Test and review: ASRock X99 Gaming i7 – gaming motherboard without LED-illumination

Test and review: ASRock X99 Gaming i7 - gaming motherboard without LED-illumination

ASRock X99 Gaming i7 is the latest addition in the line of ASRock Fatal1ty. The motherboard is designed for LGA2011-3 processors and is equipped with a chipset X99, including it can be installed and processors Broadwell-E, such as the Core i7-6950X. The motherboard is equipped with not only the eight DDR4 DIMM memory slots, but also three PCIe 3.0 x16 and two PCIe 2.0, two slots for high-speed M.2 SSD modules, eight-port SATA 6 Gb / s SATA interface and one Express.

As for USB, motherboard ASRock X99 Gaming i7 equipped dual-port USB 3.1 Gen2, eight USB 3.1 Gen1 and six USB 2.0. Note two-port Gigabit LAN and WLAN module with support for 802.11ac, a powerful sound system. For LGA2011-3 CPU power provides 12 phase power supply instead of the usual eight. In principle, the basic specifications of the board very close to the same X99 Taichi. But ASRock X99 Gaming i7 has its own peculiarities, which we will discuss below.

The motherboard ASRock X99 Gaming i7 has the color of black and red colors. PCB itself is painted matte black, the same color and all interfaces. The two areas with slots M.2 visible red accents. In general, we would call an attractive coloring.

Test and review: ASRock X99 Gaming i7 - gaming motherboard without LED-illumination

ASRock X99 Gaming i7: Contents of delivery

Also ASRock motherboard makes the following accessories:

  • The plug I / O
  • User Manual, DVD with driver and software
  • Software Installation Guide
  • Four SATA cables
  • Bridge 2-way HB SLI
  • Bridge 2-way SLI
  • The bridge 3-way SLI
  • Two screws for M.2 slots
  • Two antennas vlan

ASRock – one of the few manufacturers who have invested in the bridge supplied 2-Way HB SLI, designed for new video card NVIDIA Pascal. You also get the usual bridges 2-way and 3-way SLI. In addition to I / O plugs, manual motherboard, disk with drivers and software package includes four SATA cables, two WLAN antennas and two screws to two M.2 slots.

ASRock X99 Gaming i7: The functions and layout

Chipset X99 is very similar to the old Z97-PCH, which is focused on Intel Socket LGA1150. But X99 chipset supports more “native» SATA 6 Gb / s, ie ten ports. You will also receive six “native” port USB 3.0 (USB 3.1 Gen1). chipset offers eight PCIe 2.0 lanes to connect additional controllers. Interface DMI (Direct Media Interface) is based on the old protocol 2.0.

Old X99 PCH chipset on the number of PCI Express lanes can not compete with the new Z170, which offers 20 Gen3 lines. But do not forget that the processors Haswell-E (P) and Broadwell-E (P) supports up to 40 PCIe 3.0 lines of what could be called a sort of compensation, depending on the CPU model. For example, M.2 slot allocated four lines PCIe 3.0 with a theoretical bandwidth up to 32 Gbit / s, so that the CPU itself has sufficient resources not to depend on powerful chipset PCH Z170.

Test and review: ASRock X99 Gaming i7 - gaming motherboard without LED-illumination

Most X99 motherboards are equipped with a maximum of eight CPU power phases. ASRock X99 Gaming i7 has four phases, as a result we get 12 phases. Manufacturer Set throttle “Premium 60A”, which are complemented MOSFET “Ultra Dual N”. For additional power supply meets the 8-pin EPS12V. To the left and right of the CPU socket is located on the DIMM slots four DDR4, allowing to set up to 128 GB of RAM. On the whole printed circuit board used Japanese capacitors Nichicon 12K, which should last for a long time even at high temperatures.

ISL6379 controller manages 12 phases. But because it can directly manage only six phases, ASRock had to implement an additional award.

Behind PCB Taiwanese manufacturer established six Intersil ISL6611ACRZ Phase Doublers. Each chip is responsible for the two chokes. Thus, the controller chips through Intersil ISL6379 Phase Doublers 12 controls all phases.

Both groups of four DIMM slots are powered by two phases. They provided their own PWM controller, namely uPI uP1674P in the amount of two pieces.

