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ASRock OC Formula X299: created to disperse

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The range of any known company, which produces motherboards, today a lot of models that supports overclocking. Somewhere- for example, in the elite series ASUS ROG — such functions is inexhaustible many, how many, and all the others, and the more affordable versions of the boards, on the contrary, the developers have added only the most basic overclocking. But there is a very small group of motherboards designed specifically for overclocking. They are not saturated, “weight” circuitry controllers often do not support the maximum for a specific set of logic memory and are not painted with a solid “carpet” of LEDs on the PCB. But they are ready to squeeze all the juice out of the processors and is designed to achieve the limit frequency and setting records.

One of these boards over a year ago, the company released the ASRock with the direct participation of the legends of overclocking from Taiwan nick Shi (Nick Shih). He owned and owns several records overclocking using liquid nitrogen, and among professional overclockers, it took first place for 18 months. It was his recommendation helped developers to release X299 ASRock OC Formula, and that his extreme overclocking profiles programmed into the BIOS of this Board.

Today we will learn the features of this Board and read its overclocking capabilities.

#Specifications and cost

X299 ASRock OC Formula
Supported processors Intel Core X in the performance LGA2066 (seventh generation microarchitecture Core);
support technology Turbo Boost Technology 3.0 Max;
technology support, ASRock BCLK Hyper Engine III
Chipset Intel Express X299
Memory subsystem 4 × DDR4 DIMM UN-buffered memory up to 64 GB;
four – or dual-channel memory mode (depending on CPU);
support modules with frequency 4600(OC)/4500(OC)/4400(OC)/4266(OC)/4133(OC)/4000(OC)/
2133 MHz;
15 micron gold contacts in the memory slots;
support Intel XMP (Extreme Memory Profile) 2.0
Connectors for expansion boards 5 slots PCI Express 3.0 x16 modes x16/x0/x0/x16/x8 or x8/x8/x8/x8/x8 with the processor 44 with PCI-E; x16/x0/x0/x8/x4 or x8/x8/x0/x8/x4 CPU with 28 PCI-E; x16/x0/x0/x0/x4 or x8/x0/x0/x8/x4 CPU with 16 PCI-E;
1 slot PCI Express 3.0 x4;
1 slot PCI Express 2.0 x1;
15-micron gold-plated contacts in the PCI-E1 and PCI-E5
The scalability of the video NVIDIA Quad/4-way/3-way/2-way SLI Technology;
AMD Quad/4-way/3-way/2-way CrossFireX Technology
The storage interface Intel X299 Express:
– 6 × SATA 3 bandwidth of up to 6 Gbps (supports RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 10, Intel Optane Memory 15 Intel Rapid Storage, Intel Smart Response, NCQ, AHCI and Hot Plug);
– 2 x Ultra M. 2 (PCI Express x4 Gen 3/SATA 3), capacity up to 32 GB/s ports (both ports support drive types 2230/2242/2260/2280/22110).
Controller ASMedia ASM1061:
– 2 × SATA 3 bandwidth of up to 6GB/s (support NCQ, AHCI and Hot Plug)
Dual NICs Intel Gigabit LAN I219V and I211AT (10/100/1000 Mbit);
protection from lightning and electrostatic discharges (Lightning/ESD Protection);
technology supports Wake-On-LAN Dual LAN with Teaming; energy efficient Ethernet 802.3 az, PXE
Wireless network interface Missing
Bluetooth Missing
Audio 7.1 channel HD audio Realtek ALC1220:
– the ratio of “signal to noise” on the linear audio output 120 dB, and on the linear input 113 dB;
– Japanese audio capacitors of Nichicon Fine Gold Series;
– built-in headphone amplifier TI NE5532 Premium with output to front panel (support headphones with impedance up to 600 Ohms);
insulation audiosony on the PCB Board;
