AMD Ryzen 5 1600X 6 Core / 12 Thread CPU Review With ASRock X370 Killer SLI AM4 Motherboard

Introduction

Introduction

It has been five years since AMD last launched a processor lineup for the desktop market. The Bulldozer family was hit with lots of criticism at launch due to its lackluster and non-competitive nature in terms of performance and efficiency. Fast forward to 2017 and AMD finally has a fresh new line of CPUs for enthusiasts and mainstream desktop users.

Known as Ryzen, the new family of high-end and mainstream desktop CPUs comes with the latest 14 nm Zen architecture. After adopting FinFET for their graphics chips, AMD is extending the FinFET tech to their Ryzen processors. FinFET is just one aspect of their entire Zen architecture. AMD’s entire journey to Ryzen was to meet the promised 40% IPC goal over Excavator. They did so and managed to achieve more than that. A mind boggling 52% IPC increase is what AMD achieved with Ryzen and that yielded a massive performance increase, bigger than anything AMD has ever offered to consumers.

Related Pro Overclockers Make AMD’s Ryzen 7 2700X CPU Run at 6.0 GHz Across All Cores – Feat Achieved on ASUS ROG Crosshair VII Hero With LN2 Cooling

Intel had the lead in CPU performance for many years and AMD had nothing to offer. But it’s wise to say that AMD is back and with a very competitive and disruptive processor lineup. During the intervening years, Intel had also gained a massive advantage by optimizing their platforms for future I/O support. AMD has done the same with their new AM4 platform which we will be focusing on today.

Our Ryzen 7 processor review focused on the enthusiast grade, 8 core and 16 thread chips. Today, we I’ll be taking a look at the Ryzen 5 mainstream chip, a 6 core and 12 thread processor. I’ll be using the Ryzen 5 1600X processor and ASRock X370 Killer SLI AC motherboard for this review to test the performance potential of AMD’s more cost effective chips that aim to offer Core i7 level performance for the price of a Core i5 chip. I would also like to thank ASRock for enabling us to cover this review by arranging the board and processor.

You can also check out our Ryzen 5 1500X review in the video below:

Related AMD Ryzen 2700 CPU Review – The Zen+ Refresh and 400-Series Platform Featuring ASRock X470 Taichi Ultimate and ASUS ROG Crosshair VII Hero

AMD X370 “Promontory” Chipset – The Top AM4 Platform PCH

AMD has two “X” series chipsets powering their AM4 platform, the X370 and X300. The AMD X370 chipset is the flagship PCH while the X300 is a cost effective variant tuned for M-ITX boards.

The X370 chipset is a high-end PCH for overclockers and tweakers who need robust platforms. This chipset provides the ultimate low-level control to its users and delivers ultimate graphics card bandwidth. By bandwidth, AMD is referring to max PCI Express lanes as this is the only chip in the stack that supports multi-GPU functionality. The chipset supports both, CFX (CrossFire) and SLI. Features of X300 series chipsets include:

AMD has mentioned two full x16 (Gen3) lanes for GPUs. AIBs can add additional lanes through a PLX chip but that would add to the cost. X370 features full overclocking support with a very sophisticated GUI that will allow the best overclock tools and experiences. Since all AM4 CPUs have an unlocked multiplier, most record breakers will definitely put X370 boards to the test on liquid and LN2 setups.

AMD AM4 Chipset Features and Specifications:

