Two months ago, ASRock unveiled the X99 Extreme6/3.1 motherboard that not only had USB 3.1, but also the USB Type-C connector. Only two other motherboard makers, Asus and MSI, have motherboards supporting USB 3.1, but the addition of USB Type-C is even more rare; only ASRock and Asus have motherboards with the USB Type-C connector.
USB 3.1 and Type-C are bound to be future standards in PCs, and ASRock is trying to stay ahead of the demand by introducing the X99X Killer/3.1.
There's little to separate the X99X Killer/3.1 from the X99 Extreme 6/3.1 except for what ASRock calls "Gaming Armor." A side-by-side photo shows two identical motherboards with two different colors. As for the premier feature, USB 3.1 and USB Type-C, the X99X's USB Type-C port is located in the same place as on the X99 Extreme 6, and ASRock will still provide you with the PCIe x4 USB 3.1 card. It's important to note that the USB 3.1 on all the ASRock motherboards have a transfer speed of 10 Gbps.
|CPU||LGA 2011-3 (Intel Core i7 and Xeon 18-Core)|
|Memory||8 x DDR4 DIMM Slots, maximum capacity of 128 GB|
|Expansion||3 x PCIe 3.0 x16, 2 x PCIe 2.0 x1, 1 x mini-PCIe; supports quad-Crossfire and SLI, 3-way Crossfire and SLI, and 2-way Crossfire and SLI|
|Audio||7.1 CH HD Audio (Realtek ALC1150 audio codec), also supports Blu-ray audio, Purity Sound 2, and DTS Connect|
|Rear Panel I/O||1 x PS/2 Mouse/Keyboard, 1 x optical SPDIF Out, 1 x eSATA connector, 1 x USB 2.0, 1 x Fatali1y mouse port, 1 x USB 3.1 Type-C, 4 x USB 3.0, 2 x RJ-45 LAN, 1 x clear CMOS switch, HD audio jacks (rear speaker, central, bass, line-in, front speaker, and microphone)|
|Storage||10 x SATA3 6.0 Gb/s (supports RAID 0, 1, 5, 10, and Intel Rapid Storage 13), 1 x SATA Express 10 Gb/s, 1 x eSATA connector, 1 x Ultra M.2|
This is ASRock's third motherboard with USB 3.1 and the Type-C connector. The upgrade to USB 3.1 and Type-C connector is big, and as we wrote last year, its capabilities are far above what USB 3.0 and the current Type-A connector offer.
The problem is timing. The switch to the new standard is an eventuality, but no one is exactly sure when it will occur. By releasing a few motherboards now with the new ports, ASRock is testing the waters and gauging interest. If the demand increases, more companies will follow suit and hasten an industry-wide upgrade to USB 3.1 and Type-C.
This latest motherboard announcement shows that ASRock is already looking to the future. Early adopters will be happy that more and more motherboards include USB 3.1 and Type-C, but for the majority of users, we're not missing out on anything. Not yet, at least.