– left and right audio channels located in different layers of the PCB;
– protection against power surges;
– 15-micron gold-plated audio jacks;
– supports Premium Blu-ray audio;
– support technology Surge Protection and Purity Sound 4;
– supports DTS Connect
USB interface Intel X299 Express:
– 6 ports USB 3.1 Gen1 (4 on back panel, 2 are connected to the connector on the Board);
– 6 USB 2.0 ports (2 on back panel, 4 ports to the two connectors on the Board).
Controller ASMedia ASM3142:
– 2 ports USB 3.1 Gen2 (Type-A and Type-C on the rear panel);
Controller ASMedia ASM3142:
– 1 port USB 3.1 Gen2 (Type-C front panel)
Connectors and buttons on the rear panel 2 USB 2.0 ports and a combo PS/2 port;
BIOS Flashback button;
Clear CMOS switch;
2 port USB 3.1 Gen1;
2 port USB 3.1 Gen1, and network LAN-socket RJ-45;
2 port USB 3.1 Gen2 (Type-A + Type-C) and network LAN-socket RJ-45;
optical S/PDIF output;
5 jacks (Rear Speaker / Central / Bass / Line in / Front Speaker / Microphone)
Internal connectors on the system Board 24-pin power connector high density EATX;
8-pin power connector high density ATX 12 V;
4-pin power connector high density ATX 12 V;
6-pin power connector high density ATX 12 V for graphics cards;
8 SATA 3;
2 M. 2;
5 4-pin connectors for hull/CPU fan with PWM support;
2 contact RGB LED;
USB 3.1 Gen1 to connect the two ports;
2 USB 2.0 ports for connecting four ports;
USB 3.1 Gen2 port on the front panel of the housing;
connector TPM;
audio connector for the front panel;
audio connector Right Angle;
connector Virtual RAID On the CPU;
connectors Power LED and Speaker;
the Thunderbolt connector;
a group of connectors for the front panel;
connector Voltage Control;
indicators Dr. Debug;
the power button is illuminated;
reset button (Reset);
reset button (Retry);
button Safe Boot;
Rapid OC buttons;
Menu button;
the PCIe switches ON/OFF;
Post Status Checker (PSC);
switch Slow Mode;
switch LN2 Mode;
connector BIOS B Select
BIOS 2 × 128 Mbit AMI UEFI BIOS with multilingual GUI (SD/HD/Full HD);
support PnP, DMI 3.0; WfM 2.0, SM BIOS 3.0, ACPI 6.1;
the supports Secure Backup UEFI
Corporate functions, technology and exclusive features OC Formula Power Kit:
– 13 Phase CPU Power design + 2 Phase Memory Power design;
– Digi Power (CPU and Memory);
– Dr. MOS;
OC Formula Connector Kit:
– Hi-Density Power Connector (24-pin for Motherboard, 8+4 pin for Motherboard, 6-pin for PCIe Slot);
– 15μ Gold Contact (memory sockets and PCIE x16 slots (PCIE1 and PCIE5));
OC Formula Cooling Kit:
– 8 Layer PCB;
– 2oz copper;
– Heat Pipe Design;
OC Formula Monitor Kit:
– Multi Thermal Sensor
ASRock Super Alloy:
– XXL aluminum radiator;
– Premium 60A Power chokes Choke;
– 60A Dr.MOS;
– premium memory capacitors;
capacitors Nichicon 12K Black (100% Japan made polymer capacitors high quality and conductivity);
black frosted printed circuit Board;
– High Density Glass Fabric PCB;
ASRock Steel Slots;
ASRock Ultra M. 2 (PCIe Gen3 x4 & SATA3);
ASRock Ultra USB Power;
ASRock Full Spike Protection (all USB, Audio and LAN);
ASRock Live Update & APP Shop
Operating system Microsoft Windows 10 x64
Form factor, dimensions (mm) ATX, 305 × 244
The warranty of the manufacturer, years 3
The minimum retail price, RUB. 30 700

#Packaging equipment

X299 ASRock OC Formula comes in a big box decorated in strong colours. On the front side no bright eye-catching screen savers and stickers – only the name of the Board manufacturer and the list of supported technologies.


On the reverse side of the box you can find a brief listing of the features of the Board and its ports on the back panel, and more information open under flap front panel of the box.

