ASRock X399 Professional Gaming BIOS

By default, the graphical BIOS of the ASRock X399 Professional Gaming is set to the "EZ mode", a single-page interface that includes only basic configuration settings and informative dials. From this page, the user can only switch the boot device priority, change the CPU fan speed settings, configure RAID arrays, and use BIOS flashing tools.

Pressing the F6 button reveals the entirely of the BIOS. The settings are divided under eight main tabs but most can be found under two of them. The first tab, the "Main" tab, is deceptively named and purely informative, without a single adjustable setting.

The “OC Tweaker” tab includes the CPU, RAM, and Voltage settings. By default the BIOS is set to the Auto CPU frequency and voltage mode, temporarily boosting the Ryzen Threadripper 1950X up to 4.0 GHz. Switching any of these settings to manual mode exposes new adjustable options. Unlike other iterations of ASRock motherboards, the BIOS menus here are messy, with all of the options stacked together. For example, the DRAM Timing Configuration submenu lists a host of timing settings all packed together, whereas other ASRock motherboards have this menu divided to “primary”, “secondary”, “third”, “fourth” and “advanced” settings.

The “Advanced” tab includes all of the configuration options for the motherboard’s features and onboard devices. What is of interest here is the AMD CBS submenu that hides the Zen CPU settings, which includes the thermal throttling and Core/Thread settings. A lot of advanced DRAM-related options can be found under the "UMC Common Options" submenu as well. The rest of the submenus hide advanced options that should be of no interest to most users. 

The "Tool" tab is home to the RGB configuration tool, the Instant/Internet BIOS flash tools and the RAID installer tool. The RGB LED configuration is very simple but at least each of the three channels (one for the motherboard's chipset area, one for each LED strip header) can be programmed individually.

The H/W Monitor tab is also deceptively named. Most people would expect that it should be a purely informative tab, listing the voltage and temperature sensor readings. However, ASRock included all of the fan control options in here as well. Each of the five headers can be programmed individually. The fan programming interface is very basic but at least the user can tie the speed profile of each fan to any onboard temperature sensor.

The rest of the submenus are simple and without any hidden surprises. The "Security" tab contains the password and Secure Boot settings, and the "Boot" tab all boot-related options, except from the temporary boot override options that can be found under the "Exit" tab.

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  • nagi603 - Thursday, July 5, 2018 - link

    Frankly, I'm thrilled with the board. It may bear "gaming" in the name, but that's a misnomer: it's a powerful workstation board with wide-ranging gaming options. And I'm quite thankful for the built-in 10Gbit ethernet when there is only a single PCIe slot for extra cards (besides the 4 16x GPU intended ones).
  • nagi603 - Thursday, July 5, 2018 - link

    Also, the fan options on HW montior tab are already like that on my current Z79 board, so I'm not sure if AsRock changed it after that and returned with the X399, or the reviewer is unfamiliar with AsRock motherboards in general.
  • Jorgp2 - Thursday, July 5, 2018 - link


    A PCI-E x1 slot only gives you 8gbps.

    Most PCI-E NICs are at least 8x.
  • nagi603 - Friday, July 6, 2018 - link

    Yeah, I have a few 2-port intel 540's that are 8x, but Asus has a cheap Aquantia-based NIC (XG-C100C) that runs on a 4x port.
  • nagi603 - Friday, July 6, 2018 - link

    (Also, yes, I did not think the comment through... yes, you definitely need more than a 1x for a 10G, so you'd have to waste a 16x port for 10G if the board didn't have it integrated)
  • AdrianB1 - Saturday, July 7, 2018 - link

    I can live with a 10 Gbps NIC using a 1x PCIe port, jumping from 1 Gbps to ~7.5 Gbps effective transfer rate is a huge improvement for a home user. Also PCIe 4 is coming, it will be more than enough for a 10 Gbps NIC.
  • monglerbongler - Tuesday, July 10, 2018 - link

    Can you live with either >>$1,000 for a small port count managed switch, or else ~$300-$600 for a literal 4 or 6 port unmanaged switch?

    No soho routers with 10g right now. Maybe when broadcom releases some silicon with it built in will we see the usual suspect start to release practical soho routers.

    My house is wired. I'm sure most enthusiasts wire their homes. But I would simultaneously argue that most home wiring jobs, even for advanced gamers and semi-professional usage still leverage retail soho routers, either for the NAT/router functionality (eg to get internet access piped to all of the devices), and/or for the wifi. You might use a 2nd router as an access point or some multiport switch to expand the wired functionality.

    But are you ready to spend the anywhere from the same to 3x the price of this high priced motherboard to even use the 10G?

    If the goal is future proofing, my response is:

    wait until the future is here and then just buy a new system with 10g at a lower price/better incorporation.
  • eek2121 - Thursday, July 5, 2018 - link

    While I would like 10 GB Ethernet, the MSI X399 Carbon features a 10+3 VRM design, which can easily push 4.1 GHz or 4.2 GHz depending on the chip. 4.2 GHz passed Prime95 at 1.45V on my chip and 4.1 GHz passed at 1.325. I have even been able to run benchmarks at 4.3 or 4.4 GHz, though Prime95 fails. Also 4.3 and 4.4 GHz required some obscene voltage, which unfortunately degraded my chip slightly.

    I can't wait to RMA my board ( broken/crushed pins, but they only charge $45 to replace.) Currently I am on an ASUS X399-E and haven't been able to get it past 4.0 GHz. Likely due to the 8+3 VRMs and 8+4 EPS connectors (the MSI was 10+3 and 8+8).
  • Arbie - Thursday, July 5, 2018 - link

    Why, except for a transient bit of fun, would anyone overclock Ryzen? It already clocks itself exceptionally well. If you override those features you're just throwing power away, with no perceptible gain in daily use.
  • halcyon - Friday, July 6, 2018 - link

    You said it: fun (and curiosity/learning).

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