WccftechX470X370B450B350A320X300A300
CrossfireX/SLITri-Fire/2-Way SLITri-Fire/2-Way SLIN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
PCIe Gen3 Lanes16 (with Ryzen 7 CPU)16 (with Ryzen 7 CPU)
8 (with Bristol Ridge)
16 (with Ryzen 7 CPU)16 (with Ryzen 7 CPU)
8 (with Bristol Ridge)
16 (with Ryzen 7 CPU)
8 (with Bristol Ridge)
16 (with Ryzen 7 CPU)
8 (with Bristol Ridge)
16 (with Ryzen 7 CPU)
8 (with Bristol Ridge)
PCIe Gen2 Lanes8 (plus x2 PCIe Gen3 when no x4 NVMe)8 (plus x2 PCIe Gen3 when no x4 NVMe)6 (plus x2 PCIe Gen3 when no x4 NVMe)6 (plus x2 PCIe Gen3 when no x4 NVMe)4 (plus x2 PCIe Gen3 when no x4 NVMe)4 (plus x2 PCIe Gen3 when no x4 NVMe)4 (plus x2 PCIe Gen3 when no x4 NVMe)
USB 3.1 Gen22222100
USB 3.1 Gen1101066644
USB 2.06666600
SATA 6Gb/s6644422
SATA Express2222211
DDR4 DIMMs4444222
Overclocking
Support
YesYesYesYesNoYesNo
XFR2 EnhancedYesNoYesNoNoNoNo
Precision Boost OverdriveYesNoYesNoNoNoNo
NVMeYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Form FactorATX, MITXATXATX, M-ATXATX, M-ATXM-ATX, Mini-ITXMini-ITXM-ATX, Mini-ITX

AMD has replaced their older AM3 and AM3+ sockets with the new AM4 socket. This socket supports AMD Ryzen CPUs, Bristol Ridge APUs and the upcoming Raven Ridge APUs too.

The AM4 socket is featured on the AMD 300 series boards and will extend support to the Raven Ridge processors. The AM4 socket has a total of 1331 contact points for interfacing with Ryzen processors. There was a need to develop a new socket for Ryzen processors since the latter come with support for DDR4 memory and PCIe Gen 3.0 interface directly from the Ryzen chip. Following are all of the Ryzen processors that will be available for the AM4 platform:

AMD Ryzen Processor Lineup:

AMD Ryzen CPU ModelCores/ThreadsBase Frequency RangeL3 CacheTDPPrices
Ryzen 7 1800X8/163.6 / 4.0 GHz16 MB95W$499 US
Ryzen 7 1700X8/163.4 / 3.8 GHz16 MB95W$399 US
Ryzen 7 17008/163.0 / 3.7 GHz16 MB65W$329 US
Ryzen 5 1600X6/123.6 / 4.0 GHz16 MB95W$249 US
Ryzen 5 16006/123.2 / 3.6 GHz16 MB95W$219 US
Ryzen 5 1500X4/83.5 / 3.7 GHz8 MB65W$189 US
Ryzen 5 14004/83.2 / 3.4 GHz8 MB65W$169 US
Ryzen 5 13004/83.0 / 3.3 GHz8 MB65W$149 US
Ryzen 3 1200X4/43.4 / 3.8 GHz8 MB65W$149 US
Ryzen 3 11004/43.2 / 3.5 GHz8 MB65W$129 US

Cooler Compatibility With the AM4 Socket

Since we are looking at a slightly bigger socket that measures 90mm x 54mm, the previous cooler mounting brackets from AM3+ will be non-compatible with AM4. This would require new brackets. Manufacturers in the cooling industry are now offering proper mounting brackets for Ryzen CPUs. Desktop builders who currently have an older AM3+ cooler can also grab the mounting kit for free.

While cooler manufacturers are offering their side of support, AMD has developed a family of new Wraith coolers that are available with the Ryzen processors. AMD has three new coolers that are optimized for a range of 95W and 65W Ryzen processors. These include the Wraith Max (95W), Wraith Spire (65W), Wraith Stealth (65W) coolers. All coolers operate with less noise while delivering good cooling potential. The fans also come with RGB lighting which looks gorgeous for a reference design cooler.

AMD Ryzen 5 series will be a mix of 6 core and 4 core models with SMT. The Ryzen 5 series will include the AMD Ryzen 5 1600X which is the fastest 6 core model. It is also the model which I will be using in this test.

This model has clocks of 3.6 GHz base and 4.0 GHz boost. The 1600X processor features a TDP of 95W. This chip is going to be priced at $249 US which is just under $10 higher than the Core i5 7600K which AMD claims is its main competitor. When looking at the CPU itself, AMD decided to use two CCX (Core Complex) dies and fuse them together through an interconnect link.

