Intel's 9-series chipset saw the widespread adoption of high-speed storage connections operating via the PCI Express interface. While the 10Gbps transfer speeds of SATA Express and M.2 connections were a noticeable speed boost over the ageing SATA 6Gbps interface, they were still a far cry from the bandwidth offered by a team of native PCIe Gen 2 and Gen 3 links.
That's where ASRock's Z97 Extreme6 comes into the limelight. Packed to the brim with modern, high-speed storage interfaces, ASRock agrees that storage connections faster than 10Gbps are relevant in today's market. Utilised on the Z97 Extreme6, ASRock's Ultra M.2 connection routes four PCIe 3.0 lanes from an LGA 1150 CPU to provide a storage interface with up to 32Gbps of bandwidth.
Without question, the Z97 Extreme6 motherboard's claim-to-fame is its 32Gbps Ultra M.2 connection. But that doesn't stop ASRock from equipping the board with a host of general usage features. A pair of ASMedia controllers boost the number of SATA 6Gbps connections to ten, while the Z97-provided 10Gbps M.2 and SATA Express connections show their faces.
And aside from the storage ports, there's a pair of NICs, ASRock Purity Sound 2 audio, CrossFire and SLI support, and a sizeable power delivery system.
We test ASRock's Z97 Extreme6 in our usual barrage of motherboard benchmarks, as well as speed-testing with Samsung's ultra-fast XP941 M.2 SSD. Does ASRock's 32Gbps Ultra M.2 interface give us a glimpse at storage speeds of the near future?
- ASRock Super Alloy
- Digi Power, 12 Power Phase design
- Purity Sound 2 audio system.
- SATA Express, M.2, and Ultra M.2 connections.
- 1-year Orbweb.ME professional subscription.
- HDD Saver technology.