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.
8 Series Chipset
When the latest line of Haswell CPUs were released by Intel they were accompanied by a new family of chipsets, the 8 series. The 8 series was broken up into two classes, consumer and business. The consumer segment consists of the Z87, H87 and H81 chipsets. These are the ones we see most when shopping for a new board as they host the most features. On the business side of the 8 series, Intel placed the Q87, Q85 and B85 chips. These are usually reserved for business and IT related systems because of the optional security features.
First let’s take a quick look at the Z87 chipset we normally see in gaming and enthusiast boards.
One of the main differences you will see versus the Z87 is the decrease in USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports with the B85 supporting four 3.0 ports and twelve 2.0 ports. For most this will not be a major concern, but one to keep in mind if you plan on using a lot of USB devices.
The only other item to take a look at is the PCI Express 3.0 lanes. The Z87 offers more configurable options when it comes to installing GPUs for maximum performance. The more business suited B85 offers only a single PCI Express 16x lane that cannot be broken down to 2 x 8 lanes or 1 x8+ 2x 4 configurations. I don’t see this as too much of a problem because if you were planning on installing more than two GPUs, you wouldn’t be in the mid-range board section in the first place. Also, the B85 chipset does not support overclocking like its big brother. Don’t worry, the ASRock B85 killer has some tricks up its sleeve to help make up for this difference.