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ASRock Fatal1ty X99 Pro Gaming i7 Motherboard Review

By: Steven Bassiri | Socket LGA 2011 in Motherboards | Posted: Aug 9, 2016 4:48 pm
TweakTown Rating: 91%Manufacturer: ASRock

Packaging and Overview




The Fatal1ty X99 Professional Gaming i7's box is much different than previous ASRock motherboard boxes. It produces a higher quality feeling compared to what I have seen from ASRock in the past. Packaging is well done, and the motherboard is well protected.





Accessories include a 2-way SLI bridge, 2-Way SLI High Bandwidth bridge, 3-way SLI bridge, two WIFI antennas, clear CMOS button, four SATA6Gb/s cables, IO shield, case badge, XSplit Broadcaster gift certificate, driver DVD, and user manual.




The ASRock Fatal1ty X99 Professional Gaming i7 has five four pin PWM fan headers. Two are located above the CPU socket and three below it. There are no headers along the bottom edge of the motherboard, which is an unusual design choice. The motherboard's color theme is not too bad, white, red, and black go together well in this case. I do not mind the Intel and Creative branding; I think some users will like this since those are two very strong brand names within the US, so it makes the product look more professional.


While the shield over the audio and IO section is plastic, most of the heat sinks are made of aluminum. There is a block of red plastic on the VRM heat sink, and it doesn't look so great up close, but from a distance, it looks okay. I like what ASRock has done with the PCB silkscreen, especially around the M.2 ports. You will notice that the back of the PCB isn't bare of components, ASRock has moved quick switches and some other PCB items to the rear to make the PCB look better.




The IO panel on the Fatal1ty X99 Professional Gaming i7 features two 1Gbit LAN ports, WIFI antenna ports, USB 3.1 type-C, USB 3.1 type-A, four USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports (you should use these for OS installation), PS/2 keyboard/mouse, and 7.1 audio jacks with TOSLINK.




The Fatal1ty X99 Professional Gaming i7 features three PCI-E x16 slots. With a 40-lane CPU, they operate at x16/x16/x0 or x16/x8/x8 from the topmost to bottommost PCI-E slots. With a 28-lane CPU, you will have the slots operate at x16/x0/x8 or x8/x8/x8.




You might have noticed that the PCI-E slot lane count is a bit low for an X99 motherboard, and the reason for that is ASRock decided to give x8 of the CPU's PCI-E lanes to the two M.2 slots (x4 each). However, you only get two Ultra M.2 slots with a 40-lane CPU; a 28-lane CPU will only have one M.2 slot operating. Each M.2 slot does have a link to an SATA6Gb/s connection from the PCH, so both slots support SATA based M.2 devices. The motherboard also has two internal USB 2.0 headers, a COM port, and a POST code connector below the bottom M.2 slot.




All ten of the SATA6Gb/s ports from the PCH are present, but only eight are right angled. There is even an SATA Express port. Two of the SATA ports are straight (below the memory DIMMs). The motherboard also has two USB 3.0 headers located side by side below the 24-pin connector.




The motherboard has Power and Reset buttons in the top right corner. There are two BIOS ROMs in DIP sockets and a selector switch.




The CPU socket has extra pins in it to help unlock more overclocking potential in Haswell-E CPUs.




The heat sinks make great contact with the motherboard.

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