Update: We’ve made a few changes. Asus provide us with the Rampage V Extreme 3.1 as a sample board with which to conduct our memory overclocking. We benchmarked it to verify that it was better than our already-favorite overclocking board, the X99-Pro. Our testing proved those claims true and those results are still provided here. However, we did not have permission to review the board, so we have removed a couple of our comparative comments on it until we have a chance to review it in full. In the interest of full disclosure, we noted the higher price of the Asus board, and some of what that higher price buys.
ASRock’s “Multi Core Enhancement” overclocking function is disabled by default, assuring a fair benchmark run without manual intervention. Without any overclocking snuck into the evaluation, both the X99 OC Formula/3.1 and Fatal1ty X99 Professional/3.1 produce the anticipated levels of 3DMark and PCMark performance.
Secondary and tertiary memory timings are the only optimizations most manufacturers can find for Intel’s highly-integrated platforms, without getting called out for cheating. Asus and MSI integrated this boost through default firmware settings. Bandwidth also boosts Sandra’s Cryptography test, particularly in Encoding/Decoding turnaround times.
Grid 2 benefits slightly from improved memory performance, but only the X99S MPower returned a noticeably higher result, and that gain is only noticeable in a chart.
The Asus had a similarly small victory at the lower test settings of Arma 3. Both the X99 OC Formula/3.1 and Fatal1ty X99 Professional/3.1 produce normal frame rates across this suite.
Lower is better in timed benchmarks, but normalization is a good thing when all of the boards are paired with the same CPU, GPU and DRAM.
Fortunately, all of the X99 motherboards we’ve tested are on average, well, average.
Power, Heat And Efficiency
The X99 OC Formula/3.1 idled down a little better than we expected, and lead the high-end motherboard range in power consumption. The Fatal1ty X99 Professional/3.1 also scored well.
The problem for high-end boards in our efficiency chart is that performance and power are calculated against an average of all 15 X99 motherboards that we’ve reviewed. Cheaper models that have fewer features and controllers tend to consume less energy, yet ASRock still pulls out a noticeable over-average efficiency score in the X99 OC Formula/3.1. The Fatal1ty X99 Professional/3.1 beats the rest of the high-end field.