ASRock Fatal1ty B85 Killer Board Review
OverviewHardware: CPU & Motherboards
WHAT WE LIKED:Design, Dual GPU Support, 6 Phase VRM, Purity Sound, Killer Lan, Fatal1ty Mouse Port, ASRock Software Suite. Affordable
WHAT WE DISLIKED:Memory speed Limitations, Less USB 2.0 an 3.0 Ports. Less Sata 3 ports.
The Fatal1ty B85 Killer board was designed with gamers in mind, not the hardcore system building enthusiast. In following that line of thought, the B85 Killer manages to hit the marks needed to be a solid gaming board. ASRock has made sure that all of the boards in the Fata1ty series come packed with features gamers will actually use and benefit from, not just on the hardware level but on the software support side of things are well. Many of the applications you need to tweak your system and network can be done right inside of Windows, never having to restart to go into the Bios. This is a big improvement from just a few years ago when you spent most of your time looking at a blue background and white text for hours getting everything just right. If you have to resort to using the Bios, ASRock’s implementation of UEFI Bios makes it pain free to push drivers directly to your Windows install, network configuration, instant Bios updates and to overclock your CPU with a few simple clicks.
Coming into this review I was not expecting much from the use of the B85 chipset. Not because of any fault of ASRock, but because I knew the market for which the B85 chipset was designed. The B85 chipset wasn’t really meant to be a gaming board! It was meant for Office PCs and workstations. It has limited features to keep employees from playing around all day. ASRock certainly turned that notion upside down by adding Killer LAN, Purity Sound, Fatality Mouse Port and making it possible to overclock K series CPUs. Yes, you will have a few less SATA and USB ports, but it is not common to have six, eight or even ten devices connected to SATA ports. By ASRock using the B85 they lowered the overall cost of the board and clearly create a line between gamers and enthusiasts. Gamers get to build a system that looks great, then do some tweaking, while enthusiasts can stick with the Z87 version of Fatal1ty board to set OC records and game when they have free time.
The board design, quality, features, included software package and a price of $105.00 turns the B85 Killer into an attractive offer for those who just want to game. Pair this board with any of the entry level or even high end GPU options, and you will have a system that not only looks good, but works very well for its intended purpose. Adding the Purity Sound chip was also a nice bonus. ASRock went out on a limb to build a gaming board on the B85 chipset while everyone else is marketing the Z87. I think it was a good risk to take. Branching out with the Fatal1ty series in new directions brings high end features to the mid range markets. With that said, we will be awarding the ASRock Fatal1ty B85 Killer board with the PureOverclock Great Hardware Award.