Port (USB 2.0) (Supports ESD Protection (ASRock Full Spike Protection))
– 4 x USB 3.0 Ports (ASMedia ASM1074 hub) (Supports ESD Protection (ASRock Full Spike Protection))
– 2 x USB 3.0 Ports (ASMedia ASM1042) (Supports ESD Protection (ASRock Full Spike Protection))
– 2 x RJ-45 LAN Ports with LED (ACT/LINK LED and SPEED LED)
– 1 x Clear CMOS Switch
– HD Audio Jacks: Rear Speaker / Central / Bass / Line in / Front Speaker / Microphone

Accessories – 2 x ASRock SLI_Bridge Cards
– 1 x ASRock SLI_Bridge_3S Card
– 1 x ASRock 3-Way SLI™ Bridge Card
– Quick Installation Guide, Support CD, I/O Shield
– 6 x SATA Data Cables
– 1 x HDD Saver Cable
– 2 x Screws for M.2 Sockets
– 1 x Screw for mini-PCIe Slot
Form Factor – EATX Form Factor
– 8 Layer PCB
– 4 x 2oz copper
– High Density Glass Fabric PCB
Hardware Monitoring – CPU/Chassis temperature sensing
– CPU/Chassis/Power Fan Tachometer
– CPU/Chassis Quiet Fan (Auto adjust chassis fan speed by CPU temperature)
– CPU/Chassis Fan multi-speed control
– Voltage monitoring: +12V, +5V, +3.3V, CPU Input Voltage, CPU Internal Voltages
– Multi Thermal Sensor

Below is an image, always shamelessly borrowed from the ASRock website, that goes over a lot of the physical features of the board. We see it touch on the power delivery area, audio, dual NICs, and quality audio, along with a slew of other features such as the overclocking centric +/- overclocking buttons, PCIe on/off switch as well as the LN2 and Slow modes. We see the M.2 socket (based off PCIe Gen 3 x4 as well as another at Gen2 and SATA3) and Half Mini-PCIe slot, 10 SATA3 6Gb/s ports, support for three way CrossfireX/SLI (with 40 Lane CPU – otherwise only CFx), and… just take a look at the picture. There are A LOT of comma’s here folks!

featurespic

Below is again a list of some features, but this time with a bit more detail. It touches on the Killer E2200 NIC with its ability to manage network traffic focusing on the gaming packets to help keep the ping potentially lower. This also helps with high quality streaming, which is almost becoming the norm these days in tech savvy households.

Next they go on to describe the two M.2 sockets for the Next Generation Form Factor (NGFF) for SSDs and other devices. ASRock states they are, “first in the world to implement PCIe Gen3 x4 M.2 socket on motherboards” (for one of these sockets the other is 5Gb/s PCIe Gen2 x1). The Gen3 setup theoretically allows for 6x faster throughput (~32Gb/s). The spacing around them will support M.2 drives in 32mm, 42mm, 60mm, 80mm, and 110mm sizes.

As far as multi-GPU support, things change by CPU because of the available PCIe lanes and lack of PLX chip on this model. Here is how things would breakdown with a 40 lane CPU:

  • Dual cards: x16/x16
  • Three cards: x16/x16/x8 (supporting both CFx and SLI)

With a 28 Lane CPU:

  • Dual cards: x16/x8
  • Three cards: x16/x8/x4 (supporting ONLY CFx)

Speaking of the power delivery area, this board boasts a 12 power phase design with 24 Dual-N MOSFETs that can reach 1,300W of power… that is NOT a typo. With that we should be able to read between the lines here and understand there is plenty of headroom for overclocking the CPU and keeping cool running power bits.

The ASRock X99 Fatal1ty Pro is part of their “Super Alloy” motherboard series that uses higher end caps with the Nichion 12k, 60A chokes, premium memory alloy chokes, the Ultra Dual-N MOSFETs mentioned above, and the “Sapphire Black” PCB round out the Super Alloy credentials.

Last but not least is the Purity Sound audio based off the Realtek ALC1150 CODEC. This setup sports a 115 SNR DAC with a differential amplifier, EMI shielding on the Realtek IC, as well as the now typical PCB isolation from other components on the motherboard.

There are many more software features packed on to this board, such as the ASRock Cloud, XSplit game streaming software (comes with free 3 month premium subscription), ASRock App store (one stop place to upgrade anything on your board), and many other quite useful features. Check them all out and download them at the website.

