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ASRock Fatal1ty X299 Pro Gaming i9 XE Motherboard Review

By Steven Bassiri from Dec 2, 2017 @ 12:11 CST
TweakTown Rating: 93%Manufacturer: ASRock

Here are key points about the ASRock X299 Professional Gaming i9 XE.


What's Hot


Revamped VRM Parts: While the motherboard uses some of the best power stage components just like its predecessor, it has a few major upgrades that make a huge difference in overall performance. No matter how strong the VRM components are, they need to be cooled correctly. ASRock got rid of their IO panel shielding, which was just a piece of plastic, and put a huge heat sink in its place. They didn't stop there, they went ahead and upgraded the power delivery system to two 8-pin power plugs, allowing at least 600W into the VRM.



10Gbit NBase-T: Who doesn't want faster LAN? While 10Gbit NICs have been around for a while, it's only recently that controllers that support NBase-T have been launched. The controller used here supports 100M/1G/2.5G/5G/10G LAN, and when newer routers launch in the coming year with 2.5G and 5G speeds, this motherboard will easily support them. The integrated NIC keeps the motherboard future proof.


Lots of Good USB: We don't only find the typical USB 3.1 type-A and type-C ports on the rear, but we also get four more USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 ports on the rear. The internal USB 3.1 type-C header is even more impressive, and I believe this is one of the only motherboards on the market that has a special Texas Instruments chip that allows for up to 12v/3A output instead of the 5v/2A which is more typical.


M.2 Implementation: All the M.2 slots on the motherboard are set up so that you won't lose the M2_1 slot unless you use a 16 lane CPU and want x16 all for one CPU. The other two slots are routed to the PCH and share bandwidth with the SATA ports. Overall, you should get maximum performance with this method, as the CPU is directly routed to the M2_1 slot when using 28 and 44 lane CPUs.


What's Not


Average Wireless AC: While ASRock is using an Intel Wireless AC card, it only supports 1T1R, so it's limited to 433Mbps maximum instead of the typical 2T2R cards we find on similarly priced boards that can do 867Mbps.



Final Thoughts


ASRock's X299 Professional Gaming i9 XE is the reincarnation of ASRock's top of the line X299 Professional Gaming i9, and the benefits when using a HCC CPU are plentiful. The major improvements have to do with the CPU power delivery system, and the improvements ASRock has made should allow for an extra 150-300W of easy flowing power to reach your HCC CPU when you overclock it.




If you are going to buy a 12 core or higher core count Intel Core i9 CPU, then you definitely want the XE versions of ASRock's motherboards over the non-XE versions. The motherboard also offers a hefty feature set, and not only with USB. You get four NICs; one 10Gbit NBase-T NIC, two Intel GBit NICs, and a wireless-AC card. While the motherboard doesn't have the most RGB LED capabilities, it is extremely feature rich and should prove to easily handle any CPU overclock or feature requirement you might have.

Product Summary Breakdown

TweakTown award
Overall TweakTown Rating93%

The Bottom Line: Not only do you get the extremely rich feature set of its predecessor, but you also get great quality improvements when it comes to power delivery, making ASRock's X299 Professional Gaming i9 XE one of the highest quality Intel X299 motherboards on the market.

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