It is already possible to gather almost all the information about the product and also to see a bigger part of the Board through a transparent plastic window.

On the sticker from the end of the box lists the serial number and the batch number, the name of the model and its dimensions, country of origin and weight.

Please note that the Board weighs more than 1.2 kg, it’s really massive and heavy.

Inside of the carton Board is lying on a pallet made of polyethylene foam to which it is pressed against the plastic ties, and top it covers another insert of the same material.

Package Board includes four SATA cables with latches, standard backplate, plug the rear panel, two screws to secure the drives in the slots M. 2, and four connecting bridge for various SLI configurations.

The documentation Board is equipped with two types of instructions that contain sections in Russian, the Bulletin supported processors, ASRock card, CD with drivers and proprietary utilities.

X299 ASRock OC Formula is accompanied by a three year warranty. As for the cost, in Russia the fee can be purchased at a price of 30.7 thousand rubles. In other words, this is one of the most expensive boards, processors design LGA2066.


Design ASRock OC Formula X299 strict, but at the same time attractive. Colors of the Board are selected in such a way that all its elements, including radiators, in harmony with each other. So when you look at it there is a feeling of serious and high-quality product, and not just another “toy” boards with bright full of details on the PCB.


I would like to mention the massive heatsinks on the VRM cooling circuits of the processor is connected with a heat pipe. In the same style with them decorated the radiator of the chipset, which caused the name of the Board model.


Add that X299 ASRock OC Formula made in the form factor ATX and has dimensions of 305 × 244 mm.

A large area of the back panel is ribbed end of the second section of the radiator. Obviously, due to such a simple solution the developers sought to increase the efficiency of cooling elements VRM. The specs of the Board stated that the radiator can remove elements from the VRM up to 450 watts of thermal power.

Despite this fact, all the necessary ports on the rear panel. Among them, eight USB 3.1 Gen2 including the PS/2 port, button, BIOS Flashback and Clear CMOS, two network sockets, optical output and 5 audio outputs. Plug here not built in, like some other flagship motherboards.

Of the cover parts on ASRock OC Formula X299 radiators only, no plastic housing with backlight. The radiators are fastened with screws, therefore, be removed easily. Here is the Board without them.

Like other flagship models from ASRock, X299 OC Formula uses an eight-layer PCB of high density, more resistant to thermal stress and humidity. In addition, it doubled the thickness of the copper layers, which should positively affect the heat distribution.

The main advantages of the ASRock, which we will examine in the article below.

To further study the arrangement of elements on the PCB will help the scheme with the table of the instruction manual.


In the CPU socket LGA2066 X299 ASRock OC Formula contact needle sputter-coated from a 15-micron layer of gold. According to the developers, such a coating contributes to the increased resistance of the needles to corrosion and increase the number of times you can remove and replace the processor without deterioration of contact with them (especially for overclockers). In addition, the center of the connector there is a hole for installation under the CPU temperature sensor.

Currently, the fee supports 17 models of Intel processors, released in design LGA2066.

Stated that the power circuit of the CPU built in the 13-phase scheme, which uses the Assembly Dr. MOS, durable capacitors Premium 60A Power Choke and Nichicon 12K. The total capacity of the CPU power circuit declared at around 750 A.


But her closer inspection, it turns out that directly to the processor there are 12 phases, and another involved in VCCSA (right hand throttle in the photo marked TR30) and VCCIO. On the reverse side of the PCB with soldered IC-doubles on the use of spoken and application of the seven phase controller ISL69138.

In addition, the X299 ASRock OC Formula has an external clock – BCLK Hyper Engine III, implemented by a microprocessor ICS 6V41742B.

It should help to achieve better overclocking results on the BCLK frequency and to provide precision installation.

For nutrition fee gave four connectors. They include the standard 24 – and 8-pin and additional 4-pin for CPU and memory. Well, six-pin connector which should be connected if charge installed four graphics cards.


All power connectors, the Board uses the contact needle of high density.

