Fatal1ty X79 Professional 1 ASRock launches the Fatal1ty X79 Professional

Intel's Sandy Bridge-E processors are still in fairly short supply, especially the Core i7-3930K, but that hasn't stopped ASRock from launching its eighth X79 motherboard, the Fatal1ty X79 Professional. The new model is as with ASRock's previous Fatal1ty boards targeting gamers, but it's by far not the most feature rich board on offer by ASRock.

Intel's Sandy Bridge-E processors are still in fairly short supply, especially the Core i7-3930K, but that hasn't stopped ASRock from launching its eighth X79 motherboard, the Fatal1ty X79 Professional. The new model is as with ASRock's previous Fatal1ty boards targeting gamers, but it's by far not the most feature rich board on offer by ASRock.

That said, the Fatal1ty X79 Professional isn't what you'd call a feature light board, as beneath all the Fatal1ty branding, there's plenty on offer. The slot layout allows for four x16 cards to be used as long as you have a chassis with at least eight expansion slots if you want to use dual-slot cards. The PCI Express 3.0 slots will operate in either a x16, x8 and x16 mode with the fourth slot being disabled, or in a x16, x8, x8 and x8 configuration. The board also has a single x1 PCI Express 2.0 slot and two PCI slots of which the latter two are unusable if the two full x16 slots are being occupied.

Fatal1ty X79 Professional 1 ASRock launches the Fatal1ty X79 Professional

Moving on we find four SATA 3Gbps and no less than six SATA 6Gbps ports, with the additional four ports being via two Marvell SE9172 controllers. Moving on we find two USB 3.0 header connected to a TI TUSB7340 host controller, headers for six USB 2.0 and a FireWire port, a POST80 debug LED, power and reset buttons and a Molex connector for extra power to the PCI Express slots. Around the back we have a PS/2 port, six USB 2.0 ports of which one is a “Fatal1ty Mouse Port”, four USB 3.0 ports connected to a second TI TUSB7340 host controller, two eSATA ports, a FireWire port, Gigabit Ethernet via a Broadcom chip, 7.1-channel audio with optical and coaxial S/PDIF out and a clear CMOS button.

Overall not a bad board, but ASRock has “only” fitted four DIMM slots and four PCI Express x16 slots, something we're sure some potential buyers will complain about, especially as some of ASRock's other models have additional slots of both kinds. You don't get a sound card with this board either, unlike a couple of ASRock Extreme series boards, something that's a bit disappointing for what is being sold as a motherboard for gamers. You do at least get all kinds of SLI bridges in the box as well as a front USB 3.0 panel and a rear USB 3.0 bracket, each for two ports.

Fatal1ty X79 Professional 2 ASRock launches the Fatal1ty X79 Professional

The problem is really the asking price, as we found the board on sale in Europe for around €250 (S$420/US$335) making it more expensive – if not by that much –  than the Extreme7 and Extreme6/GB, two models from ASRock which we'd say are competing for the same market, just with less branding. At the end of the day it comes down to a matter of personal preference and how much you can afford to spend on a new motherboard, but with Ivy Bridge around the corner, it might not be the best move to invest in the Sandy Bridge-E platform.

Source: ASRock