Since this is similar to the 8 core models, two of the cores had to be disabled, resulting in a 6 core, 12 thread variant. But the chip retains the cache of the higher end model. It will be interesting to see how the chip manages to perform as the interconnect between 8 core, 16 thread chips has not been much help when managing loads across the CPU cores.

 

The Ryzen 5 1600X will come at a cost of $249 US but it will be an interesting chip considering that it has the price of a Core i5 chip, but performance is said to be much faster in multi-threaded benchmarks. I’ll put it to the test through several CPU and gaming benchmarks before coming to a  conclusion. Before that, let’s take a look at the ASRock X370 Killer SLI AC motherboard which is a critical part of this review.

The ASRock X370 Killer SLI AC motherboard aims to be the choice of gamers looking forward to build mainstream PCs. The motherboard comes in an amazing black and white color scheme which is very imrpessive and the design quality is top-notch. Features of the ASRock X370 Killer SLI AC motherboard are listed below:

Gigabyte AORUS Z270X-Gaming 8 Product Gallery:

ASRock Super Alloy Power Design

ASRock X370 motherboards adopt the latest Super Alloy power design which include a range of new technologies. These include XXL aluminum alloy heatsink, premium 45A power choke, Nichicon 12K capacitors, I/O armor, Sapphire Black PCB and a high density glass fabric PCB.

12 Power Phase Design

Designed with 12 power phase design, this motherboard features sturdy components and completely smooth power delivery to the CPU. Plus, it offers unmatched overclocking capabilities and enhanced performance with the lowest temperature for advanced gamers as well.

RGB LED

Build your own colorful lighting system! RGB LED and header allows users to connect LED strip and create their unique PC style easily. The ASRock RGB LED utility can be downloaded directly or from an all-in-one utility ASRock Live Update & App Shop!

PCI Express Steel Slots

The advanced PCIe steel slots packed with solid cover that prevent any signal interference with graphics cards. It also ensures that heavy graphics cards can be installed in the PCIe slots safely, without breaking them.

Dual M.2 For SSD

One PCIe Gen3 x4 Ultra M.2 interface that pushes data transfer speeds up to 32Gb/s and is compatible with ASRock’s U.2 Kit for installing some of the world’s fastest U.2 PCIe Gen3 x4 SSD. The other one supports PCIe Gen2 x2 10Gb/s transfer speed. Both of them support SATA3 6Gb/s M.2 modules.

SLI HB Bridge Bundled

The free bundled ASRock’s new SLI HB Bridge is compatible with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 10 series graphics cards that doubles the available transfer bandwidth, thus delivering rock stable gameplay and experiencing surround gaming in the best way.

2oz Copper

It comes with 2 ounce copper inner layers, using only carefully selected copper materials for PCB layers, delivering lower temperature and higher energy efficiency for overclocking.

Water Pump Header

This is not only a standard CPU fan header, but also supports water pumps! This header provides a maximum of 1.5A power for supporting the most popular water pumps. User also can adjust the voltage of water pump to get higher cooling performance with lower noise.

The ASRock X370 Killer SLI AC motherboard comes in the standard rectangular package with a white and black color scheme. This is a fresh new box layout by ASRock that further designates boards through letters. The “K” in the middle stands for the Killer series.

On the front of the board, we can see some key features for the motherboard. The X370 Killer SLI AC features the X370 chipset and supports AMD’s Ryzen, A12 7th Gen and A-Series APUs. The board supports HDMI, NVIDIA SLI and AMD CrossFire multi-GPU functionality.

The back of the box contains all the marketing details along with product specifications. Most of the marketing tags have already been detailed by us in the “Features” section above. As can be seen, this board is loaded with features.

The cardboard cover can be lifted to reveal the accessories as the motherboard is located beneath them. There are a ton of accessories here. They include a metallic I/O shield, DVD driver disk, post card, user manual, software setup guide, four SATA cables, a high-bandwidth SLI bridge, a case badge and a pair of antennas for the wireless module.