An important advantage of ASRock X99 Gaming i7 configuration is to support 3-way multi-GPU processors, equipped with 28 or 40 lines. ASRock has established three mechanical PCIe 3.0 x16 slots, which are reinforced with steel inserts. ASRock calls this feature “Steel Slots”. The user gets access to the two slots PCIe 2.0 x1. It is pleasant to note that under the top PCIe slot left empty seat, dual-slot video card will not block anything. The two tables below show the layout of slots lines.

Test and review: ASRock X99 Gaming i7 - gaming motherboard without LED-illumination

The board has two slots M.2 with M-Key key. At the top, you can install the module in length from 3 to 8 cm, the bottom -. 11 cm ASRock well thought out division lines, since the two interfaces they leave enough M.2. When you install a processor with 40 lines to both M.2 interface stands out for Gen3 four lines from a theoretical bandwidth of 32 Gbit / s. In the case of processors with 28 lines only limited to the first slot M.2 (right), who works only in SATA mode.

Also M.2 slot motherboard ASRock X99 Gaming i7 offers eight ports SATA 6 Gb / s interface and one SATA Express. All of them are connected to the X99 chipset in native mode. Two SATA 6 Gb / s are oriented vertically. To the right you can see two combs USB 3.1 Gen1, providing four ports. Left – diagnostic display, which will be useful in case of problems.

Interfaces from left to right, top to bottom:

  • 2x USB 2.0, PS / 2
  • Two antennas WLAN / Bluetooth module
  • CMOS Clear button
  • 2x USB 3.1 Gen2, Type A and Type C
  • Gigabit LAN (Intel I218-V), 2x USB 3.1 Gen1
  • Gigabit LAN (Intel I211-AT), 2x USB 3.1 Gen1
  • Analog audio ports, optical digital output

On the I / O panel has all the necessary interfaces. Four USB 3.1 Gen1, two USB 2.0 ports and two high-speed USB 3.1 Gen2 – set of USB interface is quite extensive. Network support is also provided a very worthy: the motherboard is installed WLAN 802.11ac module has two ports, Gigabit LAN. CMOS Clear button is convenient for dropping the BIOS settings to their default values. The audio subsystem consists of five audio jacks 3.5 mm size and a Toslink optical output.

We proceed to the additional controllers:

Test and review: ASRock X99 Gaming i7 - gaming motherboard without LED-illumination

On the left you can see the nine audio capacitors, which are designed to improve the sound quality Realtek ALC1150. The latter provides the front channels to the DAC 115 dB (A) and 8 normal channels. Audio Amplifier Texas Instruments NE5532 allows you to connect headphones with high impedance. It also supports the function Creative Sound Blaster Cinema 3.

Two Gigabit LAN controller, namely Intel I218-V and I211-AT, supports data rates up to 1 Gbit / s, they are located next to the audio chip. Unfortunately, according to the ASRock, under Windows 10 Link Aggregation (teaming) is not supported, although it might be of interest to some users. You can see the hub ASMedia ASM1074 USB 3.1 left. It is directly connected to the X99 chipset and provides four ports on the I / O panel.

ASM1142 supports two high-speed interface to the I / O panel. Specification USB 3.1 supports speed up to 10 Gbit / s.

Chip Nuvoton NCT6791D provides monitoring temperatures, voltages and fan speeds. It also allows you to control the fan speed.

At the bottom of the PCB, you can see the clear CMOS jumper and switch between two BIOS ROM.

In the upper right corner of the motherboard ASRock has established a power button and a reset that improve comfort, such as CPU overclocking in the open stand.

We did not have complaints about the general layout. I would like to thank once again for ASRock space under the top slot PCIe 3.0 x16. The intermediate space is used very wisely, there are two interfaces M.2.

For the motherboard, you can connect up to six 4-kotaktnyh fans. All fans can be controlled. The BIOS available modes “Silent Mode”, “Standard Mode”, “Performance Mode” and “Full Speed”. No preset profiles, but you can control the fan manually via the option “Customize”. You can specify four settings temperature / fan speed, and set critical temperature threshold.

ASRock X99 Gaming i7 | BIOS and Overclocking

BIOS

In our sample of ASRock X99 Gaming i7 has already installed the latest version of BIOS P1.40. But for updating BIOS ASRock offers a convenient feature Instant Flash.

