Ah yes, yet another Thunderbolt equipped motherboard. Well, not quite, as ASRock has actually come up with a clever way of making its Z77 Extreme6/TB4 work with discrete graphics cards, although, just as with Asus, it does require an external cable.
In fact, ASRock pretty much did what Asus did with its ThunderboltEX card, except the company integrated it all into its motherboard. As such, the full-size DisplayPort – above the HDMI port – on the Z77 Extreme6/TB4 acts as an input rather than an output. Hook up a DisplayPort cable from your graphics card to this connector and the signal from your graphics card is fed to the Thunderbolt controller and displayed via one of the two Thunderbolt/mini DisplayPort interfaces located below the HDMI port. Pretty neat, especially as no extra software is needed.
Beyond the Thunderbolt connectivity the Z77 Extreme6/TB4 is fairly similar to the Z77 Extreme6, although it lacks the mini PCI Express slot and the x4 PCI Express slot, as well as the floppy header and D-sub connector. Thanks to the two Thunderbolt ports, it’s possible to connect up to three displays, something the Z77 Extreme6 doesn’t offer.
Kitguru says: Surprisingly ASRock also claimed that it will be bundling a pair of Thunderbolt cables with the board, but we’ll have to wait and see if this is the case or not once the board officially launches later this year.