A mainstream board for enthusiasts.
Coming in at $50 less than the cut-off price of $250 for our mainstream boards, it’s obvious that this fully-featured Z77 beast is aimed at the upper end of the mid-range price segment. The inclusion of three full-length PCIe slots enables triple SLI or CrossFire setups for those with more money than sense, while the 8+4 power phase design targets the enthusiast overclocker. The board is festooned with gold capacitors, which ASRock claims will last much longer than the usual cheap fodder found on mainstream boards.
Display outputs have also been beefed up. Alongside the usual HDMI, DVI and VGA out is a single DisplayPort. USB 3.0 connectivity is also increased, with a maximum of five when the front header is utilised. SATA 6Gbps ports have been doubled, with four in total, while another four SATA 3Gbps ports are the norm for the Z77. Tweakers will find the power, reset and clear CMOS buttons very convenient, while a POST code LED readout helps diagnose hardware failures.
Considering the wealth of tweaking features, we were very surprised to see this board perform towards the back of the pack when set to default values. However, these results should be taken with a grain of salt, as it’s likely ASRock has disabled any factory overclocking to make tweaking simpler. Power users looking for a very affordable solution will find a lot to love here, but it’s going to take a little bit of tweaking to get the board to perform on an even keel with its competitors.
APC Benchmark Results:
||ASRock Z77 Extreme6
|3DMark 11 (Performance mode)
|x264 HD Benchmark - Pass 1 (avg fps)
|x264 HD Benchmark - Pass 2 (avg fps)
|Aida read test (MB/s)
|Super Pi 8M test (sec)
|Shogun 2 (avg fps)
Special features :
- PCIe x1 Gigabit LAN 10/100/1,000Mbps
- 7.1-channel HD audio with Content Protection (Realtek ALC898)
- 64Mb AMI UEFI Legal BIOS with GUI support
Pros : Triple video card compatible, capable overclocking options, built to last.
Cons : Average default performance, expensive for mainstream users.
Verdict : 8 out of 10. Highly recommended.
Available from ASRock, RRP $199