ASRock X99M Extreme4 And Fatal1ty X99M Killer Review

How We Tested ASRock’s X99M Series

Test System Configuration
CPUIntel Core i7-5960X (Haswell-E): 3.0-3.5GHz, 20MB Shared L3 Cache, LGA 2011-v3
CPU CoolerSwiftech Apogee GTX, MCP 655b, Triple-Fan Radiator Kit
RAMG.Skill F4-3000C15Q-16GRR (16GB) DDR4-3000 Quad-Channel Kit
GraphicsPowerColor LCS AXR9 290X 4GBD5-PPDHE: 1060MHz GPU, 4GB GDDR5-5400
Hard DriveSamsung 470 Series MZ-5PA256, 256GB SSD
SoundIntegrated HD Audio
NetworkIntegrated Gigabit Networking
PowerAntec HCP-1200: ATX12V v2.3, EPS12V, 80 PLUS Gold
Software
OSMicrosoft Windows 8 Professional RTM x64
GraphicsAMD Catalyst 14.4
ChipsetIntel INF 9.4.2.1019

Swiftech’s ancient Apogee GTX keeps appearing in my flagship processor reviews, and for good reasons: it has monster capacity and it’s built into my test bench.

This Prescott-era workhorse was updated six years ago with an LGA 1366 bracket, and today uses that same bracket with newer spring-loaded screws to fit both LGA 2011 and LGA 2011-v3 support mechanisms.

Rumored power-on troubles with C7 power state-enabled motherboards and certain power supplies finally hit home when I tried to pair our earlier SS-760KM unit with one of the boards in today’s test. Since my newer AX860i was already being used to test other parts, I hauled Antec’s HCP-1200 out of storage. Success!

PowerColor’s LCS AXR9 290X runs quietly on a second cooling loop.

This is a new platform, so memory and the CPU couldn’t be pulled from spare parts. G.Skill’s quad-channel F4-3000C15Q-16GRR DDR4-3000 kit was added with Intel’s Core i7-5960X to today’s parts list.

Benchmark Settings
3D Games
Battlefield 4Version 1.0.0.1, DirectX 11, 100-sec. Fraps "Tashgar"
Test Set 1: Medium Quality Preset, No AA, 4x AF, SSAO
Test Set 2: Ultra Quality Preset,  4x MSAA, 16x AF, HBAO
Grid 2 Version 1.0.85.8679, Direct X 11, Built-in Benchmark
Test Set 1: High Quality, No AA
Test Set 2: Ultra Quality, 8x MSAA
Arma 3Version 1.08.113494, 30-Sec. Fraps "Infantry Showcase"
Test Set 1: Standard Preset, No AA, Standard AF
Test Set 2: Ultra Preset, 8x FSAA, Ultra AF
Far Cry 3 V. 1.04, DirectX 11, 50-sec. Fraps "Amanaki Outpost"
Test Set 1: High Quality, No AA, Standard ATC, SSAO
Test Set 2: Ultra Quality, 4x MSAA, Enhanced ATC, HDAO
Adobe Creative Suite
Adobe After Effects CCVersion 12.0.0.404: Create Video which includes 3 Streams, 210 Frames, Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously
Adobe Photoshop CCVersion 14.0 x64: Filter 15.7MB TIF Image: Radial Blur, Shape Blur, Median, Polar Coordinates
Adobe Premiere Pro CCVersion 7.0.0 (342), 6.61GB MXF Project to H.264 to H.264 Blu-ray, Output 1920x1080, Maximum Quality
Audio/Video Encoding
iTunesVersion 11.0.4.4 x64: Audio CD (Terminator II SE), 53 minutes, default AAC format 
LAME MP3Version 3.98.3: Audio CD "Terminator II SE", 53 min, convert WAV to MP3 audio format, Command: -b 160 --nores (160Kb/s)
HandBrake CLIVersion: 0.99: Video from Canon EOS 7D (1920x1080, 25FPS) 1 Minutes 22 Seconds
Audio: PCM-S16, 48,000Hz, 2-Channel, to Video: AVC1 Audio: AAC (High Profile)
TotalCode Studio 2.5Version: 2.5.0.10677: MPEG-2 to H.264, MainConcept H.264/AVC Codec, 28 sec HDTV 1920x1080 (MPEG-2), Audio: MPEG-2 (44.1kHz, 2-Channel, 16-Bit, 224Kb/s), Codec: H.264 Pro, Mode: PAL 50i (25FPS), Profile: H.264 BD HDMV
Productivity
ABBYY FineReaderVersion 10.0.102.95: Read PDF save to Doc, Source: Political Economy (J. Broadhurst 1842) 111 Pages
Adobe Acrobat 11Version 11.0.0.379: Print PDF from 115 Page PowerPoint, 128-bit RC4 Encryption
Autodesk 3ds Max 2013Version 15.0 x64: Space Flyby Mentalray, 248 Frames, 1440x1080
BlenderVersion: 2.68A, Cycles Engine, Syntax blender -b thg.blend -f 1, 1920x1080, 8x Anti-Aliasing, Render THG.blend frame 1
Visual Studio 2010Version 10.0, Compile Google Chrome, Scripted
File Compression
WinZipVersion 18.0 Pro: THG-Workload (1.3GB) to ZIP, command line switches "-a -ez -p -r"
WinRARVersion 5.0: THG-Workload (1.3GB) to RAR, command line switches "winrar a -r -m3"
7-ZipVersion 9.30 alpha (64-bit): THG-Workload (1.3GB) to .7z, command line switches "a -t7z -r -m0=LZMA2 -mx=5"
Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings
3DMark 11Version: 1.0.5.0, Benchmark Only
3DMark ProfessionalVersion: 1.2.250.0 (64-bit), Fire Strike Benchmark
PCMark 8Version: 1.0.0 x64, Full Test
SiSoftware SandraVersion 2014.02.20.10, CPU Test = CPU Arithmetic / Multimedia / Cryptography, Memory Bandwidth Benchmarks