ASRock Killer Series features the Killer™ E2200 Intelligent Networking Platform is built for maximum networking performance for online games and high-quality streaming media. Featuring Advanced Stream Detect™, Killer E2200 automatically detects and accelerates game traffic ahead of other network traffic for smoother, stutter-free in-game performance and the competitive edge. With this exclusive, automatic traffic prioritization, games and real-time chat get priority over low-level system chatter, giving you the lowest latency for game data on the most controllable network hardware available.

Delivering faster networking performance for time-sensitive UDP (User Datagram Protocol) based applications, such as online games and high quality media streaming.

Killer Netowrk Manager – Use Qualcomm Atheros Killer Network Manager to classify and prioritize online games, HD video and high quality audio for better quality and fewer interruptions in your online experience.

 icom2
  • The onboard M.2 socket is a new interface for connecting Next Generation Form Factor (NGFF) SSDs or other devices. ASRock is the first in the world to implement PCIe Gen3 x4 M.2 socket on motherboards. The ultimate Ultra M.2 interface pushes the speed up to 32Gb/s which is 6X faster compared to other M.2 Gen2 x1 solutions that are limited to 5Gb/s.
  • Dual M.2 slots: Ultra M.2(Gen3 x4) + M.2
  • Supports 5 types of M.2 devices: 30mm, 42mm, 60mm, 80mm, and 110mm
 icoslicfx This motherboard comes with more than enough PCIe slots that supports multi-GPU 3-Way SLI and 3-Way CrossFireX at x8/x8/x8 mode.
 ico12phase1300w This flagship motherboard boasts a whopping 12 Power Phase Design with 24 Dual-N MOSFETs, which can reach up to an unearthly 1300W support, so that users may overclock and squeeze out every drop of performance effortlessly.
icosupralloy
  • XXL Aluminum Alloy Heatsink Design
  • Premium 60A Power Choke
  • Premium Memory Alloy Choke
  • Ultra Dual-N MOSFET
  • Nichicon 12K Platinum Caps
  • Sapphire Black PCB
icopurtysnd Purity Sound™ 2 includes 7.1 CH HD audio with Realtek ALC1150 audio codec, 115dB SNR DAC with Differential Amplifier, TI® NE5532 Premium Headset Amplifier, cap less Direct Drive technology, EMI shielding cover, PCB isolate shielding and DTS Connect. As Nichicon audio capacitors are what every audiophile has been longing for on a PC, ASRock applied these high quality capacitors for Purity Sound™ 2.

Retail Packaging

Ok readers, its retail packaging time (*applause*)! We can see on the front a black and faded red theme with its marketing on it… the Super Alloy feature, 8x DDR4 slots with 128 GB of RAM possible, M.2 PCIe Gen3, Killer NIC, etc, etc. Flipping the box over we see more of the same crammed on to the box. There is nary a blank space on the back, that is for sure! All in all, quite a thorough representation of the board’s features.

Retail Packaging - Front

Retail Packaging – Front

Back

Back

Side

Side

Other Side

Other Side

Top

Top

Accessories

When we open open up the box, the first thing(s) we are greeted with would be the accessory stack. Below the cardboard partition lay the board itself in an anti-static bag sitting on a small layer of padding.

Retail Packaging - Open Seseame

Retail Packaging – Open Seseame

Accessories only! Plenty of what you need to get things going.

– 2 x ASRock SLI_Bridge Cards
– 1 x ASRock SLI_Bridge_3S Card
– 1 x ASRock 3-Way SLI™ Bridge Card
– Quick Installation Guide, Support CD, I/O Shield
– 6 x SATA Data Cables
– 1 x HDD Saver Cable
– 2 x Screws for M.2 Sockets
– 1 x Screw for mini-PCIe Slot

Accessories

Accessories

Meet the ASRock Fatal1ty X99X Killer

And…here is the board! The retail package didn’t lead us astray as we can see the black and red theme of ASRock’s Killer series of board made it over to Fatal1ty X99X Killer as well. The extra large coolers covering the power bits and the PCH are painted red aluminum. The motherboard’s PCB is a true black (and my pictures show it accurately right?!). You can see the dual NICs, Purity Sound EMI cover over the Realtek IC, three PCIe slots, the M.2 slot, and eight total SATA3 6Gb/s ports rounding out the obvious. On the back, about the only thing worth noting to me is the electrical layout of the PCIe x16 slots which are x16/x16/x8 at most.

ASRock didn’t stray too far from familiarity on the color scheme using a very popular black and red setup similar to the ASUS ROG series. Overall it should be a pretty attractive board and fit in with a lot of themed builds.

