ASRock X99 Professional Preview;ASRock's X99 Professional and X99 OC Formula both have 1300 W CPU support for extreme overclocking with liquid nitrogen.
ASRock X99 OC Formula Shared;
Asus X99 Deluxe Motherboard;
In the last X99 motherboard reveal from ASRock, the company teased support for 1300 W processors. Today, ASRock shared images with us of the X99 OC Formula and gave us an exclusive peek at the X99 Professional. These two boards are ASRock’s overclocking-oriented boards, and while they are largely identical, they do have subtle and not-so-subtle differences. Both of these motherboards have a 12-phase VRM circuit, which can supply up to 1300 W of power to the CPU.
Both boards carry the LGA2011-3 socket, along with eight DDR4 memory slots for quad-channel memory and five PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots (up to four of which can be used to install dual-slot graphics cards). They both have ten SATA3 (6 Gb/s) ports and not one, but two M.2 slots. One of the M.2 slots is an Ultra M.2 slot that sports four PCI-Express 3.0 lanes, while the other is a port that runs off of four PCI-Express 2.0 lanes.
It's worth noting that this is the first time we’ve seen a board with two M.2 slots.
We already know that both motherboards come with extensive overclocking support, so the question is why has ASRock built two almost-identical boards. The reasoning is quite simple: The X99 OC Formula is built to be the ultimate overclockers board, while the X99 Professional is targeted at a gaming-oriented audience. The things that set them apart, aside from the not-so-subtle color difference, are the additional heatsink we find on the X99 OC Formula and the Killer E2200 networking adapter and Fatal1ty mouse ports on the X99 Professional board. Given the similarities between these boards, it wouldn’t surprise us if some folks would decide between the two simply based on availability, or the color scheme.
For rear I/O both of the boards are identical, with two USB 2.0 ports, six USB 3.0 ports, a single legacy PS/2 port, dual Gigabit Ethernet and 8-channel HD audio which is driven by ASRock’s Purity Sound 2 chip.
No word on pricing or availability yet, though we do expect most X99 motherboards to arrive August 29, which is also when we expect DDR4 and the Haswell-E processors to start shipping.
Asus X99 Deluxe MotherboardThis is Asus' X99 Deluxe, and while it might be lacking M.2, it does look pretty.
A user who goes by the name VSG on the LinusTechTips forums has posted some images of the upcoming X99 Deluxe motherboard, which is one of Asus' upcoming boards supporting Haswell-E processors. We've had looks at plenty of X99 motherboards dribbling out from other manufacturers, but we haven't seen an Asus X99 motherboard revealed yet.
This ATX board has eight DDR4 memory slots for quad-channel memory and a staggering five PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots for expansion, as well as another PCI-Express 4x slot. A handful of SATA3 (6 Gb/s) ports take care of storage connectivity, along with either one or two SATA-Express interfaces, although given the limited visibility, we can't be sure yet.
On the topic of storage, we're not even sure whether the motherboard has M.2 connectivity. There is a slot that vaguely resembles an M.2 slot between the ATX power connector and the SATA ports, but mounting an SSD in there would have the drive protruding straight out from the motherboard, which seems a bit silly. It could also be that there simply isn't an M.2 slot at all, although given the massive increases in potential bandwidth with newer M.2 applications it would also seem a little silly of Asus not to include it on a high-end board like this one. Hopefully, it's just mounted on the rear of the board or behind a heat-shield where we can't see.
Regarding other features, the motherboard appears to have dedicated audio hardware in the form of 'Crystal Sound 2,' as well as support for wireless connectivity. Rear I/O consists of ten USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, dual Gigabit Ethernet, what is likely a clear CMOS switch, and finally 8-channel HD audio connectors.
No word on pricing or availability yet, although we do expect that the X99 motherboards, along with DDR4 memory and, of course, the Haswell-E processors will launch on August 29.
September 7, 2014