Test and review: ASRock X99 Gaming i7 - gaming motherboard without LED-illumination

As might be expected, did not change the ASRock UEFI. The Taiwanese manufacturer offers an overview page where you can see all the major parameters. There is not only the time and date, CPU temperature and motherboard, CPU voltage, but also a model of the motherboard installed BIOS version and model of the processor, including the base frequency. You can see in which DIMM slots, memory modules, which are capacitance and frequency. If necessary, you can activate profiles Extreme Memory Profile. Below, you can see which ports are connected drives. On the right you can change the boot priority simply moving icons devices. Finally, closer to the center of the fan speed displayed.

A “CPU EZ OC” you can activate the automatic overclocking. On the right you can see the startup icon “System Browser”, “Instant Flash” and “Internet Flash”.

Color UEFI ASRock has adapted to its line of Fatal1ty – it’s red. Option “My Favorite” allows the user to add frequently used functions into a separate UEFI menu “My Favorite”. Unlike ASUS, ASRock did not create a separate tab, limiting the menu item in the “Main” page. Also different and how to add features. Please select the function you want to add to the list. In the upper right corner under the item “Exit” has a “My Favorite” button. Next will be the star, where you want to click.

The rest of the menu structure of the former. The user can specify the tab that will be displayed when you call the UEFI interface. All overclocking brought to the tab “OC Tweaker”. But instead of all the functions on the same page, they are divided into three menu items: CPU Configuration, DRAM Configuration and Voltage Configuration. All overclocking settings can be stored in five profiles available. They can be stored on a USB-stick and imported back into the UEFI. On the page “Advanced”, you can manage settings related to integrated components. It also offers familiar tools: System Browser, Online Management Guard, UEFI Tech Service, Easy RAID Installer and Easy Driver Installer. UEFI, you can update to the latest version optionally via Instant Flash or Internet Flash. You can store up to three settings, profiles, supports import and export.

With hardware monitoring function, you can watch the temperature of the CPU and motherboard, voltage and fan speed, as well as to control the latter. On the “Security” you can protect access to password-UEFI. Download settings are located in a separate tab “Boot”. You can set the boot priority and other settings. Finally, there is an item “Exit”, which is clear by name.

Regarding UEFI our complaints have arisen. ASRock well laid out menu navigation using the mouse and / or keyboard. All settings are made correctly, complaints in this regard have not arisen. The stability of the motherboard too great.

Test and review: ASRock X99 Gaming i7 - gaming motherboard without LED-illumination

Acceleration

Of course, the motherboard ASRock X99 Gaming i7 supports overclocking. Especially since it is equipped with 12 reactors and “Ultra Dual N” MOSFET. The UEFI available a large number of overclocking features, with which you can experiment.

UEFI allows you to change the base frequency from 96 MHz to 300 MHz in 0.1 MHz. CPU voltage can be set in the Override mode, Adaptive and Offset. A combination Override + Offset and Adaptive + Offset. The first two modes allow you to adjust the voltage from 0.800 V to 2.000 V in voltage mode bias exhibited by 0.500 V to 0.500 V. In all three modes, the range is 0,001 V. All other voltages are shown in the following table.

To test overclocking motherboard ASRock X99 Gaming i7, we used the new test pattern Core-i7-6950X. That is its overclocking results are different from the first sample. The second sample on other motherboards successfully accelerated to 4.3 GHz. But the motherboard ASRock, we had to adjust the voltage of 1.3 V. The processor stable at 4.3 GHz.

We proceed to overclocking memory. We used four DIMM module capacity of 4GB – “G.Skill RipJaws4 DDR4-3000”. In the first test we will check the XMP functionality, and memory overclocking second hand, without using XMP.

The tests took place without any problems. XMP memory profiles is recognized correctly, manual configuration also worked without problems (with the specified delay).

F-Stream utility

Together with the motherboard ASRock you get the utility of fine-tuning “F-Stream”, which allows you to change many settings outside the BIOS. You can switch between the utility mode “Performance Mode”, “Standard Mode” and “Power Saving”. Additional features include mention “XFast RAM”, “FAN-Tastic Tuning”, “Dehumidifier” (dehumidifier). The utility allows you to overclock the system, it is possible to adjust the CPU multiplier, the BCLK frequency and voltage. On the “System Info” provides information on the current CPU frequency, voltage, temperature and fan speed. There item “System Browser”, by which to conveniently see what components are installed in the system. Of note feature innovations “HDD Saver”.

