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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?

Benchmark Results

Last month, we compared EVGA’s X99 Micro to full-sized X99 boards, and found the small platform's performance to be average. That’s not a bad thing, since there’s little performance difference to be found on products that rely so heavily on component integration. This month, ASRock’s X99M Extreme4 and Fatal1ty X99M Killer take on their Micro ATX rival.

Futuremark 3DMark And PCMark

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Similarities between different motherboard models mean that nothing’s broken and nobody is cheating, though Intel’s integration does leave a little wiggle room for one brand to beat the other based on memory timings. Sandra could sort that out.

SiSoftware Sandra

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Indeed, both of ASRock’s X99M motherboards take a slight lead in Sandra Memory Bandwidth when using the DRAM’s default (SPD) values. We don’t expect to see much difference in most applications, though higher bandwidth occasionally helps in games.

3D Gaming

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ASRock’s X99M series picks up about 1FPS in Battlefield 4 and 4FPS in Grid 2 at each game’s lower-detail test settings. While those presets might be adequate for most gamers, the high frame rates will have quality-craving enthusiasts using the higher, less-impacted visual settings.

Encoding, Creativity, Productivity And File Compression

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We see a dead heat in most of our non-gaming applications, with ASRock’s X99M series claiming small victories in 3ds Max and 7-Zip. The 7-Zip result is particularly hard to track down since it’s repeatable and beyond the difference in memory bandwidth. I’m calling it a fluke.