The ASRock X370 Killer SLI is a nicely built board out of the box. It has a new color scheme and the white/black color combo looks great. The design scheme and featureset make this a very solid motherboard so let’s take a detailed look at the board and see how well it stacks up.

The ASRock X370 Killer SLI AC motherboard is styled in white and black. The motherboard comes in the standard ATX form factor. As you can tell, the large “K” marking that runs across the PCB is used here to denote the “Killer” series branding. ASRock has another X370 Killer SLI motherboard in their lineup but it lacks the wireless capabilities that the AC offers.

The ASRock X370 Killer SLI AC is designed for the mainstream audience. The board packs a better overall design scheme that allows for faster connectivity, memory support and storage options which the older AM3+ motherboards were lacking. The PCB is of matte black color with white lines textured around the CPU socket.

The board uses the AM4 socket to support AMD CPUs and APUs. The socket is compatible with both AMD Ryzen processors and A-Series APUs. There’s no chance of error while installing a CPU since the socket is keyed, has a 1331 pin layout and won’t support any other chips aside from the ones mentioned by AMD and AIB partners.

The motherboard packs a 12 phase Digi Power PWM supply which powers the socket. The PCB is outfitted with long lifespan, durable black solid state capacitors that have an endurance rating of over 12,000 hours. The powerful VRM design allows overclockers to get the most from this motherboard.

Next to the socket are four DDR4 DIMM slots which can support up to 64 GB (dual channel) memory. These slots are rated to support XMP profiles up to 2933 MHz (OC+).

The VRMs are covered by two sets of heatsinks which are made of aluminum. Both sets are colored in metallic silver and have cuts within them to add to the aesthetics.

The top I/O cover has a Ryzen logo which is a nice touch to the AMD setup. The shield covers the entire I/O panel and looks great on this motherboard.

The ASRock X370 Killer SLI AC motherboard cover on the I/O panel looks decent. There’s no cooling mechanism involved with the cover as it’s just for visuals and mostly hollow from the inside, but it does add to the overall looks of the product and that’s its main purpose here.

The CPU is supplied power through a single 8-pin power connector. This will feed the CPU with up to 150W of power. Most AMD CPUs will be shipping with TDPs under 100W but that changes when users overclock, since that changes the power limit based on applied voltages and clock speeds.

Expansion slots include two PCI Express 3.0 x16 (x16/x8/x4 electrical), three PCI Express 3.0 x1 and two Ultra M.2 slots. The board can support 2-way multi-GPU (CrossFireX / SLI). The M.2 slots are rated to support NVMe PCIe Gen3 x4 SSDs.

ASRock’s X370 Killer SLI AC adopts two PCIe steel slots, which are built with more solder points on the PCB for better performance and preventing any signal interference with graphics cards. This allows your graphics cards to be fed with better quality signals and to be safely and securely installed in the PCIe slots.

There are two Ultra M.2 slots on the motherboard that operate through PCI Express 3.0 x4 link at speeds of 32 GB/s. Both slots are ideally placed. One of them is located at the top of the first PCIe 3.0 x16 slot while the other is situated beneath the PCH with ample room for up to 110mm M.2 drive/memory support.

The X370 PCH is housed beneath a large heatsink with the ASRock logo embedded in it. The cover has a white frame and a large metallic block that is finished in black metal.

Storage options include six SATA III ports rated to operate at 6 Gb/s. These can support 6 different storage devices at the same time.

ASRock is using the Nichicon audio system on this motherboard that has its own audio PCB isolated from the rest of the board. It is a combination of several hardware and software audio solutions. 7.1 CH HD audio with the latest Realtek ALC892 audio codec, individual PCB layers for R/L audio channels, 120dB SNR DAC and other technologies to deliver the crispest sound effects.

The motherboard has two onboard USB 3.0 ports which can be used to connect the front panel. Most current cases can ideally support such ports.

ASRock is using a dual band 802.11ac Wi-Fi module on the motherboard that support 2.4G / 5G Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2. The module is located on top of the first PCIe 3.0 x1 slot.

The I/O on the motherboard includes PS/2, USB 3.1 (Type-A + Type-C), 6 USB 3.0 ports, HDMI, gigabit LAN port and a 7.1 channel high quality audio jack.