Asrock Fatal1ty X99 Professional - Front

ASRock Fatal1ty X99 Professional – Front

Back

Back

Alternate

Alternate

Alternate 2

Alternate 2

A Closer Look

Zooming in a bit starting on the bottom half of the board, we start with the audio section on the left. We know by now its the Purity Sound running the Realtek ALC1150 CODEC. ASRock uses high quality caps and implements EMI protection by covering the IC’s and separating the audio section on the PCB, all minimizing any electrical interference to give the user a better audio experience.

Sliding over to the right, we see the three x16 PCIe slots which can support up to a tri-SLI/CFx configuration in x16/x16/x8 (with a 5930K or above). In between PCIe 1 and PCIe 2 is the M.2 slot rated to 32 Gb/s as it uses PCIe Gen3 x4 bandwidth. Also hiding between those same two slots is a PCIe 1x slot and to the right of those you can spy the two BIOS chips.

Continuing to the right, we see the PCH heatsink, and below that the Power/Reset buttons, the HDD saver port which when you attached HDDs to it, you are able to power off/on the drives via software saving a bit of energy. Last in the bottom right corner is the always helpful debug LED.

Taking a look at the DIMM area we see four of eight DIMM slots. The board supports up to 128GB of DDR4 ram. There are a couple of USB2 port headers, and the 24 pin power socket.

Pictured next is the area around the CPU socket. We can see its pretty clean there, and you can count a couple of the twelve power phases(chokes in this case). What is not pictured is the 8 pin power lead for the CPU, which ASRock states is a high density power connector that reduces power loss by 23% and keeps the header pins 22 °C cooler. The Super Alloy parts include Nichon 12k caps, Ultra Dual-N MOSFET, premium 60A chokes for the CPU, and premium alloy chokes for the memory. This all adds up to a beefy power section that will easily handle any ambient, and likely sub ambient loads you throw at it.

Last up, 10 SATA3 6Gb/s ports. That should enough, no?!

Audio and PCIe Section

Audio and PCIe Section

DIMM Area (Upper Right)

DIMM Area (Upper Right)

CPU/Socket Area

CPU/Socket Area

SATA Ports

SATA Ports

Focusing on the very bottom of the board, from left to right we see HD Audio headers for the front panel, COM ports, clear CMOS  jumpers, the bios select switch, two sets of USB ports, and two fan headers (one PWM and one 3 pin) round out the major ports there.

Whipping around to the rear I/O I will  simply use the list from ASRock. A couple of  things to note would be the dual NICs, both the Killer E2200 and the Intel. The other nice feature for gamers is the Fatal1ty USB2 mouse port. This port allows you, when using ASRock F-Stream software, to use Fatal1ty’s preferred mouse polling rate at 500Hz and also allows complete customization from 125Hz to 1000Hz, which helps gamers experience faster response times on their mouse movements.

Below is the complete list:

– 1 x PS/2 Mouse/Keyboard Port
– 1 x Optical SPDIF Out Port
– 1 x USB 2.0 Port (Supports ESD Protection (ASRock Full Spike Protection))
– 1 x Fatal1ty Mouse Port (USB 2.0) (Supports ESD Protection (ASRock Full Spike Protection))
– 4 x USB 3.0 Ports (ASMedia ASM1074 hub) (Supports ESD Protection (ASRock Full Spike Protection))
– 2 x USB 3.0 Ports (Supports ESD Protection (ASRock Full Spike Protection))
– 2 x RJ-45 LAN Ports with LED (ACT/LINK LED and SPEED LED)
– 1 x Clear CMOS Switch
– HD Audio Jacks: Rear Speaker / Central / Bass / Line in / Front Speaker / Microphone

Bottom I/O

Bottom I/O

Rear I/O

Rear I/O

Next we will take a look at some of the ICs used on this board.

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UEFI BIOS, Overclocking Software

Next up we will take a tour of their Fatal1ty line UEFI BIOS. As you would expect here, the color/theme is black and red with the text in a contrasting and very readable white. Across the top is where you will find your menu of options. From left to right, and in slideshow order below, is Main screen, OC Tweaker, Advanced, Tool(s), H/W Monitor, Security, Boot, then Exit and a My Favorites button.

We will go into a bit more detail on the OC Tweaker below, but that’s where all the magic of overclocking happens.

In the Advanced tab you will find your usual fare, the kitchen sink. Things like the CPU configuration, Chipset, Storage, Super I/O, ACPI and USB Configurations all reside under the advanced section. Here you can also select which page your BIOS should boot to as well as if you want to use the full HD UEFI (default).

