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ASRock X299 OC Formula Review

How We Test

Additional cores create additional thermal and power loads that can push other hardware to its limits, yet the parts we’re hoping to push to the limit are all on the motherboards. Intel’s 10-core, 20-thread Core i9-7900X CPU is a great product for stressing the voltage regulators of various X299 motherboards, particularly under our full-AVX-load overclocking stability test.

Test Hardware

SoundIntegrated HD Audio
NetworkIntegrated Gigabit Networking
Graphics DriverGeForce 382.53

The tremendous heat produced by the Core i9-7900X required us to use nothing less than our award-winning Fractal Design S24 liquid cooler system sample. Getting its fans to blow sufficiently over each motherboard’s voltage regulator required additional design consideration: Of our leftover case review samples, Cooler Master’s HAF-XB had the best layout.

Comparison Products

Benchmark Settings

Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings
PCMark 8Version 2.7.613Home, Creative, Work, Storage, Applications (Adobe & Microsoft)
3DMark 13Version 4.47.597.0Skydiver, Firestrike, Firestrike Extreme Default Presets
SiSoftware SandraVersion 2016.03.22.21CPU Arithmetic, Multimedia, Cryptography, Memory Bandwidth
DiskSPD4k Random Read, 4k Random Write128k Sequential Read, 128k Sequential Write
Cinebench R15Build RC83328DEMOOpenGL Benchmark
CompuBenchVersion 1.5.8Face Detection, Optical Flow, Ocean Surface, Ray Tracing
Application Tests and Settings
LAME MP3Version 3.98.3Mixed 271MB WAV to mp3: Command: -b 160 --nores (160 Kb/s)
HandBrake CLIVersion: 0.9.9Sintel Open Movie Project: 4.19 GB 4k mkv to x265 mp4
BlenderVersion 2.68aBMW 27 CPU Render Benchmark, BMW 27 GPU Render Benchmark
7-ZipVersion 16.02THG-Workload (7.6 GB) to .7z, command line switches "a -t7z -r -m0=LZMA2 -mx=9"
Adobe After Effects CCRelease 2015.3.0, Version driven routine
Adobe Photoshop CCRelease 2015.5.0. 20160603.r.88 x64PCMark driven routine (light and heavy)
Adobe InDesign CCRelease 2015.4, Build x64PCMark driven routine
Adobe IllustratorRelease 2015.3.0, Version 20.0.0 (64-bit)PCMark driven routine
Game Tests and Settings
Ashes of SingularityVersion 1.31.21360High Preset - 1920x1080, Mid Shadow Quality, 1x MSAACrazy Preset - 1920x1090, High Shadow Quality, 2x MSAA
F1 20152015 Season, Abu Dhabi Track, RainMedium Preset, No AFxUltra High Preset, 16x AF
Metro Last Light ReduxVersion 3.00 x64High Quality, 1920x1080, High Tesselation, 16x AFVery High Quality, 1920x1080, Very High Tesselation, 16x AF
The Talos PrincipleVersion 267252Medium Preset, High Quality, High Tesselation, 4x AFUltra Preset, VeryHigh Quality, VeryHigh Tesselation, 16x AF

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Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.
  • navita_tftuser_01
  • navita_tftuser_01
  • slicedtoad
    Hmm. I think this board (and all of the x299 boards that achieve 4.4ghz) needs a better cooling solution to really test it. Either LN2 (which would likely be a nightmare to use as an objective test) or maybe delidded with a custom water loop. Delidding is fairly effective on x299 (replacing the TIM with something decent).*

    Then again, this article serves as a good example of the woes of overclocking a 10 core cpu. The motherboard isn't going to change the results much for most users because heat is usually the first problem.

    *Why Intel decided to skimp on TIM with their $1000 CPUs, I have no idea. But I really don't think penny pinching is a suitable explanation.
  • ElMojoMikeo
    It would appear that we have indeed hit a massive impasse on cooling. I am currently running older 39x0X processors on X79. I have spent a lot of time in the past tweaking them to stay inside their thermal limits. I am now looking to start upgrading them. The first thing I have been looking at is cooling. From bitter experience. I know that these new SkyLake X processors will be hard to live with on a daily basis without adequate cooling.

    Delidding six $1000+ processors. For those that don't know it requires special tools and nerves of steel. Once you have popped the IHS off, all warranties are void. So it's not really an option.

    Open Challenge:

    So the question now is. Is there a cooling system available anywhere at any cost that can keep a Skylake X processor from throttling under Prime95 on all cores? Without voiding any warranty.

    I can't do that with the processors that I have now. So what hope has a Skylake X with more cores, cache and power consumption.
  • krizdeb
    7700k compatible ?
  • Crashman
    20261602 said:
    7700k compatible ?
    Nope, recycled chart with missing title update. I thought I'd caught all of those :)

  • ohenryy
    I keep wondering why we dont see the oc formula on the am4, I guess they really just want crazy overclocks and know AMD cannot really go as high as intel?
  • MadOver
    Hopefully they will do it on the Z370 chipset..