ASRock X99 WS Overview
ASRock has gone with their black and blue color scheme for this motherboard. This is the same color design that we saw on their Z97 Extreme Series motherboards. So you have a black PCB with all four heatsinks on the motherboard being metallic blue and blue and black accents throughout.
You might notice that this motherboard is a bit larger than your typical ATX motherboard, this is because it is an E-ATX motherboard. So you are going to want to make sure that the case you have will support this motherboard. As I said there are 4 blue heatsinks on this motherboard. This is part of ASRock’s Super Alloy design, the bottom two heatsinks are connected by a large heatpipe.
Starting up towards the CPU socket you can see that this board has Intel’s LGA2011-3 socket that supports Intel’s 4th Generation Haswell-E HEDT processors. The board has a 12 phase power design that makes use of premium 60A chokes and ultra dual-n MOSFETs. Compared to traditional chokes, ASRock’s new-gen premium power chokes effectively increase up to 3 times better saturation current, providing enhanced and improved Vcore voltage to the motherboard. Combining with two silicon dies into one MOSFET, Ultra Dual-N MOSFET provides larger die area and lower Rds(on), so the power supply for the CPU Vcore is more efficient. On each side of the CPU socket there are four DDR4 memory slots. Since this is a workstation motherboard it does support ECC memory if you choose to install a Xeon processor. You will also notice the large capacitors on the board, there are Nichicon 12K Platinum Caps. These capacitors have a lifespan of at least 12,000 hours. Compared to other counterparts on high-end motherboards that merely have lifespans of around 10,000 hours, ASRock applied Nichicon 12K Platinum Caps that offer 20% longer lifespans and provide more stability and reliability.
Moving over to the far end of the motherboard towards the top we have an 8pin EPS connector that will bring power to your CPU. In the top corner of the board you will find a 4pin CPU fan header and a 3pin CPU Fan 2 header. Moving down from those you have your 24pin ATX power connection, USB 3.0 header, 3pin fan header and ASRock’s HDD saver connector.
Looking at storage on the board there are a total of 10 SATA 6GB/s ports. The powers are arranged at a 90 degree angle to be out of the way of long graphics cards.
Moving down to the bottom of the board you are going to find the rest of your headers, connections and buttons. From right to left we have a DEBUG LED, BIOS select switch, front panel headers, power and reset buttons, a 3pin fan header, a 4pin fan header, clear CMOS jumper, two USB 2.0 headers, two COM port headers, a molex power connector to bring extra power to your graphics cards and your HD audio header.
Looking at expansion slots there are five PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots, which are slots 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6. You can run two cards at x16 speeds (slots 1,4) or four cards at x8 speeds (slots 1,2,4,6). So with this configuration this motherboard supports 4-way SLI and CrossFireX setups. There is also a single PCI-Express 2.0 x16 slot (slot 5). Between the first and second PCI-Express slots is an Ultra M.2 slot. The slot will support the latest NGFF solid state drives and offers speeds up to 32 Gb/s. On the far left of the board you will see the Purity Sound 2 audio solution. This audio solution is based off the Realtek ALC1150 codec and has a 115dB SNR. The audio components are completely isolated from the rest of the motherboard and the main chip has EMI shielding as well. Above the PCI-Express slots is another molex connector to bring power to the PCI-Express slots and a 3pin fan header.
Finally moving on the to rear I/O you have four USB 2.0 ports, a PS/2 port, clear CMOS button, eSATA port, dual Ethernet ports, four USB 3.0 ports and your audio connections. Both of the Ethernet ports are Intel-powered ports.