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ASRock Fatal1ty X299 Pro Gaming i9 XE Motherboard Review (Page 2)

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

Packaging and Overview

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ASRock has totally changed box art for the new motherboard, and it looks a lot more aggressive. The box and packaging are very good quality and will protect the motherboard with ease.

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The accessory package includes four SATA6Gb/s cables, two WIFI antenna, IO shield, three M.2 screws, 3-way SLI bridge, 2-way SLI HB Bridge, driver DVD, and manuals.

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ASRock put five fan headers on the Fatal1ty X299 Professional Gaming i9 XE, all of them are PWM/DC mode headers, but the CPU header circled in red is default PWM and offers 1A of current. The other four headers circled in blue offer up to 1.5A of current each. The motherboard's color scheme is direct and simple; a mixture of gray and black produces an easy to match color theme. There are many components on the back of the motherboard; they are there to make the PCB cleaner on the topside.

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The IO shield offers two PS/2 keyboard/mouse, two USB 2.0 ports, WIFI antenna, BIOS Flash Back button, Clear CMOS button, four USB 3.0 ports, two Intel Gbit LAN ports, one 10Gbit Aquantia LAN port (red), USB 3.1 type-A, USB 3.1 type-C, and 7.1 gold-plated audio outputs with S/PDIF out.

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PCI-E slots (x16) from top to bottom are PCI-E 1/2/3/4. A 44 lane CPU will run them at a maximum distribution of x8/x8/x16/x8, a 28 lane CPU will run them at x8/x0/x8/x8 at maximum, and a 16 lane CPU will run at x8/x0/x4/x0. Of course, those are maximum's and other configurations allows you to run the top slot at x16 and other slots are different speeds, so check the manual. The PCI-E x1 slot is routed to the PCH through a hub and operates at PCI-E 2.0. The motherboard has three x4 PCI-E M.2 slots, and all of them share bandwidth with the SATA6Gb/s ports.

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The motherboard has a USB 3.1 type-C internal header and a USB 3.0 internal header. The type-C header has some special sauce; it offers up to 3A and up to 12v (USB Power Delivery 2.0). The motherboard has ten SATA6Gb/s ports, two of them are from an ASMedia controller, the other eight are from the PCH, but some of them share bandwidth with the M.2 slots. There is also a USB 3.0 right angled header.

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The motherboard features two 8-pin CPU power connectors, an improvement over the motherboard's predecessor. The motherboard has an RGB LED header at the top of the motherboard as well as one at the bottom.

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We get a POST code display, power button, reset button, and a bunch of system headers in the bottom right corner of the motherboard. The motherboard also features two USB 2.0 internal headers and a Thunderbolt GPIO header.

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We also get a VROC header, a clear CMOS jumper, RGB LED header, and HD audio header in the bottom left corner of the motherboard. The motherboard also got some beefy heat sinks to better cool the VRMs, and let me say; it is beefy.

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