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  • Mac266
    Just a quick error,
    Chipset for all X99 boards is listed as Z97
  • Crashman
    1606826 said:
    Just a quick error, Chipset for all X99 boards is listed as Z97


    Fixed, thanks. In case you're wondering, that type of error occurs from continuously recycling tables.
  • Calculatron
    Go ASRock!
  • ocer9999
    Whoa, both are really tempting! Need to start saving!
  • HideOut
    To bad the killer model seems to suffer a high markup at amazon according to the green link.
  • Lutfij
    Nice work Thomas! Guess you were sitting on this board in your lab for some time now huh ? :D :)

    Anyways, good writeup and keep em coming. Now to find someone crazy enough to shell out on a X99 platform inside an N200 ... hmmm.
  • Crashman
    291971 said:
    Nice work Thomas! Guess you were sitting on this board in your lab for some time now huh ? :D :) Anyways, good writeup and keep em coming. Now to find someone crazy enough to shell out on a X99 platform inside an N200 ... hmmm.


    It takes a couple weeks to get stuff published, unless there's an NDA and everyone puts everything else to the side. These would be among the stuff put to the side though :(
    At least you knew it was coming :)
  • Mac266
    8708 said:
    Fixed, thanks. In case you're wondering, that type of error occurs from continuously recycling tables.


    Onya Crash. Nice review as well.
  • m32
    The ASRock Fatal1ty X99M Killer LGA 2011-v3 is selling for $250 ($230 AMIR) on Newegg. Amazon currently isn't selling it on Amazon, and 3rd parties are known to over mark products.
  • RedJaron
    Tom, what would it take to get ASRock to start putting more 4-pin fan headers on their boards? I love their products, been using a Z68 Ex4 Gen3 for three years and just built a friend's machine on an H97M Pro4. But I love quiet PCs. Having PWM signalling for all the chassis fans, and not just the CPU coolers, means it runs as quiet as possible during web surfing and other downtime.
  • Crashman
    570460 said:
    Tom, what would it take to get ASRock to start putting more 4-pin fan headers on their boards? I love their products, been using a Z68 Ex4 Gen3 for three years and just built a friend's machine on an H97M Pro4. But I love quiet PCs. Having PWM signalling for all the chassis fans, and not just the CPU coolers, means it runs as quiet as possible during web surfing and other downtime.
    I don't know, but we have an ASRock guy who can pop in and read this stuff.

    And you're experienced enough to know that some boards offer voltage-level fan speed control on 3-pin.
  • RedJaron
    8708 said:
    And you're experienced enough to know that some boards offer voltage-level fan speed control on 3-pin.