ASRock X370 Killer SLI AC Photo Gallery

For testing, we used the latest AMD Ryzen 5 1600X processor which I had acquired with the help of ASRock. The sample is retail ready and not an “ES” chip. Our review is based purely on facts and precision testing.

We also updated our test rig for the AMD AM4 platform review which is listed in the table below:

ASRock X370 Killer SLI and Ryzen 5 1600X Test Setup:

Processor:AMD Ryzen 5 1600X
Intel Core i7-6900K
Intel Core i7-6850K
Intel Core i7-6800K
Intel Core i7-7700K
Intel Core i5-7600K
AMD FX-8350
Motherboard:ASRock X370 Killer SLI AC w/Ryzen 5 1600X
Gigabyte GA-990FX-UD7 w/FX-8350
Gigabyte AORUS Z270X-Gaming 8 w/Core i7-7700K
Gigabyte AORUS Z270X-Gaming 8 w/Core i5-7600K
Gigabyte GA-X99-UD7 w/Core i7-6800K
Gigabyte GA-X99-UD7 w/Core i7-6850K
Gigabyte GA-X99-UD7 w/Core i7-6900K
Power Supply: Corsair RM 750X Gold Plus
Solid State Drive:Samsung SSD 960 EVO M.2 (500 GB)
Hard Disk:Seagate Barracuda 3 TB 7200.12
Memory:G.SKILL Trident Z RGB Series 32GB (4 X 8GB) CL16 3600 MHz
Case:Corsair Graphite Series 780T Full Tower
Video Cards:ASUS ROG STRIX GeForce GTX 1080 Ti OC
Cooling Solutions:Cryorig R1 Ultimate
OS:Windows 10 64-bit Anniversary Edition

I would personally like to thank G.Skill for arranging a stunning DDR4 memory kit for this review. They shipped us TridentZ RGB series memory. The memory kit comprises of 4 DIMMs that operate in dual channel mode, ideal for our X370 board tests. The memory is clocked at 3600 MHz but we maxed out at 2933 MHz since this is the highest clock rate supported on the X370 Killer SLI AC. Clock timing is set at 16 and the capacity is 32 GB for this specific kit.

AMD Ryzen 5 1600X 4.1 GHz Overclock on ASRock X370 Killer SLI AC

AMD’s Ryzen chips are generally not great for overclocking purposes as the chips max out with just a 200-300 MHz increase on the default clocks. Here, we overclocked the chip to 4.1 GHz (bus speed = 100 MHz x 41.0 multiplier) using a voltage of 1.388V. The results were stable after testing in Prime95 as a stability run.

X264 HD Encode Benchmark

This benchmark measures the encoding performance of the processor. It offers a standardized benchmark since the clip as well as the encoder used is uniform.

Cinebench R15

Cinebench is a real-world cross platform test suite that evaluates your computer’s performance capabilities. Cinebench is based on MAXON’s award-winning animation software Cinema 4D, which is used extensively by studios and production houses worldwide for 3D content creation. MAXON software has been used in blockbuster movies such as Iron Man 3, Oblivion, Life of Pi, Prometheus and many more.

Cinebench R11.5

Cinebench is based on Maxon’s Cinema 4D. It is used to compare graphics as well as processor performance. We are using the CPU performance numbers for our comparison.

PCMark 8

PCMark 8 is a complete PC benchmarking solution for Windows 10. It includes several tests that combine individual workloads covering storage, computation, image and video manipulation, web browsing and gaming. Specifically designed for the full range of PC hardware from netbooks and tablets to notebooks and desktops, PCMark 8 offers complete Windows PC performance testing for home and business use.

POV-Ray

The POV-Ray package includes detailed instructions on using the ray-tracer and creating scenes. Many stunning scenes are included with POV-Ray so you can start creating images immediately when you get the package.

3DMark Vantage CPU Performance

3DMark Vantage is a DirectX 10 video card benchmark test for Windows that is designed to measure your PC’s gaming performance. While the overall benchmark is great, the utility also provides a good indication of the CPU performance.