The number of slots of RAM on ASRock OC Formula X299 reduced from eight to four, and the maximum supported memory DDR4 reduced from 128 to 64 GB. This approach engineers the ASRock understandable and justified, since overclockers on platforms with LGA2066 rarely uses all eight slots, and four modules to achieve a more impressive memory overclocking is much easier than eight. Slots located in pairs on both sides of the CPU socket, all the contacts within them are covered with 15 micron layer of gold.

Frequency modules can reach 4600 MHz, and support for XMP (Extreme Memory Profile) 2.0 standard will simplify the achievement of this indicator, the benefit of DDR4 kits with this nominal frequency is already available. By the way, on the company’s website published lists of certified for this card sets of RAM, including therefore the memory with a frequency of 4600 MHz (G. Skill F4-4600CL19D-16GTZKKC). We add that the power supply system of each pair of dual channel slots.

PCI Express slots on the ASRock OC Formula X299 seven, with five of them, made in the form factor of x16, have a metal shell that further emphasizes these slots and shielding their contacts from electromagnetic radiation. In addition, in the first and fifth reels well as the contacts inside are gold plated layer with a thickness of 15 µm.

When installed on the processor Board 44 with a PCI-E supported the creation of the multiprocessor graphic configurations with four graphics cards for GPU AMD or NVIDIA in the mode x8/x8/x8/x8, and two video cards will work in conjunction full speed x16/x16. In turn, with a CPU with 28 PCI-E can work four graphics cards on AMD GPU in the mode x8/x8/x8/x4 or three on the NVIDIA GPU in the mode x8/x8/x8 and two cards will always work in mode x16/x8. Finally, when you install a processor Board with 16 PCI-E will be available modes are x16 or x8/x8.

For the distribution of PCI-E on the Board meets a huge array of multiplexers NXP supplies (22), part of which is located on the opposite side of the PCB.

Additionally commutes the PCI-Express controller ASM1184e production ASMedia.

To the periphery of the PCB has one slot PCI Express 3.0 x4 slot with an open end and a single slot PCI Express 2.0 x1.

Crystal Express chipset Intel X299 contact with the heatsink via thermal pads and nothing special.

Is it only possible to note that the PCB Board exactly on the perimeter of the chipset is soldered 19 LEDs RGB-lighting.

Board is equipped with from eight SATA 3 ports, six of which are implemented by the chipset Intel Express X299. It supports the creation of RAID-arrays levels 0, 1, 5, 10 and Intel Optane Memory 15 Intel Rapid Storage, Intel Smart Response, NCQ, AHCI and Hot Plug.

Two additional ports are implemented by controller ASMedia ASM1061. The meaning of their presence on the Board aimed at overclocking, we are not clear.

X299 ASRock OC Formula gave two-port Ultra M. 2 with a capacity of up to 32 Gbit/s, both support drives with PCI Express x4 Gen 3 and SATA 3.

The length of the drives in both ports can be any (from 30 to 110 mm), but the drawback is the radiators are absent, although the problem of overheating of high-speed SSD and decrease their performance today is quite acute.

Continuing the theme drives note the presence on the Board of the connector Virtual RAID On CPU (VROC1).

It is designed to create Hyper-speed RAID-arrays NVMe SSD connected directly to the processor.

15 total number of USB ports to eight external and seven internal. Six ports are USB 3.1 Gen1: four displayed on the rear panel and two are connected to an internal connector on the Board. Another six ports are USB 2.0: two displayed on the rear panel and four connected to two internal connectors on the motherboard.

All of these ports are implemented by the chipset. Two additional controller ASMedia ASM3142 allowed to add three high-speed USB 3.1 Gen2 throughput to 10 Gbps.

Two such port can be found on the rear panel (connectors Type-A and Type-C) and another port located on the PCB and is intended for connecting a cable from the front panel of the system unit. In General, the number of USB ports and their distribution on ASRock OC Formula X299 can be called perfect.

The Board was equipped with two Gigabit network controllers: Intel WGI219-V and Intel WGI211-AT.