ASRock X99 Gaming i7 | Energy consumption

Today, the question is quite relevant PC power consumption, energy consumption and the difference between motherboards is far more common than the difference in performance. On the one hand, it can be associated with BIOS, Intel wherein power saving functions may be implemented or not completely correct. Or simply disabled by default. Or inactive integrated components when they are replaced by additional chips, or simply not used, is not turned on and continue to consume energy. The power supply circuit also contributes to the overall power consumption, since it can provide more energy than is required components. Yes, and efficiency (efficiency) power supply system is also very important. If the efficiency is low, the system consumes more energy from the power supply. We should not underestimate the role of management software, the entire power supply system must be balanced and coordinated in order to ensure an acceptable efficiency.

At ASRock X99 Gaming i7 motherboard additional controllers are present. We note two LAN controller, the controller USB 3.1 Gen2, Hub USB 3.1 Gen1 and audio codec. They all contribute to the overall system power consumption.

We measured the power consumption of the system in idle mode under Windows, as well as a full 2D-load Cinebench 11.5 and Prime95 (torture test, full load). The following is the power consumption for the entire system.

Test 1: The built-in components are active:

In the first test run, we left the default settings when the motherboard most of the integrated components are active. We used the graphics card Radeon R9 380. As we have noted above, all power-saving features included, we did not make any optimizations manually.

In idle mode, the motherboard ASRock X99 Gaming i7 showed consumption of 61.1 watts with our test systems. What enabled her to take the second place. Only the Gigabyte GA-X99-Ultra Gaming consume less energy.

A similar picture is observed under load Cinebench. ASRock motherboard systems consume relatively little – only 161.3 watts.

Under full load Prime95 Motherboard ASRock X99 Gaming i7 showed also quite low level of 179.4 watts. I wonder what’s the Gigabyte consumed less than ten watts.

Another sample of the CPU is usually leads to another voltage under load. Our second sample we received 1,067 V.

Since most people are all embedded controllers are not required, we conducted another test run, during which the components of the integrated LAN controller is only activated and sound chip. All additional controllers USB 3.0 and SATA we disconnected. The motherboard is still exhibited voltage levels automatically, but we have to manually set up all power-saving features. We continue to use the graphics card Radeon R9 380.

Test 2: The integrated components are disabled (active 1x LAN + sound)

We were able to disable the chip USB 3.1 Gen2, WLAN module and Bluetooth, one LAN port. But the substantial savings we have not received, the power consumption decreased by 0.4 watts.

We have 0.9 watts under load Cinebench, the power consumption was 160.4 watts.

Under full load Prime95 we could save 0.4 watts. Power meter showed 179 watts.

The motherboard ASRock X99 Gaming i7 could not put the new records, but it turned out to be quite cost-effective, leaving behind competitors from ASUS and MSI.

ASRock X99 Gaming i7 | Performance SATA 6G, USB 3.1 Gen1 / Gen2 and M.2

Performance USB 3.1 Gen2

It is offering two new ports USB 3.1 Gen2 motherboard ASRock X99 Gaming i7 via controller ASMedia ASM1142. They provide theoretical bandwidth of 10 Gb / s, so it would be difficult to find a storage device that can load a similar level of bandwidth. The theory is quite fast M.2 solid-state disk, but so far we have confined ourselves to two SSD SATA 6 Gb / s in RAID 0, which will allow to load the new interface.

For testing, we used an external snap RaidSonic ICYBOX-IB-RD2253-U31. Inside we found two 2.5-inch SSD OCZ Vector 150 with a capacity of 480 GB. Solid state drives provide a read speed of up to 550 MB / s and write speeds up to 530 MB / s. Both work in the SSD RAID 0 array, so that the interface USB 3.1 Gen2 will be loaded fully.

The capacity of the USB 3.1 Gen2 is not a record, but the record speed of up to 664 MB / s read and up to 634 MB / s can be called quite decent.

Performance USB 3.1 Gen1

At ASRock X99 Professional Gaming i7 offers ten USB 3.1 Gen1 ports. On the I / O panel are six ports, the remaining four can be displayed through the comb. Four external ports operate directly from the chipset X99 PCH, four are connected to the ASMedia ASM1074. For USB 3.1 Gen1 tests we used the same tooling as for USB 3.1 test above.

Chipset X99 PCH and hub ASM1074 provide read speed of up to 441 MB / s and write speeds up to 460 MB / s. It is quite a decent level.

Performance SATA 6G

At ASRock X99 Professional Gaming i7 we get SATA Express interface, and eight SATA ports 6 Gb / s. All of them are connected to the X99 chipset in native mode. For our tests, we used a SanDisk Extreme drive 120, which is directly connected to the SATA ports.

