I don't think anyone would deny that the X79 platform is a fantastic one, but there's no denying the fact that since the Z77 one arrived, most of the love has gone to that platform due to the strong performance and the competitive price point. Saying that the bottom line is if you're looking at building a powerhouse system, you're going to build it around the X79 platform and probably an Extreme Edition based CPU.
The X79 platform also continues to bring with it dual x16 PCIe lanes while we see x8 only when in CrossFire or SLI on the Z77 platform. Not only that, if you want to move to a three or four GPU setup, the X79 platform while not being the only choice, is clearly the best one.
We recently looked at an Intel "X79" board the other week in the form of the GIGABYTE X79S-UP5-WiFi. This particular model was actually based of the server aimed Intel C606 chip. Today's board from ASRock uses the X79 chipset that we're used to seeing and falls under the Fatal1ty brand.
As usual the process is fairly simple here today. We'll start off by checking out the box before taking a closer look at the bundle ASRock is offering. Once we've done that we'll move onto the board itself and cover the main features that stand out on it before moving into the BIOS. We'll quickly look at our testbed setup today, check out how we went with overclocking and finally get into the performance side of things before finally wrapping everything up.
Being a high-end offering from ASRock it comes as no surprise we're dealing with quite a large box. The front doesn't tell us too much outside of the model and some typical branding information. Flipping open the box and looking at the left side you can see some of the main features which include 12 + 2 Power Phase Design, Digi Power, Dual-Stack MOSFET and Creative Sound Core3D Audio. We've also got a couple of Fatal1ty features in the form of Scout Mode, an audio feature designed to let you hear your enemies from further away along with the Fatal1ty mouse port, which we've been seeing for a while now.
Moving over to the right side of the box we get our first look at the board itself. We won't go into any detail here as we'll get a closer look at it on the next page. Turning over we've got mention of the 555 XFast support (a feature we see a lot from ASRock) along with a number of other highlights including Premium Gold Caps, V-Probe, 12 USB 3.0 ports, UEFI BIOS and more.
Moving inside the box you can see we've got a typical paperwork line up including two manuals and a run down on the XFast technology, which you probably have a fair idea about these days. You can also see a driver CD and main I/O backplate. On the cables side of things we've got two Molex to SATA power connectors and a total of six SATA cables included in the bundle.
We've also got a massive amount of SLI connectors include in the bundle with three 2-way bridges - two are short while the third is a longer spaced one. Along with these we've also got a two 3-way SLI bridges. Like the 2-way ones, we've got a shorter one along with a longer one.
Finally to finish off the bundle we've got a dual USB 3.0 header which can go on the front of your case via the included bracket.