    Yes, and I've set those on my board to keep the other fans as quiet as practical. But those are static settings. I'd much rather have a thermal controlled fan that can throttle up and down as needed. I'm fortunate enough to have a case with a built-in fan controller ( Raven 3, ) but that's only for the two bottom intakes. And they stay on low 99% of the time. But the top fan is the one that's more audible since it's closer to my ears. I'd love that one to be on a PWM header, but to do that I'd need to get a splitter for my two CPU cooler fans. It's not a big expense or trouble, but I'd rather not have to deal with it.
  • Crashman
    570460 said:
    8708 said:
    And you're experienced enough to know that some boards offer voltage-level fan speed control on 3-pin.
    Yes, and I've set those on my board to keep the other fans as quiet as practical. But those are static settings. I'd much rather have a thermal controlled fan that can throttle up and down as needed. I'm fortunate enough to have a case with a built-in fan controller ( Raven 3, ) but that's only for the two bottom intakes. And they stay on low 99% of the time. But the top fan is the one that's more audible since it's closer to my ears. I'd love that one to be on a PWM header, but to do that I'd need to get a splitter for my two CPU cooler fans. It's not a big expense or trouble, but I'd rather not have to deal with it.

    Really...I hate to add fan controller tests, but it appears that some onboard fan controllers are capable of dynamic voltage adjustment while others are not. And then there are those that are not controlled at all (wide open all the time).
  • Lutfij
    Most high end boards will feature a suite to setup your fan profiles with a voltage/temperature curve. I haven't used ASrock boards extensively but I know that is a feature set found on Asus' boards.

    RedJaron,
    You could perhaps look into the 8 way PWM splitter by Swiftech... ?

    8708 said:
    It takes a couple weeks to get stuff published, unless there's an NDA and everyone puts everything else to the side. These would be among the stuff put to the side though :( At least you knew it was coming :)
    ;) The teaser was given away by non other than you on the EVGA X99 Micro thread mate...so if anything, thank you for fulfilling my expectations :D

    Honestly speaking, I must agree with matx boards as they offer better flexibility than an atx board and is a step up from a mitx pcb.
  • ocer9999
    8708 said:
    570460 said:
    8708 said:
    And you're experienced enough to know that some boards offer voltage-level fan speed control on 3-pin.
    Yes, and I've set those on my board to keep the other fans as quiet as practical. But those are static settings. I'd much rather have a thermal controlled fan that can throttle up and down as needed. I'm fortunate enough to have a case with a built-in fan controller ( Raven 3, ) but that's only for the two bottom intakes. And they stay on low 99% of the time. But the top fan is the one that's more audible since it's closer to my ears. I'd love that one to be on a PWM header, but to do that I'd need to get a splitter for my two CPU cooler fans. It's not a big expense or trouble, but I'd rather not have to deal with it.
    Really...I hate to add fan controller tests, but it appears that some onboard fan controllers are capable of dynamic voltage adjustment while others are not. And then there are those that are not controlled at all (wide open all the time).



    Just try the Swiftech splitter, I think its under 10 bucks
  • Eggz
    Where is Asus on this?!

    The Rampage IV Gene is one of my favorite all time boards.

    I hope they make an Asus Rampage V Gene!

    The IV Gene came out two years after the ATX version, so hopefully they'll move faster on LGA2011-3 than they did on LGA2011.
  • FritzEiv
    Chin1Chu: For whatever reason it looks like you got caught in our process to ensure bots don't get in here. Not sure why but looking into it. Meanwhile, you can send an e-mail from that contact page. It's not to Crashman directly, but if you specify your purpose it should get to him.
  • RedJaron
    8708 said:
    Really...I hate to add fan controller tests, but it appears that some onboard fan controllers are capable of dynamic voltage adjustment while others are not. And then there are those that are not controlled at all (wide open all the time).

    291971 said:
    Most high end boards will feature a suite to setup your fan profiles with a voltage/temperature curve. I haven't used ASrock boards extensively but I know that is a feature set found on Asus' boards. RedJaron, You could perhaps look into the 8 way PWM splitter by Swiftech... ?

    1798473 said:
    Just try the Swiftech splitter, I think its under 10 bucks

    My old-ish board does not support dynamic voltage on the 3-pin headers. It simply gives a static level option. The 4-pin of course allows me to set target speed and temp. I didn't extensively look at the fan levels on the H97 rig I just built since we were using a 4460 with all stock fans so PWM on the CPU and chassis fan was good enough. I may have my buddy poke around and tell me what he finds. I'd love it if that became a standard-ish feature on most current and new boards.

    I wasn't aware of that splitter, but I will look into it. Their site currently says it's out of stock. Yes, it's inexpensive, but my whole point is that other manufacturers offer more PWM headers for comparable prices already, thus not needing fan splitters in the first place.
  • ralanahm
    I thought for a second Intel released another version, Core i7-5960"K" at 1.28v that was for overclocking.
    I think like you said before reused table.. maybe you can make you tables have references (cpu) so you type it in once and it will be correct on all the pages. so you don't have to reread every digit/char 3 times over.
  • hornedfrog86
    Thank you, would 4.45 GHz make this an average 5960X?