ASRock X99M Firmware
The difference between ASRock’s standard (X99M Extreme4) and Killer (Fatal1ty X99M Killer) firmware? Colors!
Both boards offer the same factory-programed overclocks and the same overclock settings. I preferred two of my red screen shots over the blue, but have included both in our photo album.
Like most motherboards, ASRock’s X99M series can read our memory’s XMP-3000 settings. But the processor’s maximum DRAM data rate of 26.66x requires that any X99 motherboard use a higher base clock to get there. A higher “boot strap” of 1.25x keeps system frequencies in check at a 125MHz BCLK, pairing it with a 24x multiplier to reach DDR4-3000. My final overclock yielded stability at DDR4-2975 by reducing the BCLK to 124MHz.
Both motherboards reached the same 4.45GHz at 101MHz BCLK and 1.28V, and neither was able to push this CPU to 4.5GHz at 1.30V. That makes sense because they have the same voltage regulator.
ASRock splits adjustments across separate menus for internal and external voltage controllers. Our DRAM reached 1.35V at both boards' 1.33V setting. The XMP default 1.35V resulted in too-high a voltage level (over 1.37V) to maintain high-frequency stability with this particular processor’s memory controller.
Useful firmware utilities include the five overclocking profiles from ASRock’s OC Tweaker menu, System Browser to show device connections, several utilities for extracting or downloading drivers to a thumb drive, firmware flashing and oddball functions like Dehumidifier, which heats the system up periodically to reduce condensation in damp environments.