Both controllers and their connectors are protected against lightning and electrostatic discharges (Lightning/ESD Protection), and supports Wake-On-LAN Dual LAN with Teaming and energy-efficient Ethernet 802.3 az.

Despite the obvious overclocking focus X299 ASRock OC Formula, the sound of her given due consideration. The basis of the sound channel lies popular 7.1 channel audio codec Realtek ALC1220.

To increase the purity of the sound, it added Japanese audio capacitors of Nichicon Fine Gold Series and headphone amplifier TI NE5532 Premium with output to front panel (support headphones with impedance up to 600 Ohms).

In addition, left and right audio channels located in different layers of the PCB, and the whole area of the audio components are separated from the rest of the Board non-conductive strips.

Such hardware optimization, according to the developers, allowed to achieve the ratio of “signal to noise” on the linear audio output 120 dB, and on the linear input 113 dB. At the software level they are complemented by technology Purity Sound 4, DTS Connect, Premium Blu-ray audio, Surge Protection and DTS Connect.

Monitoring and fan control on the Board vested immediately to two controllers Super I/O Nuvoton NCT6683D and NCT6791D.


In addition, on the reverse side of the Board soldered two extra controller Winbond W83795ADG.

Each controller can monitor up to 21 voltages, 8 fans and 6 temperature sensors. But it is strange that on the Board we can only find 5 connectors to connect and control the fans via PWM or voltage. In our opinion, for a motherboard of this class and orientation of these connectors should not be less than seven.

But motherboard is equipped with a comprehensive set of overclocking buttons and switches, and four diagnostic LEDs.

In addition, on the bottom edge of the PCB has an indicator POST-codes, which you can use to determine the cause of the loading error or system failure.

X299 ASRock OC Formula contains two 128-bit BIOS.

Switching between primary and backup microchip implemented the good old jumper. Will add that updating the BIOS can be used the BIOS Flashback button on the rear panel of the Board. And it does not require any CPU, no RAM, no graphics card — only the Board itself when the USB drive with FAT32 file system and update the BIOS.

As we mentioned above, the Board highlighted area of the chipset. The illumination color and its mode of operation are configured in the BIOS and in the corporate application ASRock RGB LED.

To extend the backlight for the whole system block will help two RGB connector, to which you can connect led strip to limit current 3 And each length is two meters.

Cooling of the circuit elements of the VRM on ASRock OC Formula X299 implemented two massive radiators, connected by heat pipe. Remote radiator goes on the backboard, and further is cooled by external air flow.

On a barely heated the chipset installed flat aluminum heatsink with thermal pad.


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The Intel Core i5-9400F: fake Coffee Lake Refresh

Code: VZWDEAL. Enter this coupon code at checkout to get $100 discount on Samsung Galaxy Note 8. Includes free shipping. Restrictions may apply. Device payment purchase required.

Despite the obvious difficulties with the production of 14-nm chips in sufficient quantities, Intel continues to gradually expand the lineup of Core processors, the ninth generation, known under the code name Coffee Lake Refresh. However, given it to her with varying degrees of success. That is, formally in the lineup really added new products, but in retail they appear very reluctant, and some models presented immediately after the New year novelties have been unable to check in the stores until now.

However, based on official data, now for the platform LGA1151v2 there are already at least nine desktop models of the Core pertaining to the thousandth of the series, including processors with four, six and eight cores. Moreover, the composition of this family includes not only the obvious representatives with predictable characteristics, but also unexpected CPU that is different from all predecessors ideologically. We are talking about CPUs F-series mass desktop chips, the specifications of which is not stated integrated graphics core.

Surprising in their appearance that these deals have expanded the range of consumer Intel for the first time in the last eight years, during which the company offered for mass segment only solution with integrated graphics. But now something has changed and the microprocessor giant has been forced to revise his principles. And we even know that: failures in planning and difficulties with the commissioning process with a 10-nm standards has led to a serious lack of Intel on the market, to mitigate which the company is trying by all means. The release of processors without integrated graphics – one of the rather apparent measures aimed at achieving this goal. Thanks to it the manufacturer has been able to set a serial processor previously considered defective semiconductor workpiece with a corrupted graphics core, which even at eight Coffee Lake Refresh “biting” up to 30 % of the area is 174 mm crystal. In other words, such a measure capable of increasing the yield and significantly reduce waste.

