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I've said it many times before, but I'm going to say it again: ASRock is clearly one of the very best, if not the best motherboard maker around when it comes to non-standard designs. ASRock's team of engineers really excels at doing things that aren't exactly your normal cup of tea, and ASRock has a long history of products that provide evidence of this fact. We recently covered ASRock's X299-ITX/ac motherboard, which is a perfect example of this extreme skill and prowess ASRock has thanks to their highly capable design teams. Yet if I am to remain completely honest, that's not all ASRock is good at.

If you are going to be splurging on Intel's X299 platform (and really that's what it is, splurging), but aren't looking for a PC you can shove into a shoebox, and you want to do some gaming along with whatever else you might want with all those CPU cores of Intel's X299-supporting HCC (High Core Count) CPUs, who do you turn to? What if you want all that high-level workstation functionality, but want to game on the same machine? What if you want 10G Ethernet and "standard" Intel LAN and some Wi-Fi too? How about a VRM (Voltage Regulation Module) capable of overclocking those high-power-drawing Intel HCC CPUs? Good audio is important as well, right? How about a triplet of NVME-supporting M.2 ports? What board is going to meet those needs?

Several weeks ago, a new motherboard appeared on my doorstep from ASRock. That board is the ASRock Professional Gaming i9 XE; "XE" to match Intel's i9-7980XE. What we've got here is a very specific design for a very specific usage model, almost directly suited to a specific CPU. It's right in the product name, after all. Yes, this is a Fatal1ty board, which means that there is a specific set of gaming-oriented features here, along with all those things I have mentioned above. The ASRock X299 Professional Gaming i9 XE is a top-tier motherboard ready for the upper echelon of gamers - those with deep pockets. Not everyone can afford that i9-7980XE, but if you can and are a gamer, this board was made for you.


CPU Support: Supports Intel Core X-Series Processor Family for the LGA 2066 Socket
Power Design: CPU Power: 13 phase
Memory Power: 2 phase
Chipset:Intel X299
Integrated Graphics:N/A
Memory:8x DIMM, Support Quad Channel DDR4-4400 (OC)+ Max. 128 GB
Expansion Slots: 4x PCIe 3.0 x16 slot (x16 mode)
1x PCIe 2.0 x1 slot
Storage: 8x SATA 6 Gb/s port (Intel X299)
2x SATA 6 Gb/s port (ASMedia ASM1061)
1x M.2 port (front, 2230/2242/2260/2280/22110 devices, PCIe 3.0 x4 and SATA 6 Gb/s)
2x M.2 port (front, 2230/2242/2260/2280 devices, PCIe 3.0 x4 and SATA 6 Gb/s)
Networking:1x Intel I219V, 1x Intel I211AT
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265 (AC Wave 2 + BLE BT4.2)
Rear Ports: 1x PS/2 Combo Port
2x USB 2.0 Gen2 Type-A port
2x Antenna ports
1x BIOS Flashback button
1x Clear CMOS button
3x LAN (RJ45) ports
4x USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A ports
1x USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-A port
1x USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C port
5x Audio jacks
1x Optical S/PDIF OUT connector
Audio:Realtek ALC1220 Audio Codec
Fan Headers:5x 4-pin
Form Factor:ATX Form Factor: 12.0-in x 9.6-in, 30.5 cm x 24.4 cm
Exclusive Features:
  • ASRock USB 3.1 Gen2
  • ASRock USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-A Port (10 Gb/s)
  • ASRock USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C Port (10 Gb/s)
  • ASRock Super Alloy
  • Premium 65A Power Choke
  • Dr. MOS
  • Nichicon 12K Black Caps (100% Japan made high quality conductive polymer capacitors)
  • Matte Black PCB
  • High Density Glass Fabric PCB
  • Intel® Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265 (AC Wave 2 + BLE BT4.2)
  • ASRock Steel Slots
  • ASRock Ultra M.2 (PCIe Gen3 x4 & SATA3)
  • ASRock Full Spike Protection (for all USB, Audio, LAN Ports)
  • ASRock Live Update & APP Shop
  • ASRock A-Tuning
  • ASRock RGB LED
  • ASRock XFast LAN
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