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ASRock Joins The Fray, Shows Off X99X Killer Motherboard

We've been deluged with X99 motherboard teases, and now we can add ASRock's upcoming X99X Killer mainboard to the list. At first blush, this motherboard appears to follow a fairly standard X99 recipe, although there are several small details that set the X99 Killer apart from the crowd (in a good way).

Let's start with the basics, though: In the center we find the LGA2011-3 socket, which is flanked by eight DDR4 memory slots for quad-channel memory. For PCI-Express expansion, there are three PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots along with two PCI-Express 1x slots. The motherboard also comes with 10 SATA3 (6 Gb/s) ports, and ASRock has omitted SATA-Express connectivity.

We can't really be mad about the missing SATA-Express connectivity, though, because the board does have an Ultra M.2 port. The M.2 port is driven by four PCI-Express 3.0 lanes as opposed to the two PCI-Express 2.0 lanes we see on most boards. In short, this gives the port a staggering 32 Gb/s. We've seen this implementation before in our review of ASRock's Z97 Exteme 6 motherboard.

We also find two USB 3.0 headers, a single internal USB 2.0 port and dedicated audio in the form of Purity Sound 2. On the rear I/O panel there is a single PS/2 port, two Fatal1ty USB 2.0 ports for gaming peripherals, six USB 3.0 ports, an eSATA port, Intel Gigabit Ethernet, another Gigabit Ethernet port powered off the Killer E2200 NIC, and the 8-channel HD audio, along with an optical Toslink output.

All things considered, these features point to the X99 Killer being a solid motherboard, but what sets this apart more than anything fastest-possible storage capabilities via the Ultra M.2 port.

There's no word on pricing or availability yet, but we expect this one to be available sometime around mid-September, when we expect the Haswell-E CPUs to arrive.

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Niels Broekhuijsen

Niels Broekhuijsen is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He reviews cases, water cooling and pc builds.