ASRock X299M Extreme4: Micro ATX Sweet Spot

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How We Test

Additional cores create additional thermal and power loads that can push other hardware to its limits. But the parts we’re hoping to push to the limit are all on the motherboards here. 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.

Test Hardware

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SoundIntegrated HD Audio
NetworkIntegrated Gigabit Networking
Graphics DriverGeForce 382.53

The tremendous heat produced by the Core i9-7900X required us to use nothing less than our award-winning Fractal Design S24 liquid cooler 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.

Comparison Products

The less common Micro ATX form factor pits ASRock's X299M Extreme4 against MSI's X299M Gaming Pro Carbon AC. Our only other reduced-size board, ASRock's X299E-ITX/ac helps fill out the charts, while its full ATX X299 Extreme gives us additional perspective on the ATX/Micro ATX debate.

Benchmark Settings

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Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings
PCMark 8Version 2.7.613Home, Creative, Work, Storage, Applications (Adobe & Microsoft)
3DMark 13Version 4.47.597.0Skydiver, Firestrike, Firestrike Extreme Default Presets
SiSoftware SandraVersion 2016.03.22.21CPU Arithmetic, Multimedia, Cryptography, Memory Bandwidth
DiskSPD4k Random Read, 4k Random Write128k Sequential Read, 128k Sequential Write
Cinebench R15Build RC83328DEMOOpenGL Benchmark
CompuBenchVersion 1.5.8Face Detection, Optical Flow, Ocean Surface, Ray Tracing
Application Tests and Settings
LAME MP3Version 3.98.3Mixed 271MB WAV to mp3: Command: -b 160 --nores (160 Kb/s)
HandBrake CLIVersion: 0.9.9Sintel Open Movie Project: 4.19 GB 4k mkv to x265 mp4
BlenderVersion 2.68aBMW 27 CPU Render Benchmark, BMW 27 GPU Render Benchmark
7-ZipVersion 16.02THG-Workload (7.6 GB) to .7z, command line switches "a -t7z -r -m0=LZMA2 -mx=9"
Adobe After Effects CCRelease 2015.3.0, Version routine
Adobe Photoshop CCRelease 2015.5.0. 20160603.r.88 x64PCMark-driven routine (light and heavy)
Adobe InDesign CCRelease 2015.4, Build x64PCMark-driven routine
Adobe IllustratorRelease 2015.3.0, Version 20.0.0 (64-bit)PCMark-driven routine
Game Tests and Settings
Ashes of SingularityVersion 1.31.21360High Preset - 1920x1080, Mid Shadow Quality, 1x MSAACrazy Preset - 1920x1080, High Shadow Quality, 2x MSAA
F1 20152015 Season, Abu Dhabi Track, RainMedium Preset, No AFUltra High Preset, 16x AF
Metro Last Light ReduxVersion 3.00 x64High Quality, 1920x1080, High Tesselation, 16x AFVery High Quality, 1920x1080, Very High Tesselation, 16x AF
The Talos PrincipleVersion 267252Medium Preset, High Quality, High Tesselation, 4x AFUltra Preset, Very High Quality, Very High Tesselation, 16x AF

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Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.
  • emeralds1000000
    Hints for Asrock :

    When you make Micro ATX Motherboard for a CPU that has alot of lanes , make sure you add all 4 slots , and not only 3 . and make sure all four are connected to the lanes , while the chipset lanes are connected to the M2 cards . no need to waste CPU Lanes we have 44 lanes possible here .

    I Agree you mite say , the GPU will take two slots and thats why only three slots because it will be covered anyways ... But you are mistaken here ...

    we can use the LAST slot to the edge for the GPU card and use with it a 5 slots Micro ATX case . in this way , behind it all 3 Slots will be usable.

    OR , when we use Water cooling blocks , then the dual slot GPU card will turn into single slot and we CAN add 2 Cards in 2 slots next to each others.

    Now since we have 44/28 Lanes CPUs , then the Mother board slots should be configurable from Bios ,

    1- Mode one 44 Lanes CPU:

    Slot 1 : X8
    Slot 2 : X16
    Slot 3 : X4
    Slot 4 Edge of motherboard : X16

    Total : 44 lanes .

    Make sure that the Slot on The edge is allways x16 .. so in case we have one card only we dont lose Slots by Covering. OR in case we use 2 GPU , then we still have Extra X8 Slot Available . only the X4 will be covered (if we dont use water cooling)

    and in case only one GPU is used , the Last Slot can be used in one slot only.

    2- Mode 2 (28 lanes CPU) :

    1- Slot 1 X8
    2- Slot 2 0 / X8
    3- Slot 3 X4
    4- Slot 4 X16 / X8

    Total : 28 Lanes

    Please dont waste lanes on MATX Motherboard.

  • Ninjawithagun
    Sadly, Intel has yet to wake from it's deep sleep state. The hugely inflated prices of their CPUs proves it :D