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ASRock X99 OC Formula (Intel X99) Motherboard Review

By: Shawn Baker | Socket LGA 2011 in Motherboards | Posted: Nov 26, 2014 3:10 pm
TweakTown Rating: 96%Manufacturer: ASRock

Close up with the ASRock X99 OC Formula




Looking at the board, you immediately notice the yellow / gold high lights against the black PCB, which looks fantastic. While you get a good idea of some of the main features here, let's move in closer to see exactly what we're dealing with today.




Moving into the PCIe area, you can see we've got an absolute bunch of things going on. In terms of expansion, we've got a total of five PCIe x16 slots that run at different speeds, depending on the CPU you're using, and the layout. However, thanks to the double gapping between the four yellow slots, we do have support for up to four video cards in SLI or CrossFireX.


The configurations include single at x16 (PCIE1), dual at x16 (PCIE1) / x16 (PCIE4), triple at x8 (PCIE1) / x8 (PCIE2) / x16 (PCIE4), and quad at x8 (PCIE1) / x8 (PCIE2) / x8 (PCIE4) / x8 (PCIE5)). If you install a CPU with 28 lanes, PCIE1/PCIE2/PCIE3/PCIE4 will run at x16/x0/x4/x8, or x8/x8/x4/x8, and PCIE5 will be disabled.


Between the top two slots and bottom two slots, we have a M.2 slot. The bottom most slot is an Ultra M.2, which supports up to 32Gb/s; while the other is a NGFF M.2 slot, offering support for up to 20 Gb/s. Along with all of this, we've also got a half mini-PCIe slot sitting above the Purity Sound 2 chip.




Heading to the bottom of the board, you can see we've got the normal array of headers and front panel connectors. One of the main highlights across the bottom of the board is a Molex connector to add some extra power to the board, and make sure everything is stable for people wanting to use bigger video card setups. You can also see we've got a power and reset button on the right hand side of the board, along with a LED Debug reader to alert you to any problems you might be running into during a boot.




Here you can see we've got a total of ten SATA III ports, which all run off of the Intel controller. Along here, you can also see our HDD Saver plug, which is used in conjunction with the supplied power cable.




Heading to the north end of the board, you can see we've again got a fair bit going on. Starting from the bottom, you can see we've got a USB 3.0 connector, and above that, a pair of USB 3.0 headers. Moving along, we've got our main 24-pin ATX, some switched for LN2 mode, along with the ability to disable individual PCIe slots. Above that, you can see we've got V-Check points, and we have some more buttons that help with adjusting clock speeds on-the-fly.






Turning the corner, you can see that along with the standard eight-pin CPU power connector, ASRock also included a four-pin connector for people who are going to be doing heavy overclocking on the board. Taking a step back, you can see the CPU area is pretty clean. We've got eight DDR4 SIMM slots offering support for up to 128GB of RAM at speeds ranging from 1866MHz DDR up to 3400MHz+ DDR via overclocking. Around here, we also get a good look at the heat sink design and the gold CAPs that are used on the motherboard.




To finish up our look at the motherboard, we head on over to the I/O where we start with a combo PS/2 port, and pair of USB 2.0 connectors. Next, we've got a clear CMOS switch, and one of the two gigabit networking ports that are offered. One of the gigabit ports runs off of the Intel I218V controller, while the other uses the Qualcomm Atheros AR8171 chip. Between these two network ports, we've got six USB 3.0 ports, and on the far right we finish off with five auxiliary ports and an optical port, all of which run off the Realtek ALC1150 Codec.

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