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

Synthetics, Applications & Games

Comparison Products

Synthetics and Applications

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Typically, synthetics on this platform are fairly mundane. But right out of the gate, the ASRock X399 Professional Gaming surges ahead in PCMark, with impressive margins compared to all of the competitors. Sandra also plays well with the Fatal1ty board, with strong performance in all workloads. The Taichi also shows impressive results, indicating that the ASRock boards perform quite well for the prosumer crowd.

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Looking at disk performance with IOmeter, our random reads and writes take a hit on this Toshiba RD400, which has roughly 75% of its rated endurance left. Mixed results are seen with Cinebench, where we observe average single-thread performance. But our multi-thread performance takes a subtle hit. CompuBench starts to shift more towards the GPU compute performance of the system and the ASRock X399 Professional Gaming trades wins with the MSI X399 Pro Carbon AC in various tasks. Honorable mention goes to the Gigabyte X399 Aorus Gaming 7, as it lands in second place in all but one instance in this workload.

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With 3DMark, we see an interesting shift in trends where the ASRock Fatal1ty board starts to slip up with regards to combined and physics scores. Unfortunately, we can’t explain the Combined score drop in Firestrike, given the test results of the graphics and physics results being positive. Otherwise, a low-third place finish in 3DMark is underwhelming for the Professional Gaming board.

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Applications, again, prove the strengths of the Threadripper platform, and the synthetic trends continue with solid wins for the Fatal1ty in Adobe, 7-zip, and some Blender runs. Although the scales in the graphs are misleading in some cases, each workload is within single-digit percentage points of each other, which shouldn’t impact overall performance metrics much.

Games and Performance

Remember how 3DMark started to show some deficiencies in the graphics department for the ASRock X399 Professional Gaming board? Those trends continue in all four of our different gaming runs, regardless of the resolution or graphical setting.

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With Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation, the Gigabyte X399 Aorus Gaming 7 flies past the Fatal1ty board by up to 3 frames per second at 1080p, and the gap shrinks by a couple frames at UHD resolutions. The latter appears to be within sampling noise, so don’t draw too much concern. However, solid negative relative performance deltas will impact the Fatal1ty board's score moving forward.

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As enjoyable as F1 2015 is at all resolutions and settings with our GTX 1080, we still see frame deficiencies within 5 percentage points of the Aorus board here. Shifting to 4K reduces the deltas by a couple frames here and there, but we still see a larger percentage point gap compared to the MSI X399 Gaming Pro Carbon AC.

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For a change of pace, the ASRock X399 Taichi starts to take the lead with The Talos Principle at 1080 high, and the Gigabyte places first with both 4K presets. The ASRock X399 Fatal1ty board still suffers from minor frame deficiencies here, but keep in mind we are talking about fewer than nine frames per second.

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Metro Last Light scoffs at us and decides to scatter its results across all test samples, with the ASRock Professional Gaming board taking a couple first- and second-place finishes. Another way to look at the Metro results is that comparing test methodology across several months of tests, the data reflects no preference to any particular software configuration or program update discrepancies. Our 4K results also reflect this observation, with Very High presets being identical across the field and only two frames separating the Fatal1ty from the Aorus competitor.

In short, the results today are very close across all test platforms. Assigning percentages to help visualize normalized performance is both helpful and misleading at times. The ASRock Fatal1ty X399 Professional Gaming performs well in synthetic benchmarks and excellent in all application metrics, but consistently lags behind by a few frames across all gaming tests which ultimately drive its score down. If we compare against the Taichi’s results as well, we clearly see that this board design is an excellent performer, regardless of what extra features are added or removed from the final product.

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