ASRock has been long known for providing excellent value for money. It is one of the main reasons why their motherboards started getting traction a few years ago. And it seems like the company has gone back to those days and designed the Fatal1ty B85 Killer. It’s a $100 motherboard and based on the price alone, a well-knowledged hardware enthusiast or gamer will simply disregard it as a cheap piece of hardware with nothing really special. That’s because most of the motherboards in this price range are bone stock Z87 based models with no extra features. As manufacturers start adding features, the prices obviously start going up as well due to high chipset cost and a decent Z87 motherboard costs around $150.
ASRock has gone a different route here. They’ve selected a cheap chipset, B85 in this case, and added some decent features and came up with the Fatal1ty B85 Killer. Using the B85 chipset does come with some disadvantages but the price trade-off makes it one hell of a deal. The major disadvantage is the support of DDR3 memory with only up to 1600 MHz speeds. Desktop PCs have gone way past the 1600 MHz point so this is a limitation. However, the features added by ASRock like the E2200 Killer NIC and Purity Sound and other proprietary options make up for the memory speed limitation.
ASRock Fatal1ty B85 Killer does lack a bit in terms of overall performance due to low memory speed but it overclocks really well. We’ve been able to hit 4.6 GHz on it which is only 100 MHz less than what we were able to hit on the GIGABYTE Z87X-OC and same as the clock we achieved on Fatal1ty Z87 Performance.
All in all, the Fatal1ty B85 Killer is probably the best motherboard in its price range. You can’t really find a better option for $100. However, for around $25 more, you can get its bigger brother, the Fatal1ty Z87 Killer, which is as capable as this one and obviously the memory speed limitation isn’t there.