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ASRock X99M Extreme4 And Fatal1ty X99M Killer Review

ASRock is ready to take on EVGA in the battle for enthusiast-oriented microATX motherboards. Can the company best known for value conquer its gaming-centric competitor in overclocking and features, or will this be a pure pricing play?

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 2Version 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 3V. 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
  • Mac266
    Just a quick error,
    Chipset for all X99 boards is listed as Z97
    Reply
  • Crashman
    14730663 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.
    Reply
  • Calculatron
    Go ASRock!
    Reply
  • ocer9999
    Whoa, both are really tempting! Need to start saving!
    Reply
  • HideOut
    To bad the killer model seems to suffer a high markup at amazon according to the green link.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • Crashman
    14733470 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 :)
    Reply
  • Mac266
    14730952 said:

    Fixed, thanks. In case you're wondering, that type of error occurs from continuously recycling tables.

    Onya Crash. Nice review as well.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply