ASRock today announced a new board with a familiar name, the X299 Creator, along with its X299 Steel Legend and X299 Taichi CLX. The later two appear to be design revisions of previous products, with specifications fully fleshed-out in the above links.
Differences in how the Steel Legend and Taichi CLX handle the added four lanes of Intel’s next HEDT (High-End Desktop) processor are found within those specs, with the Taichi CLX’s four x16-length slots dropping from x16/x8/x16/x8 to x16/x4/x16/x8 and x16/x0/x16/x8 as its first and second M.2 slots (of three total) are filled. Meanwhile, the Steel Legend ignores those added lanes, running a x16/x4/x16/x8 when either a 44-lane or 48-lane CPU is installed, and provisioning only two M.2 slots with PCH-based PCIe lanes. That leaves the X299 Creator, for which ASRock doesn’t even provide a clear photo.
Added features for the X299 Creator include Aquantia 10GbE plus Intel’s Gigabit Ethernet for dual networking, Intel 802.11ax WiFi 6 with Bluetooth 5.0, triple PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slots, 40Gb/s Thunderbolt 3, and ten SATA ports. The X299 Creator’s added Thunderbolt 3 controller will likely impact the already-complicated PCIe lane sharing scheme discussed above for the Taich CLX. CPU power comes from a 13-phase Dr.MOS design.
The X299 Taichi CLX swaps out the Creator’s 40Gb/s Thunderbolt controller for a 20Gb/s USB 3.2 Gen2x2 Type-C port and drops its improved-bandwidth internet to 2.5GbE via a Realtek Dragon controller. Intel's WiFi 6 and the ten SATA ports are retained.
The X299 Steel Legend scales down further to dual Gigabit Ethernet, though both are provided by Intel controllers. The WiFi 6 controller is also gone, M.2 support drops to two slots and SATA to eight ports, though USB 3.2 Gen2x2 is retained.
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