The Tool(s) section holds System Browser (shows picture of board with details on what is connected to it), Online Management Guard (limits internet access by day and time) , HDD Saver, RAID installer, the Easy Driver installer, and UEFI Tech Service. Also found in the Tool section are options to flash the BIOS. You can choose to instant flash (through a more typical USB stick), the Internet Flash – after setting up the network configuration allows you pull the latest BIOS straight from the ASRock website, and last a backup from BIOS to BIOS which I found a pretty unique feature.

Moving on to the H/W Monitor section, we see the motherboard and CPU temp, fan speeds, and voltages. Simple, but informative interface here.

I’m going to assume the Security and and Boot sections are self explanatory! The last two shots show the System Browser and OMG interface.

 

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For all the overclockers here, this is where you can sink your teeth into as we show in more detail the overclocking options the X99X Killer gives us. On the first page you can see a landing page of sorts that holds a simple 4 GHz and XMP overclock which does just that. The option below that allows higher CPU overclocks while leaving the memory alone.

The meat and potatoes come in the CPU, DRAM, FIVR, and Voltage Configuration sections, and below that is where you can save and load your profiles.

The CPU Configuration setting is where you manipulate the CPU ratio, BCLK, enable/disable Speedstep/turbo, and adjust the long/short duration power limits which is useful in heavy overclocking.

The DRAM Configuration tab is where one can set their XMP settings for the memory, BCLK again (useful when dialing in exact speeds without going back out to the CPU section), and DRAM voltage. No board that overclocks would be complete without having the ability to adjust the DRAM timings either, and there are plenty of them. In the DRAM Tweaker, you can even edit the JEDEC/XMP values right from that screen.

Jumping into the FIVR section, one expects to see the major CPU voltages and you would be correct. Here we are able to change the Vcore, via override or offset, CPU cache voltage, and System Agent voltage. You can also adjust the VR Faults and Efficiency modes, which can aid in overclocking.

Last up is the voltage configuration where one can change CPU Input voltage, LLC, DRAM voltage among others. I didn’t find much vDroop at all with it on auto so I left it there throughout testing.

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Overall the ASRock UEFI is smooth to maneuver around, packed full of options and features and is fairly easy to get around. The interface took me a bit of back and forth both to ‘learn’ it and to set somethings that are normally all in one screen on a couple other brands UEFI implementations (think BCLK/MULTI/major voltages/DRAM perhaps), but it didn’t feel disjointed or clumsy by any means. One shouldn’t have any issues getting around inside here, and there are plenty of options to tinker with.

Test Setup, Benchmarks, and Overclocking

Listed below is the test system used for benchmarking:

Test Setup
CPU Intel 5820K @ Stock (for the motherboard) and 4.5Ghz Overclocked
Motherboard ASRock Fatal1ty X99X Killer
RAM 4×4 GB Kingston HyperX DDR4-3000 15-16-16-39 1.35v
Graphics Card AMD R9 295×2
Solid State Drive 64 GB OCZ Agility 3
Power Supply SeaSonic SS-1000XP (80+ Platinum)
Operating System Windows 7 x64 SP1
Graphics Drivers Catalyst 14.9 Beta 1
Equipment
Digital Multimeter

AIDA64 and MaxxMEM – Memory Bandwidth and Throughput

I normally do not write much in here, but I wanted to make a mention that the slower read and copy speeds are not due to the board as it shows the same performance on an MSI offering as well. I am not sure what is up, but I am working with Kingston on this issue. We are seeing normal results in MaxxMem though.

AIDA 64 - Stock

AIDA 64 – Stock

4.5 GHz

4.5 GHz

MaxMemm - Stock

MaxMemm – Stock

4.5 GHz

4.5 GHz

Cinebench R11.5 and R15 – CPU Rendering Benchmark

Cinebench R11.5 - Stock

Cinebench R11.5 – Stock

4.5 GHz

4.5 GHz

Cinebench R15 - Stock

Cinebench R15 – Stock

4.5 GHz

4.5 GHz

Super Pi 1M and 32M / Pifast – Single threaded CPU benchmark

Super Pi 1M - Stock

Super Pi 1M – Stock

4.5 GHz

4.5 GHz

Super Pi 32M - Stock

Super Pi 32M – Stock

4.5 GHz

4.5 GHz

PiFast - Stock

PiFast – Stock

4.5 GHz

4.5 GHz

WPrime 32M and 1024M – Multi threaded CPU benchmark

WPrime 32m/1024M - Stock

WPrime 32m/1024M – Stock

4.5 GHz

4.5 GHz

Since this is my second X99 board, I finally have a chance to compare results instead of just putting up results! In the end its is a bit anti-climatic really as the difference between motherboards really isn’t that much at all. We saw that same trend across all the Z97 boards I reviewed and compared as well. Since this is my first version of this comparison, I wanted to remind you that we are using the overclocked settings (4.5 GHz, RAM @ XMP Profile 3000 MHz CL15-16-16-39) since those I control and would be the same throughout.