WinRAR

WinRAR is a powerful archive manager. It can back up your data and reduce the size of email attachments, decompress RAR, ZIP and other files downloaded from the Internet and create new archives in RAR and ZIP file format.

SuperPI

Super PI is used by many overclockers to test the performance and stability of their computers. In the overclocking community, this standard program provides a benchmark for enthusiasts to compare “world record” pi calculation times and to demonstrate their overclocking abilities. The program can also be used to test the stability of a certain overclock speed.

HandBrake

AMD Ryzen 5 1600X – Battlefield 1

Battlefield 1 is the kind of game that doesn’t need any real introduction. The latest installment of the Battlefield series is as beautiful as anyone would expect and comes right out of the gate with full DX11 and DX12. EA and DICE did a fantastic job with their AAA WW1 shooter this time by implementing some key gaming technologies. We tested the game at 4K using Ultra settings and the DirectX 11 API.

AMD Ryzen 5 1600X – GTA V

GTA V is one handsomely optimized title for the PC audience. It’s scalable across various PC configurations and delivers an impressive frame rate. Rockstar did an amazing job with the PC build of GTA V and it comes with a large array of settings that can be configured by PC gamers. We tested the title at 4K with everything set to Ultra and 2x MSAA.

AMD Ryzen 5 1600X – Ashes of The Singularity

Stardock’s Ashes of the Singularity RTS title is a new take on the historic genre. The game incorporates several things that many PC gamers have been curious about and anxious to try for themselves such as Explicit Multi-Adapter Support and full Asynchronous Compute under the DirectX 12 API. We tested the game at 4K on Crazy Settings under DirectX 12.

AMD Ryzen 5 1600X – Watch Dogs 2

Watch Dogs 2 once again takes us on a hacking tour, but this time in the city of San Francisco. Using a very evolved version of the OPUS engine the developers should have a better grasp on things this go around than they did with Watch Dogs. The new engine incorporates several NVIDIA GameWorks technologies and is seen as one of the most graphics intensive titles to launch this year. We tested the game on a mix of Ultra and high settings at 4K (Temporal Filtering Enabled).

AMD Ryzen 5 1600X – Rise of the Tomb Raider

The latest Rise of the Tomb Raider title  gets lots of graphical enhancements added by Crystal Dynamics and Nixxes, including hardware tessellation, increased anisotropic filtering, additional dynamic foliage, increased LOD, additional PureHair strands, sun soft shadows, and improved bokeh DOF. We tested the game at 4K under the DirectX 12 API.

Based on the latest 14nm process and using a brand new architecture design, AMD Ryzen processors offer a big leap in efficiency over Bulldozer. In both power consumption and temperature tests, we see the Ryzen chip putting Intel’s 14nm processors to shame. This is seen against both mainstream and HEDT lineups from Intel.

As for temperatures, we used our Cryorig R1 Ultimate with the AM4 retention kit during the overall tests. The results gathered during full load and under idle cases was pretty good. The chip remains cooler than Intel’s HEDT parts and even the new Kaby Lake mainstream CPUs which is impressive since they are using a 14nm process.

After my first go with the new AMD processor, I must say that Ryzen and the AM4 platform is really disruptive for the entire desktop PC market. The high-end Ryzen 7 processors launched last month and are already taking away sales from Core i7 processors. Their competitive prices and high performance structure has enabled users to build gaming desktops that not only perform on par with Intel’s best CPU offerings but also at a lower cost.

AMD Ryzen 5 1600X – Is AMD’s Fastest Hexa Core Any Good?

Now we have the Ryzen 5 processors. These processors are further bringing down costs and are based on the same Zen architecture that delivers a massive 52% IPC leap. With both 6 core and 4 core offerings available, these chips are aiming right at the mainstream Core i3, Core i5 and Core i7 desktop processors which have long been the favorite market segment for gaming PC builders. The processor I tested today, the $249 US 1600X offers unmatched price to performance value.

