ASRock's X299 OC Formula motherboard is ready for extreme overclocking

It does not matter if you want to overclock your Skylake-X (or Kaby Lake-X) just a little bit or shoot for the moon with exotic cooling, ASRock's X299 OC Formula is packed to the gills with features that will help you along the way. It even has preset BIOS profiles based on settings used by renowned overclocker Nick Shih.

Let's talk about that for a moment. When it comes to overclocking, no two systems are identical, even if they share exact same hardware. Overclocking performance relies on too many parts—CPU, memory, capacitors, and so forth. In that regard, preset profiles are not a guarantee hitting a certain speed.

That said, they can be good starting points, especially when they are not generic profiles, but ones with custom tuned settings across the board from an experienced overclocker. In this case, you can select from 11 different stages (stock to 5GHz), plus there is an extra "Extreme LN2 OC" setting. That's pretty cool.

If you are going the LN2 route (presumably to chase an overclocking record, since obviously LN2 is not suitable for much else), there is an onboard switch to activate LN2 mode, which disables the CPUs thermal protection. There are also four individual switches to turn off the PCIe slots.

We have only touched the tip of the iceberg here. Overclocking amenities are plenty and also include plus and minus "rapid OC" buttons to manually raise or lower the system's CPU ratio, BCLK frequency, or CPU voltage. Another set of buttons are labeled Retry (restart with a cold boot), Reset (restart without a cold boot), and BFG (reboot at default settings, but keep the custom BIOS settings).

The X299 OC Formula motherboard features an 8-layer PCB, including a 2-ounce copper PCB, with a 13-phase CPU power and 2-phase memory power design. It uses high-end components to help with stability, and boasts an additional external base clock generator that support PCIe frequency overclocking.

So yeah, ASRock has overclockers in mind with this board. Beyond those features, this motherboard supports up to 64GB of quad-channel DDR4-4600+ (OC) memory. It also serves up five reinforced PCIe 3.0 x16 slots, a PCIe 3.0 x4 slot, and a PCIe 2.0 x1 slots.

For storage duties, you get access to 10 SATA 6Gbps ports and two Ultra M.2 sockets. And of course there is an assortment of USB 2.0, USB 3.0, and USB 3.1 connectivity. Other notable goodies include dual LAN ports, RGB lighting, and 7.1-channel HD audio, 

There is no word yet on when this motherboard will be available or for how much.

Paul Lilly

Paul has been playing PC games and raking his knuckles on computer hardware since the Commodore 64. He does not have any tattoos, but thinks it would be cool to get one that reads LOAD"*",8,1. In his off time, he rides motorcycles and wrestles alligators (only one of those is true).