As in our previous X99M Micro ATX motherboard review, ASRock gives us two choices in sub-premium USB 3.1 motherboards. Red remains the theme for its Fatal1ty gaming line, while the company breaks out gold for its OC Formula series. ASRock surprisingly adds the word “Professional” to its game-themed motherboard, even though most of us would associate professionalism with wealth (gold). Perhaps they’re thinking of professional gamers?
While you’re still trying to figure that out, we’d might as well mention that these boards differ from their predecessors in the addition of a Type C USB 3.1 connector on the I/O panel. ASRock moved the ports around to fit it, so that you’ll still get the original pair of network ports, along with the six USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 ports of the original. You still get the PS/2 port for your old IBM keyboard, as well as the CLR_CMOS button and five analog plus one digital optical audio jacks.
ASRock also adds a USB 3.1 card to the package of both its X99 OC Formula/3.1 and Fatal1ty X99 Professional/3.1 motherboards. That means you have two USB 3.1 controllers, one onboard and one discrete, along with both the onboard Type C and pair of discrete Type A connectors. Newegg thinks ASRock’s similar Type A+C card is worth $40. With all these similarities, maybe a spreadsheet could help us find the difference?
ASRock’s Fatal1ty series uses a Killer Networks PCIe-based network controller, rather than the Atheros controller of its siblings. It also includes a three-month Premium upgrade to XSplit’s Gamecaster and Broadcaster software, which is worth around $27 if you need it. There are a few more differences inside the box as well, so let’s take a look!