In terms of pricing, the Ryzen 5 series aims the sub-$300 US segment which is a crucial market for hardware companies as it caters to the majority of mainstream audiences. Surprisingly, the Ryzen 5 series processors are priced really well in this segment. The Ryzen 5 1600X competes directly against Intel’s Core i5 7600K which retails at a similar price.

Looking at performance numbers, multi-threading is a big leap and one that even puts Intel’s 6 core HEDT chips to shame. Looking at the prices, we see a difference of $200-$300 US and the X99 platform itself costs a lot more compared to AM4. When compared to the similarly priced i5 7600K, we see the Ryzen 5 in a league of its own. The Core i5 looks like a measly little chip that is being humiliated with double digit percentages on the Ryzen 5 1600X.

When we switch to game performance, Ryzen 5 1600X shows a different face. While multi-threaded and single-threaded application performance is very good, but in gaming, the Ryzen 5 chip faces the same issues that were seen on the Ryzen 7 series. The gaming performance isn’t poor but it’s also not on par with the Core i5 chip that’s priced similarly. It’s one of the segments this chip was designed for as most buyers here will be looking for a chip that provides them good gaming experiences. If we take a look from another perspective, Ryzen 5 can accommodate some hefty streaming workload so while it may not be the fastest gaming chip, it will offer gamers lots of muscle to stretch while streaming games to other audiences without lagging.

ASRock’s X370 Killer SLI AC – Your Puuurfect Ryzen Partner At Just $144.99 US

The ASRock Killer X370 SLI AC motherboard on the other hand is one outstanding X370 motherboard. With a price of just $144.99 US, this motherboard is a bang for buck winner. It comes with all the I/O that’s necessary for a gaming setup and adds nothing too fancy like most gaming motherboards from other manufacturers do. It helps bring the cost down and still offer a neat and impressive board style that will be loved by many.

The white and black theme on the board looks great, it comes with CrossFire support, features multiple SATA, M.2 and USB 3.1 ports and can support all the way up to the flagship Ryzen 7 1800X processor. The motherboard offers decent overclocking support and has a bulky heatsink system deployed to keep the VRMs cool and stable under heavy load. Furthermore, the motherboard adds wireless capabilities under $150 US which is an absolutely killer deal. I would say that ASRock’s X370 Killer SLI is the board you have to aim for when building a Ryzen PC. It has everything to get you started in your gaming and multi-tasking endeavors.

Overall, AMD has disrupted the market with a highly competitive CPU platform (Ryzen + AM4). Sales for Intel’s Core i7 and Core i5 are definitely affected by the launch of Ryzen 7 and Ryzen 5 aims to further disrupt Intel’s dominance in the sub-$250 US market range. The Ryzen 5 1600X and the ASRock X370 Killer SLI AC are two great products if you want to build a low cost, high-performance PC setup for multitasking and game streaming workloads.

9.2

AMD has built a disruptive platform with Ryzen and AM4 with the new Ryzen 5 1600X plus ASRock X370 Killer SLI AC showcasing a powerful bond in multi-tasking applications and competitive gaming potential.

Performance8.3
Value10
Design & Aesthetics9.1
Features9.7

Pros

  • Very Competitive Pricing (Both CPU and Board)
  • Very Good Multi-tasking Performance (CPU)
  • 14nm Process Allows For Cool and Efficient Operation (CPU)
  • Platform Cost Low Compared To Intel's Offerings
  • 6 Core, 12 Threads In The Price Bracket of Non-Threaded Intel Quad Cores (CPU)
  • ASRock Packs Lots of great features on the board
  • Wireless (AC) connectivity under $150 US
  • X370 Chipset With Nice VRM Design For Overclocking Ryzen CPUs
  • Dual M.2 Slots For Multiple NVMe SSD Support
  • Up To 64 GB DDR4 Memory Support
  • CrossFire and SLI Capable Motherboard

Cons

  • Gaming Performance Not On Par With Competition
  • Limited Overclocking Potential on Ryzen Processors
  • AM4 Motherboards Not Compatible With High Speed DDR4 DIMMs (yet)
  • Not many applications optimized for Ryzen Processors
  • No integrated graphics across all Ryzen Processors
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