First is Super Pi 1M, 32M, WPrime 32M, 1024M, and Pifast. Just like the Z97 results there are really negligible differences between the boards with the biggest difference coming in the form of 1.8% in WPrime 1024M. Otherwise, everything was around 1% difference or less (what I would call margin of error).

Super Pi 1M/32M, WPrime 32M/1024M and, Pifast

Super Pi 1M/32M, WPrime 32M/1024M and, Pifast

The next graph shows Cinebench R11.5 and R15. Between those two, we again do not see any appreciable difference between the two boards being less than 1% apart. It’s not until we get into AIDA64 and its memory benchmark we see any differences. Although the read and copy results are low between both boards, the copy results on this board are a bit over 9% difference. I am not sure what the difference is, but it was repeatable between swapping boards.

Cinebench R11.5/R15 and AIDA64 Memory Benchmark

Cinebench R11.5/R15 and AIDA64 Memory Benchmark

Pushing the Limits

For this go around, I decided to bring up a multi-core benchmark in Cinebench R11.5 A bit arbitrary perhaps, but not if you are a reader of our forums where we are having a little benchmarking contest over it. Forum plug aside, I pushed things better here than the MSI Gaming 9 AC having a bit more time under my belt with this board. I managed to get Cinebench in at nearly 4.7 GHz (under custom water) at 1.44v (CPU-Z). Temps here hit the mid 70 °C peak (23 °C ambient) during the bench, though I am sure once the loop is saturated that would go up a few degrees, but all in all not too shabby. In getting there, I pushed up the BCLK to almost 127 MHz using the 125 strap that gets invoked when using 2800 MHz+ RAM on this and many other boards. This bump pushed the memory up to 1,523MHz with lower than stock timings.

Cinebench R11.5 @ 4.69 GHz 1.44v, 126.9 BCLK, Mem 1523 MHz CL14-14-15-25

Cinebench R11.5 @ 4.69 GHz 1.44v, 126.9 BCLK, Mem 1523 MHz CL14-14-15-35

Conclusion

“This is the end… my only friend, the end”… Sorry, was stuck in a “Doors” moment there! Since ASRock split from ASUS, Pegatron, or whomever a couple of years ago, they have really come into their own as far as the quality of their motherboards. They went from a relative unknown budget entity to what a lot of people would consider a big player in the market place and rivaling the ‘Big Three’. I know a lot of overclockers like me really love the refinement, capabilities, and bang for the buck their Extreme 4/6 have brought to Intel users. But enough ‘waxing poetic’ about about other boards they make, its Fatal1ty X99X Killer time!

As we have discussed throughout the article, ASRock packs a slew of features into this gaming centric board. Among those are the Killer Networks NIC (and Intel NIC too!), the Fatal1ty mouse port, the 3 month subscription to XSplit Broadcaster/Gamecaster (free 3 month subscription) to name a couple. If you dig down deeper to the hardware level, they used premium power bits which should allow for solid overclocking headroom. Plenty even for sub-ambient cooling if you so choose to do so.

I did have a qualm about their UEFI, one more rooted in personal preference, I would have liked to see some of the major overclocking features on one page instead of in their own sections. Clearly this is not a huge deal though. The other nit-picking item is its ability to recover from a bad overclock. If you do not deal with RAM, she recovers quite nicely, however when I was pushing on the BCLK and the RAM, it had a tendency to run into boot issues and would hold on ‘6D’ debug error or freeze on ’79’. A simple reboot though and the same settings took just fine and was rock solid. That was a bit peculiar to me how this board behaved in that manner. Again, not huge issues, but something worth noting.

I always save the price for last, and this article will not break that streak! The ASRock Fatal1ty X99X Killer comes in at $284.99 at Newegg.com which lands it in the midrange of X99 based boards. This puts it in the company of MSI X99S Gaming 7, and the Gigabyte GA-X99 Gaming 5. We have not reviewed those boards so I can’t speak for anything but this one. That about wraps it up for the X99X Killer from ASRock. While there are plenty of boards out there in this price range, due to the expansive feature set and robust nature of the hardware, this board should get a close look before making any X99 purchase. This board is Overclockers.com approved!

Overclockers_clear_approved

– Joe Shields (Earthdog)

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