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ASRock Z87 Extreme 6 Review (w/ 4770k / GTX770)

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The ASRock Z87 Extreme 6 isn’t the most dramatically designed board we have tested in recent months. We would class the appearance as more functional, rather than a dramatic eye catching design such as the latest Gigabyte Z87 motherboards. It is an ATX form factor board.
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The motherboard PCB is dark brown and the layout is clean. ASRock are using Premium Gold Capacitors on the board with a 12 power phase design and dual stack MOSFET’s.
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Around the CPU socket is a medium sized heatsink split into two sections and connected with a heatpipe, this helps to cool the VRM’s. There is enough room here to fit a large cooler such as the Noctua NH D14, although we opted for the Corsair H100i today.
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The Z87 Extreme 6 is a dual channel board, which has four slots for a maximum of 32GB of memory. Officially, ASRock say the board supports DDR3 2933+(OC)/2800(OC)/ 2400(OC)/ 2133(OC)/ 1866(OC)/ 1600/ 1333/ 1066 non-ECC, un-buffered memory.
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We weren’t expecting 10 SATA ports on the ASRock Z87 Extreme 6. The other boards we have reviewed so far have had either 6 or 8 ports. 6 of these SATA ports are controlled by the Z87 chipset with RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5 and RAID 10 offered. There are a further 4 SATA ports controlled by the ASMedia ASM1061. The SATA A3_A4 connector is shared with the eSATA port.
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There are three PCI Express 3.0 x 16 slots on this board – PCIE2/PCIE4 and PCIE 5. The board will run in x16 if a single graphics card is used. If two are used then PCIE 2 and PCIE 4 will step down to x8. Three cards will run at x8 PCIE2 x8, x4 PCIE4 and x4 for the PCIE5 slot. There is also a PCI Express 2.0 x 1 slot on the board and a Mini PC Express slot with 2 PCI slots. ASRock say the board supports AMD Quad CrossfireX, 3 way Crossfire X and standard Crossfire X. It also supports Nvidia Quad SLi and standard SLi.
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ASRock are heavily promoting this motherboard to audio lovers. They are using the RealTek ALC1150 with an EMI Shielding cover.
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The Realtek chip is rated at a 115dB signal to noise ratio, one of the highest in the industry. They have also included the TI NE5532 headset amplifier with another TI NE5532 differential amplifier to drive phones up to 600ohms.
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There is an LED diagnostic readout alongside a handy power and reset button, bottom of the board.

The following connectors are included on the motherboard.

  • 1 x IR header
  • 1 x COM Port header
  • 1 x Power LED header
  • 2 x CPU Fan connectors (1 x 4-pin, 1 x 3-pin)
  • 3 x Chassis Fan connectors (1 x 4-pin, 2 x 3-pin)
  • 1 x Power Fan connector (3-pin)
  • 1 x 24 pin ATX power connector
  • 1 x 8 pin 12V power connector (Hi-Density Power Connector)
  • 1 x SLI/XFire power connector
  • 1 x Front panel audio connector
  • 2 x USB 2.0 headers (support 4 USB 2.0 ports)
  • 1 x Vertical Type A USB 2.0
  • 2 x USB 3.0 headers (support 4 USB 3.0 ports)
  • 1 x Dr. Debug with LED
  • 1 x Power Switch with LED
  • 1 x Reset Switch with LED

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The rear I/O panel includes the following connectors:

  • 1 x PS/2 Mouse/Keyboard Port
  • 1 x DVI-I Port
  • 1 x HDMI-Out Port
  • 1 x HDMI-In Port
  • 1 x DisplayPort
  • 1 x Optical SPDIF Out Port
  • 1 x eSATA Connector
  • 2 x USB 2.0 Ports
  • 4 x USB 3.0 Ports (ASMedia Hub)
  • 2 x RJ-45 LAN Ports with LED (ACT/LINK LED and SPEED LED)
  • 1 x Clear CMOS Switch
  • HD Audio Jack: Rear Speaker / Central / Bass / Line in / Front Speaker / Microphone

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