ASRock X370 Gaming Professional Fatal1ty review

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Asrock X370 Gaming Professional Fatal1ty
All the features you want including AC WIFI and 5 Gbps Ethernet!

For our next X370 review we look at the brilliant ASRock X370 Gaming Professional Fatal1ty. This enthusiast class line of Ryzen motherboard is not just stylish, it has 5 Gbps Ethernet, AC WIFI, dual M.2 slots and every feature you could wish for on the high-end Ryzen platform. AsRock released two motherboards that look fairly similar, the ASRock Fatal1ty X370 Gaming K4 priced at, give or take, €189 and the X370 Gaming Professional Fatal1ty priced at roughly €309. Obviously that last board is the premium version, equipped with the good stuff like that 5 Gbps Ethernet jack, AC WIFI and much more. So please understand that the Gaming Professional edition is the enthusiast premium product, but price wise, you have options available matching your budget.

AMD has released Ryzen 7, the product name and series for their released 8-core (16 thread) processors. A processor series fabbed at a more efficient and optimized 14 nanometer FinFET process, rather than the 32 nm and 28 nm processes of previous AMD FX CPUs and AMD APUs, respectively. AMD's processors and APUs over the years have run their course really, for the gamer and more mainstream PC aficionado the older FX and APU series simply lack in raw processor performance compared to what the competition has been offering. We discussed it many times in the reviews, but if you compared an Intel processor core and an AMD processor core and clocked them at the very same frequency, Intel was almost half faster. The effect of that phenomenon showed in the less optimized and threaded applications, many games are a good example here. Ryzen series 7 is likely best matched with the B350 (a little more value) and the X370 motherboards as it is a high-end desktop (HEDT) product series.

Much like the competition, AMD will be selling Ryzen in product stacks; low-end, mid-range and high-end much like Intel's Core i3, i5 and i7 series. Earlier on referred to as SR7, SR5 and SR3, matching up with Summit Ridge (SR) and thus a performance segment denominator. But then Summit Ridge from the new Zen architecture was named Ryzen, and hence one more change in naming has now been made. You will see Ryzen series 3, 5 and 7 processors. The Ryzen series 7 processors are eight core processors at attractive prices combined with an IPC increase of roughly 52%. They come with four integer units, two address generation units and four floating point units, the decoder can decode four instructions per clock cycle. L1 data cache size is 32 KiB and 64 KiB for instructions, the L2 cache size is a whopping 512 KiB per core. Two of the floating point units are adders, two are multipliers. One unit that holds four processors is a CCX (core complex). Ryzen 7 is an 8-core processor series and thus that means 2 CCXs x 8 MB (L3) + 8 x 512 KB (L2) = 20 MB in total for L2 and L3 caches. These numbers sound familiar, eh (Intel)? Today is obviously not just about the processors, au contraire mon ami, you are going to need a new motherboard as well of course. A new processor series will need a new chipset as the motherboard needs an infrastructure as well. This has been outsourced and at launch you will see multiple product stacked motherboard chipsets. For Ryzen, you probably want a high-end / enthusiast class chipset with lots of features and tweaking options, this will be the X370 chipset that went along with the launch of the processor series release. X370 will give home to the new socket AM4 and will provide DDR4 memory support (as well as all other modern usual suspects like USB 3.1 gen 2, SATA Express, as well as NVMe protocol based M.2 support and surely PCI-Express Gen 3.0). For socket AM4 the following chipsets will be released: X370, B350, A320, X300 and A300.X370 is the more high-end series.

ASRock has released their X370 Gaming Professional Fatal1ty. A top of the line product in the X370 series product stack. The flagship Fatal1ty X370 Professional Gaming is their tier-1 gaming positioned board. It features a nice black and red theme, and has dual M.2 slots. The power delivery of this board is impressive, the IR digital PWM has 16 phases for just the processor. The board has your standard 2x PCIe 3.0 x16 with steel enforced slots as well as an extra X16 slot but that one runs gen 2.0 x4. One of the biggest features of the X370 Gaming Professional is the fact that it comes with the new Aquantia 5Gb/s LAN Ethernet jack. So if in the future you upgrade your network, this motherboard is ready, along with 802.11ac WiFi +BT 4.2 for connectivity. On the storage side we see two M.2 slots (one at full PCIe Gen 3 x4 / one at PCIe Gen 2 x1), there are also a whopping ten SATA ports. ASRock also did not skimp on the audio and feature-set side of things, embedded is a Creative Sound Blaster Cinema 3 audio solution over the Realtek 1220 CODEC, HEX debug LED, USB 3.1 and RGB headers which you may connect RGB strips to. The board supports two-way SLI and CrossFireX configs split between its main PCI Express x16 slots. The PCIe slots have reinforcements to withstand the weight of high-end cards. 

Overall we have lots to chat about, let’s start up the review. Next page please.


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