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ASRock X399 Fatal1ty Professional Gaming Motherboard Review: More Pro than Gaming

Test Configuration & 10Gb Teaser

Test Hardware

The Corsair Crystal Series 570X case still houses our Threadripper test bed, and it pairs well with the ASRock X399 Professional Gaming, as far as aesthetics are concerned. It's a looker, just like the board we're pairing it with.

Antec’s 1200W High Current power supply provides the juice to our Gigabyte GTX 1080 G1 Gaming GPU and Ryzen Threadripper 1950X and 2990WX CPUs. G.Skill provides the 32GB of DDR4-3200MHz RAM, and Toshiba's 256GB RD400 M.2 NVMe drive serves as our boot drive. Fractal Design’s Celsius S36 360mm water cooler is placed on the intake side of our chassis to provide cooling for our 190W and 250W processors.

Benchmark Settings

Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings
PCMark 8Version 2.7.613Home, Work, Storage, Applications (Adobe & Microsoft)
SiSoftware SandraVersion 2016.03.22.21CPU Arithmetic, Multimedia, CryptographyMemory Bandwidth
IOmeter4k 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
3D Tests ansd Settings
3DMark 13Version 4.47.597.0Test Set 1: Skydiver, 1920x1080, Default PresetTest Set 2: Firestrike, 1920x1080, Default PresetTest Set 3: Firestrike Extreme, 2560x1440 Default Preset
Application Tests and Settings
HandBrake CLIVersion: 0.9.9Sintel Open Movie Project4.19 GB 4k mkv to x265 mp4
LAME MP3Version 3.98.3Mixed 271MB WAV to mp3Command: -b 160 --nores (160 Kb/s)
Adobe After Effects CCRelease 2015.3.0Version 13.8.0.144PCMark driven routine
Adobe Photoshop CCRelease 2015.5.020160603.r.88 x64PCMark driven routine (light and heavy)
Adobe InDesign CCRelease 2015.4Build 11.4.0.90 x64PCMark driven routine
Adobe IllustratorRelease 2015.3.0Version 20.0.0 (64-bit)PCMark driven routine
BlenderVersion 2.68aBMW 27 CPU Render BenchmarkBMW 27 GPU Render Benchmark
7-ZipVersion 16.02THG-Workload (7.6 GB) to .7z, command line switches "a -t7z -r -m0=LZMA2 -mx=9"
Game Tests and Settings
Ashes of Singularity: EscalationVersion 2.50.28527High Preset - 1920x1080, Mid Shadow Quality, 1x MSAACrazy Preset - 1920x1080, High Shadow Quality, 2x MSAAHigh Preset - 3840x2160, Mid Shadow Quality, 1x MSAACrazy Preset -3840x2160, High Shadow Quality, 2x MSAA
F1 2015*2015 Season, Abu Dhabi Track, Rain1920x1080 - UltraHigh Preset, 16x AF3840x2160 - UltraHigh Preset, 16x AF
Metro Last Light ReduxVersion 3.00 x64High Quality, 1920x1080, High TesselationVery High Quality, 1920x1080, Very High TesselationHigh Quality, 3840x2160, High TesselationVery High Quality, 3840x2160, Very High Tesselation
The Talos PrincipleVersion 2672521920x1080 - Medium Preset, High Quality, High Tesselation, 4x AF1920x1080 - Ultra Preset, VeryHigh Quality, VeryHigh Tesselation, 16x AF3840x2160 - Medium Preset, High Quality, High Tesselation, 4x AF3840x2160 - Ultra Preset, VeryHigh Quality, VeryHigh Tesselation, 16x AF
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With the inclusion of the Aquantia AC107 chip on this board, we must shoehorn a “test” beyond our standard motherboard scope. For our purposes today, we connected the 10GBASE-T interface into our workstation's BCM57810 dual-port 10Gb network card and configured them onto a 10.0.0.x private network. From there, we transfer a 14.5GB video file from a recent stream from one NVMe share point to the other computer and vice-versa.

Out of the box, the NIC was able to hit 986MB/s download speeds and provided smooth 1.10GB/s upload speeds to the other host. It is quite impressive that this NIC required no tweaking of settings such as jumbo frames or disabling certain flow parameters as mentioned in several guides online. Turn-key implementation of a high-speed interface is always a plus in our book.

Lastly, we managed to get our hands on a 2990WX processor for use with some of our X399 testing as we gear up for a future project, so we will try to keep that data isolated to our 32-core content section (page 5).  All overall value, performance, and conclusions generated in this article are geared towards the standard 1000 and 2000 series processors.  

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  • redgarl
    "Tough value proposition for gamers"

    ARE YOU FRIGGING KIDDING ME? Aren't you the site that recommend the 9900k as a GAMING CPU with a 600$ motherboard? How is that value proposition for gamers by the way? Why not just saying that your money is better invested in a GPU than a CPU for games? Of course you didn't think it was important last Friday...

    By the way, nothing about the review particularly, just the obvious double standard and lack of consistency throughout the site.
    Reply
  • Crashman
    21420384 said:
    "Tough value proposition for gamers"

    ARE YOU FRIGGING KIDDING ME? Aren't you the site that recommend the 9900k as a GAMING CPU with a 600$ motherboard? How is that value proposition for gamers by the way? Why not just saying that your money is better invested in a GPU than a CPU for games? Of course you didn't think it was important last Friday...

    By the way, nothing about the review particularly, just the obvious double standard and lack of consistency throughout the site.
    You seem confused. Read the Z390 motherboard reviews.Then look at the byline. Then look at the byline here. The Terk is not the big-spending-gamer you're looking for. Motherboard reviewers prioritize motherboards, CPU reviewers prioritize CPUs.

    The Terk is seeing gaming situations where disabling some of the big AMD processor's cores boosts gaming performance. So maybe you're better off as a gamer to get a model with fewer cores.

    Once you figure out that part, ask yourself a question: Is yours even an honest question? The 9900K review appears to offer up the 9700K as a more-realistic alternative. "The Core i7-9700K, even at stock settings, is competitive with the -9900K in most titles, especially considering the $115 you save by stepping down a notch." followed with the last sentence reading "but the (9900K's) $500 asking price relegates it to the most extreme performance enthusiasts."
    Reply
  • theterk
    X399 is by no means a "value" platform, and the addition of 10Gb networking really is a tough pill to swallow. as a "gamer" would you rather get a cheaper, equivalent quality board or invest in a potentially better forward-looking network adapter. Hence "tough value proposition".

    Thanks for the feedback, hit me up on the community Discord if you wanna chat more about it. I'm on there a lot
    Reply
  • izzerwat
    The 'Gaming' suffix on this board is obviously silly and is best ignored. The whole TR platform is not a 'good value proposition for gamers' because gamers aren't the target audience.

    Its a workstation/home server/networked renderbox platform which is where the use-case value is at. For 32 cores of Zen goodness, 10gbit and decent...ish power delivery these boards and CPUs are actually remarkably cheap, compare for instance to a dual-socket, 2x16-core Intel setup.

    AsRock's likely reason to stick 'gamer' on there is its associated with the Fatality brand, which they are apparently set on pairing with 10GBit controllers.

    The gaming and windows benchmarks don't really agree with the 2990WX, this is known from previous reviews. Windows doesn't properly work with anything over 16-cores and ffs, don't buy a 32-core CPU for playing some vidja games.

    That all said, I do think this board would have made more sense without the extraneous features. The wifi and gaming-ish features are kind of extraneous.
    Reply