However, if Intel is the point in the release of processors F-series is quite obvious, that Benet from the emergence of such offers consumers the issue is very controversial. The chosen manufacturer of the tactic is that trimmed at its core, the processors are implemented without any discounts, for the same price as their “full” counterparts. In order to fully understand this situation, we decided to take the tests one of the Core lineup of the ninth generation, devoid of the integrated graphics and try to find his hidden advantages.

As the object for investigation was selected as Core i5-9400F Junior six-core CPU generation Coffee Lake Refresh. This chip of particular interest: its predecessor, the Core i5-8400, at the time, was very popular thanks to very attractive ratio of price and performance. Officially announced four months ago, Core i5-9400 (no F in the name) offers a slightly higher frequency such at the same price, but selling him is practically impossible. But the Core i5-9400F represented on the shelves everywhere, and, moreover, since the deficit of this model does not apply, its real value in retail as close as possible to recommended. However, this does not Core i5-9400F a good option for “basic” configurations automatically, because now AMD in the same price category offers six-core processors Ryzen 5, which, in contrast to the Core i5 series have the support for multithreading (SMT). That is why today’s quiz promises to be especially meaningful: it must give an answer to several questions and clearly show whether the Core i5-9400F chance to repeat the success of the legendary Core i5-8400.

#Lineup Refresh Coffee Lake

To date, there have been two waves of announcements of processors that are conditionally related to the generation of Coffee Lake Refresh. Despite the fact that such a CPU is largely similar to its predecessors from the family of Coffee Lake, Intel refer them to the ninth generation of Core numbers and indices, start with the number 9. And if the Core i7 and Core i9 this distinction may be partly justified, because they first obtained an eight compute cores, the new processors series Core i5 and Core i3 got an increase in model numbers for the most part. In fact, they only offer higher clock frequency.

While no improvements on the level microarchitecture can not speak at all. And surprise, to be honest, it doesn’t matter. Intel practiced the concept of development is that the profound changes in processors attached to the improvement of production technologies. Therefore, the delay in the implementation of the 10-nm process technology lead to the fact that we once again have to deal with the Skylake microarchitecture, released in 2015. However, what is surprising for some reason Intel does not seek to change features that do not require any noticeable change. For example, the official Coffee Lake Refresh continue to rely on dual DDR4-2666 memory, while AMD has repeatedly adds to its processors support high-speed modes, reaching in the latest versions of mobile Raven Ridge already up to DDR4-3200. The only thing that made Intel, is increased up to 128 GB of memory supported in systems based on Coffee Lake Refresh.

However, despite the absence of changes in microarchitecture, Intel still manages to produce quite an interesting model, extensive methods – increasing the number of cores and clock frequency. The first wave of announcements Coffee Lake Refresh, which took place in October last year, brought three flagship overclocking of the processor, to conquer new frontiers of performance: OCTA core Core i9-9900K and Core i7-9700K, as well as six-core Core i5-9600K. With the second wave of the Christmas list for the latest processors added another six CPU easier. In the end, the full nomenclature of the Refresh Coffee Lake began to look like the following.

Cores/ threads Base frequency, GHz Turbocheetah, GHz L3 cache MB iGPU IGPU frequency, GHz Memory TDP, watts Price
Core i9‑9900K 8/16 3,6 5,0 16 UHD 630 1,2 DDR4‑2666 95 $488
Core i9‑9900KF 8/16 3,6 5,0 16 No DDR4‑2666 95 $488
Core i7‑9700K 8/8 3,6 4,9 12 UHD 630 1,2 DDR4‑2666 95 $374
Core i7‑9700KF 8/8 3,6 4,9 12 No DDR4‑2666 95 $374
Core i5‑9600K 6/6 3.7 V 4,6 9 UHD 630 1,15 DDR4‑2666 95 $262
Core i5‑9600KF 6/6 3.7 V 4,6 9 No DDR4‑2666 95 $262
Core i5‑9400 6/6 2,9 4,1 9 UHD 630 1,05 DDR4‑2666 65 $182
Core i5‑9400F 6/6 2,9 4,1 9 No DDR4‑2666 65 $182
Core i3‑9350KF 4/4 4,0 4,6 8 No DDR4‑2400 91 $173

