How We Test
Additional cores create additional thermal and power loads that can push other hardware to its limits, yet the parts we’re hoping to push to the limit are all on the motherboards. Intel’s 10-core, 20-thread Core i9-7900X CPU is a great product for stressing the voltage regulators of various X299 motherboards, particularly under our full-AVX-load overclocking stability test.
Though the firm already sold dual-channel kits up to DDR4-3200, G.Skill produced a new quad-channel SO-DIMM kit specifically to address the enhanced capabilities of ASRock’s X299E-ITX/ac. Rated at DDR4-3800, its F4-3800C18Q-32GRS will compete directly against the company's DDR4-3866 long DIMMs that have long been used to evaluate ATX boards.
|Sound||Integrated HD Audio|
|Network||Integrated Gigabit Networking|
|Graphics Driver||GeForce 382.53|
The tremendous heat produced by the Core i9-7900X required us to use nothing less than our award-winning Fractal Design Celsius S24 liquid cooling system sample. Getting its fans to blow sufficiently over each motherboard’s voltage regulator required additional design consideration: Of our leftover case review samples, Cooler Master’s HAF-XB had the best layout.
Concerned about our attempts to overclock using its tiny voltage regulator heat sink, ASRock sent along a BP-WBMASRX299EI monoblock from Bitspower. Using it would invalidate our thermal comparisons, so we reserved this RGB-lit part for an additional bonus test that will be discussed in our overclocking comparison. Because our Fractal Design Celsius S24’s pump is integrated into its CPU block, ASRock added the BP-LXAIO240-RGB Leviathan Xtreme All In One 240.
The Leviathan Xtreme 240 includes a two-way RGB splitter, but the monoblock did not, thus our choices were to light the monoblock from the motherboard, or the monoblock and one fan, or both fans but not the monoblock. The Leviathan Xtreme 240 also includes power adapters and an RGB controller of its own, but using it along with the motherboard's controller would have caused the LED groups to operate out of sync with each other. Rather than attempt to set a matching static color between the water block and fans using two different controllers, I chose to leave the fans unlit.
The X299E-ITX/ac is compared to the two most similarly-configured boards from the controller standpoint, the X299 Gaming Pro Carbon AC from MSI and ASRock's X299 Taichi. All models provide a range of overclock settings that exceeds the capabilities of our hardware, so this should be a solid test!
|Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings|
|PCMark 8||Version 2.7.613Home, Creative, Work, Storage, Applications (Adobe & Microsoft)|
|3DMark 13||Version 4.47.597.0Skydiver, Firestrike, Firestrike Extreme Default Presets|
|SiSoftware Sandra||Version 2016.03.22.21CPU Arithmetic, Multimedia, Cryptography, Memory Bandwidth|
|DiskSPD||4k Random Read, 4k Random Write128k Sequential Read, 128k Sequential Write|
|Cinebench R15||Build RC83328DEMOOpenGL Benchmark|
|CompuBench||Version 1.5.8Face Detection, Optical Flow, Ocean Surface, Ray Tracing|
|Application Tests and Settings|
|LAME MP3||Version 3.98.3Mixed 271MB WAV to mp3: Command: -b 160 --nores (160 Kb/s)|
|HandBrake CLI||Version: 0.9.9Sintel Open Movie Project: 4.19 GB 4k mkv to x265 mp4|
|Blender||Version 2.68aBMW 27 CPU Render Benchmark, BMW 27 GPU Render Benchmark|
|7-Zip||Version 16.02THG-Workload (7.6 GB) to .7z, command line switches "a -t7z -r -m0=LZMA2 -mx=9"|
|Adobe After Effects CC||Release 2015.3.0, Version 126.96.36.199PCMark driven routine|
|Adobe Photoshop CC||Release 2015.5.0. 20160603.r.88 x64PCMark driven routine (light and heavy)|
|Adobe InDesign CC||Release 2015.4, Build 188.8.131.52 x64PCMark driven routine|
|Adobe Illustrator||Release 2015.3.0, Version 20.0.0 (64-bit)PCMark driven routine|
|Game Tests and Settings|
|Ashes of Singularity||Version 1.31.21360High Preset - 1920x1080, Mid Shadow Quality, 1x MSAACrazy Preset - 1920x1090, High Shadow Quality, 2x MSAA|
|F1 2015||2015 Season, Abu Dhabi Track, RainMedium Preset, No AFxUltra High Preset, 16x AF|
|Metro Last Light Redux||Version 3.00 x64High Quality, 1920x1080, High Tesselation, 16x AFVery High Quality, 1920x1080, Very High Tesselation, 16x AF|
|The Talos Principle||Version 267252Medium Preset, High Quality, High Tesselation, 4x AFUltra Preset, VeryHigh Quality, VeryHigh Tesselation, 16x AF|
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