Exclusive: ASRock’s X99 OC Formula Motherboard in Picturesby Ian Cutress on August 25, 2014 6:20 AM EST
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To add another element to the current whirlwind of X99 motherboard shots being released, ASRock has now lifted the lid on its high end overclocking motherboard, the X99 OC Formula. Similar to other OC Formula motherboards, this model is designed by ASRock’s in-house overclocker former world #1 Nick Shih. With the yellow and black livery, ASRock is keen to promote its use of 12 power phases capable of supporting up to 1300W. While regular users will come nowhere near to 1300W, extreme overclockers have (with previous platforms) hit 500W-700W while using liquid nitrogen to push the processors. Given ASRock’s recent push for overclocking records, it makes sense to design a product that can compete. Alongside this feature, ASRock still wants to have a motherboard that regular end-users can use 24/7 with high-end overclocks.
Alongside the new socket, the motherboard will offer 8 DIMM slots and 10 SATA 6 Gbps ports. Instead of SATA Express it looks like there is two M.2 slots, one PCIe 2.0 x4 (sharing lanes with the black slot) and one PCIe 3.0 x4, both supporting up to 110mm drives. Next to the Purity Sound 2 is a half-height mini-PCIe slot, suggesting that there may be a WiFi edition or users can add their own WiFi module. The PCIe slots should allow 4-way Crossfire and SLI, with a central PCIe slot (PCIe 2.0 x4?) that will allow an additional PCIe card for two-way setups.
For overclockers, the X99 OC Formula will have the superhydrophobic Conformal Coating similar to previous models that protects the components on the motherboard from moisture. On the top right of the motherboard are quick frequency change buttons along with voltage check points, a PCIe disable switch, an LN2 mode switch and a slow mode switch. On the rear panel is a ClearCMOS switch, and additional PCIe power is provided by a molex connector.
For regular home users, there are six fan headers, a Thunderbolt header (requires a Thunderbolt PCIe card), a COM header, two USB 2.0 headers, a TPM header and two USB 3.0 headers. There are 10 USB 3.0 ports total including the two headers, and the rear IO shows dual network ports. The connector on the right hand side under the SATA ports is for ASRock's relatively new SATA power feature that makes use of hot-plug functionality to hide drives not in use. I would imagine that the ASRock BIOS and Software are also receiving iterative updates, and the in-the-box contents for OC Formula models in the past have always been interesting. With X99 being an expensive platform by comparison to Z97, I hope that there can be something in there to tantalize everyone.
With all the X99 press shots floating around the media, along with DDR4 pricing going live for pre-orders, things are getting more and more exciting. No word if the ASRock X99 OC Formula will be available at launch, or the release pricing, but I am sure we will know in due course.
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Flunk - Monday, August 25, 2014 - linkThey'll stop putting them on when Intel or Microsoft drops support for them in the hardware or OS. Most boards have as many USB ports/headers as the controllers they carry support so it generally doesn't reduce the number of USB ports on the board.
If you look at the picture ASRock could easily fit 6 more USB ports on there but haven't for either cost or lack of space on the PCB for more USB controllers. I don't think it's a stretch to say that most people don't need/care about having more than 8 USB ports on the back of their PC.
kwrzesien - Tuesday, August 26, 2014 - linkI wish it had two, if only to work with older KVM's. What does it hurt, there is plenty of room on the back without any video ports?
mellozor - Monday, August 25, 2014 - linkI plan to replace my ~5 year old ~$90 Sapphire PI-AM3RS785G with this one!
Using it as a desktop / gaming / home server all at the same time. Years ago I tested using a single PC with x2 keyboard, x2 mouse and x2 screen using "softxpand duo", my Athlon II X2 240 (at the time) did not work very well running 2 instances of Dota2. I recently got a Phenom II X6 1075T for $50 (seller's board broke and could not find replacement) and Radeon R9 280X for ~$300. I tried again using my own custom coded equivalent of "softxpand duo" running on Ubuntu 14.04 and it's super amazing! My mates and I all use one PC for all our studies / gaming needs. This motherboard with a Haswell-E 6-core would seriously rock! The 8 core is just too damn expensive even for us putting our money together :-(
Devo2007 - Monday, August 25, 2014 - linkExcellent.... A motherboard worthy of my Transformers Bumblebee case mod idea.... :)
(now if only I was skilled enough to actually do a good case mod)
imaheadcase - Monday, August 25, 2014 - linkThe other lan port has ASrock Cloud sticker on it. Is it just something asrock specific or is it a actual NIC you can use?
extide - Monday, August 25, 2014 - linkJust some marketing BS.
Death666Angel - Monday, August 25, 2014 - linkThat's probably just there to advertise their BIOS internet capabilities, which are pretty fun. I updated my AsRock Z87M Pro 4 BIOS via the internet and it worked flawlessly. You can also email support from within the BIOS and update drivers (that didn't work the one time I tired though). All in all, a decent addition worthy of being advertised, imho. :D
Mikuni - Monday, August 25, 2014 - linkWhat controller chips for USB and Sata? I'm never buying a mobo with Asmedia stuff again.
Laststop311 - Monday, August 25, 2014 - linkI actually don't like using 2 m2 slots over 1 m2 slot and 1 sata express. Since only 1 m2 slot will be a gen3 x4 slot the other slot is simply moving the sata express connector to an m2 connector. It basically limits your options of drives you can use. You don't need the saved space on a full atx x99 board. Everyone uses larger towers for x99 builds. I'd rather have 1 x4 3.0 m2 slot for a nice 1TB drive to store the OS and install all my important games and apps on and still have much room to spare to install future things on. This way i got my pc starting up and running all my programs incredibly fast with a drive with 2GB/sec reads and writes. Then with the 2tb 2.5 inch ssd's on the horizon get a nice 2tb sata express 2.5 inch ssd as my basic scratchpad for all my video editing, with 10gbit speed on sata express can still get a nice 1GB/sec read/write which will be enough for workin with videos. So I can work on my video stuff off a fast drive. And then a few 3.5" 6TB drives for my bulk media storage. Such a perfect future proof setup ready even for 8k video editing.
You end up with 3 tiers of storage (really 4 if you count a ram drive from the possible 16*8 128GB of ddr4 ram). Say like 96GB of ram drive space for super critical speed needs. 1TB of 2GB/sec storage access for booting the PC and all the OS files used as well as all your programs and games and apps installed for max performance accessing any of them. 2TB of 1GB/sec storage access basically used as a super large scratchpad for editing when a 96GB ram drive isnt enough say for uncompressed high resolution raw video. And then the final tier of 7200 rpm 6TB drives like WD black to store the huge amounts of media you have. Combine all these awesome storage tiers with the 5960x 8 core beast and you end up with a monstrous video editing machine.
Basically painting this huge picture to show why some people would opt for sata express and m2 rather than 2 m2. Now if both m2's were gen 3 x4 from cpu I could be persuaded as that is a good idea.
Laststop311 - Monday, August 25, 2014 - linkimagine how awesome that could be 2x ultra m2 slots pci-e 3.0 x4 to both of them with ssd's that can get close to maxing them out say 3200MB/sec read/write speeds and then raiding those 2 ssd's as raid 0 possibly achieving read/write of a whopping 6400MB/sec. That crazy being able to write over 6GB's a second. Basically 5 minutes and 20 seconds to entirely fill up 2 1TB ssd's