The main part of the processors added to the released in the first place overclocking K-models later, consists of chips, deprived of the integrated graphics core. Technically Core i9-9900KF, Core i7-9700KF and Core i5-9600KF are based on exactly the same semiconductor Foundation, and have absolutely the same characteristics as the Core i9-9900K, Core i7-9700K and Core i5-9600K, differing only in the fact that they don’t offer the built-in GPU, in hardware blocks at the production stage.

But the list of innovations of the second wave can be seen and indeed a new model. First is the Core i3-9350KF is the only Coffee Lake Refresh Quad core processor with an unlocked multiplier. If you close your eyes to the lack of built-in GPU, it is possible to calculate an updated version of the Core i3-8350K, which was accelerated by adding Turbo Boost technology 2.0 and the newfound ability of automatic overclocking to 4.6 GHz.

Another more-or-less full new in the second wave it is possible to calculate Core i5-9400 and devoid of the integrated graphics Core i9 fellow-9400F. The value of these models lies in the fact that with their help, Intel has significantly lowered the cost of the Junior six-core Coffee Lake Refresh, allowing you to use the latest generation CPU in the configuration baseline. However, formal differences between Core i5-9400 from last year’s hit, Core i5-8400, not so much. Clock frequency increased by only 100 MHz, which is likely due to the desire of the microprocessor giant to leave your younger shestiyaderny within the 65-watt thermal package. As a result, the gap in the maximum frequency in turbo mode between the senior and the Junior six-core processors in the family Coffee Lake Refresh increased to 500 MHz, while in the generation of Coffee Lake it was only 300 MHz.

Judging from the specs, it seems that trump the new Core i5-9400 and Core i5-9400F on the background of the old Core i5-8400 really nothing. However, the specifications in this case do not give quite the full picture. During the announcement of the first Coffee Lake Refresh, Intel said, including about the advantages of an indirect nature. For example, for a new generation of chips was promised a change of the internal thermal interface: polymer place of thermal paste was to take a highly bestlady solder. But does this apply to the Junior six-core Core processors, the ninth generation? It turns out that not always.

#Details about Core i5-9400F

It so happened that, releasing the Coffee Lake Refresh processors, Intel raked in the pile, several different variants of semiconductor crystals with process technology 14 nm++, and not all of them are in fact new. Based on Core processors, the ninth generation may lie as semiconductor crystals, designed for them specifically, and relatively old versions of the silicon, which was used extensively including in the processors of the eighth generation ranked as family Coffee Lake.

In particular, at the moment aware of the existence of at least four stoppingof crystals that are set in a certain mass the Core of thousandth of the series:

  • P0 – the only “honest” option of the crystal, which is really unfair to make Coffee Lake Refresh. This crystal has eight cores and is used in overclocking the Intel Core i9-9900K, Core i7-9700K and Core i5-9600K in their F-variations of the Core i9-9900KF, Core i7-9700KF and Core i5-9600KF, as well as the Intel Core i5-9400;
  • U0 – six-core crystal used in processors Coffee Lake, that is, in the eighth generation Core. Now it is used to create a six-core Core i5-9400F;
  • B0 the Quad – core chip, which is used for the Intel Core i3-9350K. This version of silicon, too, came into the Quad-core processor straight out of the Coffee Lake, including the Core i3-8350K;
  • R0 – a new stepping of a crystal, in which it is assumed will be the senior Core processors, the ninth generation, starting in may. Currently, the serial CPU does not occur, and therefore no specific information about its features and causes no.