Controller SATA 6 Gb / s in the PCH provides good performance. Reading speed we got up to 556 MB / s, write speed – up to 525 MB / s.

Performance M.2

X99 platform advantage can call connection M.2 slots in most cases four PCIe 3.0 to line CPU, which increases the theoretical bandwidth of 32 Gbit / s. For the tests we took M.2 Samsung SSD XP941 512 GB. Drive 8 cm long provides a read speed of 1170 MB / s and writes of 950 MB / s, at least according to specifications. Solid State Module interface corresponds M.2 16 Gb / s, which is equivalent to four lines PCIe 2.0.

Four lines PCIe Gen3 able to give our module M.2 up to 1,083 MB / s read and up to 1,001 MB / s for write. In more modern SSD-speed modules will be even higher.

ASRock X99 Gaming i7 | conclusion

ASRock has proposed for the Intel platform for enthusiasts new gaming motherboard ASRock X99 Gaming i7, which has become a fresh addition to the Fatal1ty family. If other manufacturers release their game products powerful LED-backlit display, ASRock decided to abandon it. The rest of the ASRock X99 Gaming i7 offers good equipment, so that a buyer will find the motherboard. For food processor LGA2011-3 Taiwanese manufacturer has set 12 choke “60A Premium”. We used a new CPU for the sample test, which is stably at 4.3 GHz.

On board are eight DDR4 DIMM memory slots that allow you to equip a system of up to 128 GB of RAM. Supports and memory overclocking, which increases its capacity. In addition to two PCIe 2.0 x1 slots on the board are three mechanical PCIe 3.0 x16, for which the said function ASRock increase strength “Steel Slot”. It’s nice that with processors equipped with a total of 28 lines of the PCIe, limits a little. Configuration 3-way multi-GPU available to any processors. Conveniently, that ASRock put a bridge 2-Way HB SLI NVIDIA Pascal for new cards.

ASRock has paid attention and drive interfaces. You will not only get eight ports SATA 6 Gb / s interface and one SATA Express, and two M.2 slot with M-key key. If you are installing Core i7-5820K or Core i7-6800K will be available only one M.2 port with four lines Gen3, the CPU 40 lines there are no restrictions. As for USB, on the ASRock X99 Gaming i7 accessible eight ports USB 3.1 Gen1 and six USB 2.0, there are two USB 3.1 Gen2 interface for 10 Gb / s. As usual, the manufacturer has determined two options for Type A and Type C. Network support is also well represented, not only established the ASRock Intel WLAN 802.11ac module and Bluetooth 4.0, and added two port Intel Gigabit LAN. Finally, the sound processor Realtek ALC1150 supplemented by nine audio capacitors and headphone amplifier. To connect an audio system are available five 3.5mm analog interfaces and digital Toslink audio output on the I / O panel.

ASRock has installed the latest version of UEFI BIOS. The user will receive a well-structured UEFI interface with a large number of configuration options. There are no mistakes, we have not noticed. We liked the low power consumption at idle and under load, though ASRock X99 Professional Gaming i7 still lost to Gigabyte GA-X99-Ultra Gaming. To enhance the usability of the board has built-in power switch, reset the CMOS and purification, as well as the diagnostic display.

Price ASRock X99 Professional Gaming i7 ranges from 19.6 thousand. Rubles, or 296 euros. It is comparable with the same MSI X99A Gaming Pro Carbon, but ASRock motherboard offers more connectivity options.

Benefits ASRock X99 Gaming i7:

  • Powerful CPU power subsystem, advanced overclocking features
  • Advanced set of interfaces, including eight SATA 6 Gb / s, eight USB 3.1 Gen1 and SATA Express interface
  • PCI Express 3.0 support three slots PEG
  • Very good overall performance, good stability and effectiveness
  • Two M.2 slot (M-Key)
  • Good audio equipment
  • Two interfaces USB 3.1 Gen2, one Type A and Type C
  • WLAN AC and Bluetooth 4.0 module

Disadvantages ASRock X99 Gaming i7:

  • No

ASRock X99 Professional Gaming i7 – a very good game motherboard based enthusiast platform, it offers a fairly complete set of functions, but the power consumption is reasonable.

Source: asrock

Test and review: ASRock X99 Gaming i7 – gaming motherboard without LED-illumination was last modified: October 13th, 2016 by Tomas Shellby