Meet the New X99 Motherboards
On hand are the new Asrock X99X Killer and Gigabyte X99-Gaming G1 WiFi motherboards. When it comes to affordable Intel X99 boards, it's almost all Asrock at the moment, with its X99 Extreme3 ($210) and X99 Extreme4 ($225) being the cheapest on the market.
Then we have the mATX model, the X99M Killer, at $250 while the standard ATX X99X Killer costs $285. Meanwhile Gigabyte’s cheapest X99 motherboard at the moment is the X99-UD4 which costs $260, while the X99-Gaming G1 WiFi that we have sells for $345.
Still, that is relatively cheap considering MSI's X99S Gaming 9 AC costs $430, while the Asus Rampage V Extreme is $500.
Asrock X99X Killer
The Asrock X99X Killer is well equipped as you would expect for a $285 motherboard, offering a Mini PCIe connector, an Ultra M.2 slot supporting all standard lengths, Realtek ALC1150 audio, dual Gigabit Ethernet and the standard 10 SATA 6Gb/s ports.
Although Asrock hasn't added much to the board, what it has added is of the highest quality. The board also supports 3-way GPUs in a x16/x16/x8 configuration, though without a fourth PCIe x16 slot 4-way SLI and Crossfire are off the table.
Rather than use a pair of Intel NICs, Asrock included the Intel I218V along with the over-hyped Qualcomm Atheros Killer E2200 series. Although the Killer E2200 is a decent solution, we much rather board makers drop it in favor of two Intel controllers.
All the usual high quality Asrock features are included, such as Super Alloy offering XXL aluminum alloy heatsinks, 60A power choke, memory alloy choke, Ultra Dual-N MOSFET (UDM) and Nichicon 12K platinum caps. The Asrock Ultra M.2 slot is supported by the PCIe Gen3 x4 interface offering considerably more bandwidth than solutions connected to the X99 chipset.
Gigabyte X99-Gaming G1 WiFi
The Gigabyte X99-Gaming G1 WiFi is a bit more special than the Asrock X99X Killer as it offers more features, though it does so for a little over 20% more money.
As the gaming name suggests this board is intended for gamers and as such offers four PCIe x16 slots supporting 4-way multi-GPUs in an 8x/8x/8x/8x, while 3-way support is the same as the Asrock X99X Killer.
There are still just the standard 10 SATA 6Gb/s ports, though unlike Asrock we find that Gigabyte is offering a SATA Express connector. There are also two M.2 slots but one comes pre-installed with a wireless module while the other is free for high-speed SSDs.
Like Asrock we see that Gigabyte has also used the Qualcomm Atheros Killer E2201 network controller coupled with an Intel controller for dual Gigabit Ethernet. The wireless module supports Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4/5.0GHz Dual-Band) as well as Bluetooth 4.0, 3.0+HS, 2.1+EDR.
Gigabyte has upgraded its audio solution from the popular Realtek ALC1150 to the quad-core Creative Sound Core 3D chip with support for Sound Blaster Recon3Di. Also included is an upgradable TI Burr Brown OPA2134 operational amplifier and Bi-Polarized capacitors.