The Extreme9 is a fantastic Intel X79 motherboard, highlighting how ASRock are now able to target flagship motherboards from industry legends ASUS and Gigabyte. We were able to overclock the Core i7 3960X EE to 4.8ghz with a modest all in one liquid cooling solution from Corsair. We are sure that more is possible with hardcore watercooling or phase change cooling.
While this ASrock bios configuration is stable and feature rich, we still feel that ASUS motherboards are equipped with the most feature rich bios implementations and the Rampage IV Extreme is still the king of the high end X79 motherboards in this regard. That said, it doesn’t come cheap, with a high price tag of £335 in the UK.
The ASRock X79 Extreme9 is a fantastic looking design with the dark PCB and port colour contrasting against eye catching silver accenting on the heatsinks. When we paired it up with the Corsair GTX8 2,400mhz memory and the Corsair H100 cooler it certainly attracts the eye. It is worth pointing out that we experienced some boot issues using 2,400mhz memory with pre 1.92 beta bioses, but ASRock were quick to address the concerns. Additionally, ASrock update their bioses on a regular basis so we would expect to see continual improvements with this product in regards to memory support over the coming months.
Connectivity is class leading, with a staggering array of 12 SATA ports via multiple controller chips, offering a plethora of potential drive storage for a high end enthusiast system. The included Creative sound solution is a welcome addition, offering higher quality audio reproduction than a simple onboard solution. Networking was also impressive via the addon PCIe X1 card and it allowed ASrock to neaten up the main system I/O panel by removing audio connectors.
The board has not yet been released in the UK, but ASRock have informed us that it will retail for around £299 inc vat, meaning it should be around £35-£40 cheaper than the Asus Rampage IV Extreme Edition.
Is it as good as the ASUS flagship product? It is a tough call – the ASRock motherboard has more SATA ports, but I prefer the ASUS bios implementation. Both are certainly feature full and well worth the money, forming the basis of an ultra high end futureproof system for the coming years.
- Looks great.
- Connectivity is first class.
- good overclocker.
- supports the latest 2,400mhz memory with the newest bios.
- Cheaper than the Asus Rampage IV Extreme flagship motherboard.
- Bios is a little behind the leading ASUS solutions.
- It is still costly @ around £300.
Kitguru says: Another great high end board from ASRock and worthy of being shortlisted with the Asus Rampage IV Extreme.