Intel’s next HEDT (high-end desktop) platform Haswell-E along with X99 chipset is on the verge of being released. We saw some X99 motherboards on the Computex but those were prototypes and not final versions. However, in a recent press briefing in Taiwan, ASRock showed three of their upcoming X99 motherboards in final state. These come complete with new heatsinks designs and are mostly in working state.
The motherboards showed off are the X99 Extreme4, X99 Extreme6 and Fatal1ty X99 Killer. All of these come with the new X99 chipset along with LGA 2011-3LGA 2011-3 socket which is a bit different from the current LGA 2011 socket. These motherboards come with several exciting features but the main highlights of the chipset include ten SATA III ports, 14 USB ports (six of which are USB 3.0) along with Intel’s new Clarksville gigabit Ethernet. The X99 chipset will also bring DDR4 memory support.
ASRock X99 Extreme4:
The X99 Extreme4 sits at bottom of the stack however it is still one of the high-performance motherboards. This is the only motherboard that is not shown with the heatsinks but its heatsink design will be similar to the one of X99 Extreme6 which is shown below. This motherboard follows the same black and blue theme which ASRock shifted to with the Z97 chipset. It is a lot similar to ASUS’s previous color scheme.
The X99 Extreme4 comes with a 12 phase CPU power delivery system which gets its power from a single 8-pin EPS power connector. The CPU socket along with its power delivery is present at the center of the motherboard with four memory slots on its each side. This configuration supports up to 64GB of DDR4 memory with speeds of up to 2800 MHz.
PCI expansion capabilities of the motherboard include three PCIe 3.0 x16 slots, a PCIe 2.0 x16 slot and a PCIe 3.0 x1 slot. Like in other high-end ASRock offering, the expansion slots have 15u gold contact points. It is capable of 4-way AMD CrossfireX or 3-way NVIDIA SLI. Right above the PCIe slots, there is an M.2 slot along with a molex power connector to give extra juice to PCIe slots when needed. For storage connectivity, it comes with ten SATA III ports and a couple of USB 3.0 headers.
Other features include premium alloy chokes, dual-stack MOSFETs, Purity Sound 2 featuring Realtek ALC 1150 codec.
ASRock X99 Extreme6:
The X99 Extreme6 sits at the middle of ASRock’s product stack and it is shown complete with its heatsinks at the press event. It comes with the same black and blue theme which debuted with the Z97 chipset by ASRock. Even the heatsink design is similar to what we’ve seen on the Z97 chipset.
It has a 12 phase power delivery system for the LGA 2011-3LGA 2011-3 socket which gets its power from a single 8-pin EPS power connector. As with the current LGA 2011 boards, the CPU socket along with its power delivery is present at the center of the board and it has four DDR4 memory slots on its each side. These are capable of handling up to 64GB of memory in quad channel mode.
Most of the X99 Extreme6 is similar to the Extreme4 apart from some minor changes. To begin with, the PCIe layout is different. It has three PCIe 3.0 x16 slots along with two PCIe x1 slots. This configuration is capable of 4-way AMD CrossfireX or 3-way NVIDIA SLI. It also comes with an M.2 slot and an mPCIe slot as well. There are ten SATA III ports for storage connectivity.
The X99 Extreme6 also comes with premium alloy chokes, dual-stack MOSFETs, Purity Sound 2 featuring Realtek ALC 1150 codec. Furthermore, it has LED bug readout as well.
ASRock Fatal1ty X99X Killer:
The Fatal1ty X99X Killer is the ‘gaming’ offering from ASRock’s X99 lineup. It comes with the red and black theme which is now associated with company’s Fatal1ty lineup. However, the heatsink design is largely similar to the one on X99 Extreme6.
On a quick look, it reveals that the Fatal1ty X99X Killer is largely similar to the X99 Extreme6. The PCB layout is mostly the same. Both have 12 phase CPU power delivery system, eight DDR4 memory slots supporting up to 64GB of memory in quad channel mode.
The PCI expansion slots layout is same and both have M.2 and mPCIe slots as well. Number of SATA III ports are also same at 10.
However, the Fatal1ty X99X Killer comes with some added gaming oriented features like the Killer NIC which replace the Intel NIC of Extreme6. Apart from that, most of the different between both motherboards will be on the software side.
These new motherboards will be launched in coming months along with the new Haswell-E processors. Complete specifications of the new processors leaked a while ago.