Thus, the Core i5-9400F about which we are talking in this review, is the black sheep: one of a kind processor that may be internal to the device is different from the other six-core and eight-core counterparts-generation Coffee Lake Refresh. Strictly speaking, it is not a stripped-down or time-lapse version of the Core i5-9600K or Core i5-9400, and a slightly overclocked variant of the old Core i5-8400 with disabled graphics core.

And I must say, this is manifested not only in the screenshots diagnostic utilities that show for the Core i5-9400F old stepping U0 instead of a new P0. In Core i5-9400F in fact, there is no innovation peculiar to Coffee Lake Refresh. In particular, the Assembly of these chips soldering the die to the heat-spreading lid is not applied, and the internal thermal interface is exactly the same polymer compound used in processors Coffee Lake.

Core i5-9400F и Core i5-9600K без крышки. Фото momomo_us

Core i5-9400F and Core i5-9600K without a lid. Photo momomo_us

In addition, the Core i5-9400F, unlike the rest of a new generation of Coffee Lake Refresh going on the PCB with thinner the PCB is the same as used for conventional Coffee Lake.

Слева направо: Core i5-8400, Core i5-9400F и Core i5-9600K

From left to right: Core i5-8400, Core i5-9400F and Core i5-9600K

And moreover, even the shape of the heat-spreading lid Core i5-9400F gives the relationship of the Core CPU of the eighth generation. Because purebred Coffee Lake Refresh cover has changed.

Слева направо: Core i5-8400, Core i5-9400F и Core i5-9600K

From left to right: Core i5-8400, Core i5-9400F and Core i5-9600K

In other words, there is no doubt that the Core i5-9400F – in fact, no Coffee Lake Refresh and rejection of previous-generation processors with disabled graphics core. And this applies to all wholly supplied at present, the serial Core i5-9400F that largely explains the wide availability of these processors at a time when the mass supply of Coffee Lake Refresh others continue to experience significant problems. For example, formally announced simultaneously with the Core i5-9400F its “full” counterpart with integrated graphics UHD Graphics 630, which should be based on “fair” crystal stepping P0, in retail sales is still missing.

At the same time, the microprocessor giant doesn’t exclude the possibility of transfer Core i5-9400F on the “right” stepping P0 in the medium term. But it will happen, obviously, only when all accumulated in the warehouses of Coffee Lake with a defective integrated GPU will be successfully sold out.

However, for most users this fact of forgery of silicon crystals is unlikely to have any significance. Anyway, Core i5-9400F real shestiyadernik without support Hyper-Threading, which at any load is running at 100 MHz faster than its predecessor, Core i5-8400. This means that the frequency formula Core i5-9400F corresponds to $10 more expensive Core i5-8500.

Despite the fact that Core i5-9400F claimed comparatively low base frequency of 2.9 GHz, in reality this CPU is able to work much faster thanks to technology Turbo Boost 2.0. If enabled, the Multi-Core Enhancements (that is the default mode for the vast majority of motherboards) under full load, the Core i5-9400F able to keep the frequency of 3.9 GHz accelerating under load on one core to 4.1 GHz.

  Nominal frequency The maximum frequency Turbo Boost 2.0
1 core 2 cores 3 core 4 cores 5 cores 6 cores
Core i5-8400 2.8 GHz 4.0 GHz 3.9 GHz 3.9 GHz 3.9 GHz 3.8 GHz 3.8 GHz
Core i5-8500 3.0 GHz 4,1 GHz 4.0 GHz 4.0 GHz 4.0 GHz 3.9 GHz 3.9 GHz
Core i5-9400(F) 2.9 GHz 4,1 GHz 4.0 GHz 4.0 GHz 4.0 GHz 3.9 GHz 3.9 GHz

No overclocking capabilities in this speech, of course, is not. The most capable Core i5-9400F, for the maximum allowed in the technology Turbo Boost 2.0 frequency. And on motherboards with chipsets H370, B360 or H310 do not get to use and faster than DDR4-2666 memory. More speed modes available only on motherboards with older chipsets Z370 or Z390.


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