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Old 03-28-2012, 08:12 PM   #1
Kougar
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Default ASRock X79 Extreme11

So, I'll be honest. I was totally not paying attention to motherboards, especially ASRock given they're a subsidiary of ASUS and typically make the more affordable motherboards. Then I randomly stumble onto this... beast of a motherboard. It is literally so packed with features that the PCB is almost hidden.

I'll start with the most notable / important features to me. The board features 14 SATA 3 ports, which is insane given other boards barely have any. But what makes these special is that 8 of them are actually SAS ports controlled by an LSI SAS2308 controller. Top quality controller from a well-respected enterprise-RAID company.

Next, the board uses two EPS12v connectors for the CPU. Yes, two! Given I've seen these things melt down during overclocking runs, I'm amazed more OC-targeted boards don't do this. It even has a molex plug for extra PCIe power, again almost no boards use them anymore and rely purely on the 24pin ATX plug.

It features a 24-phase VRM, with 24 chokes, and 24 DrMOS chips for a full-blown, no-holds-barred VRM arrangement. ("A DrMOS combines up/down FETs and driver IC into a single, space-efficient package", from what I've read) Most other boards may have 24 chokes or phases, but cut down on the rest. Combine with with dual EPS12V connectors, and this board has some serious potential to meltdown CPUs, or do some liquid helium overclocking.

Next up, it has two PCI Express 3.0 PLX bridges... which actually makes this the first motherboard to support four-way PCIe 3.0 slot use electrically. Kinda silly from a gaming standpoint, but it would be useful for workstation use or as an HPC platform with cards chewing through loads in all four slots.

It also features Creative's new Sound Core3D processor... not familiar at all with it, but supposedly good and better than the X-fi processor? As for other features, I spot four USB 3.0 ports on the back + 8 USB 2.0 ports, some external SATA ports, and dual Gbit LANs that I assume at least one is from Intel. And it retains all eight RAM slots, always a big plus.

No launch date or price has been set yet. Probably going to be uber expensive, although not as expensive as the ASRock Fatal1ty Champion perhaps...



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Old 03-28-2012, 09:24 PM   #2
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Damn - i mean really, damn, that's a hell of a lot of stuff on a single board. There isn't even a maze of heatsinks to cover it all, so that'll add more. Can just make out the PCB colour on the bottom left, lol.

Surprised it's ASRock instead of ASUS itself. Still, a bargain brand can still produce a high-end model every now and then.
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Old 03-30-2012, 02:06 AM   #3
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Okay, I do need to correct my earlier mistake... Pegatron is no longer part of ASUS and ASRock is a subsidiary of Pegatron, not ASUS. I guess it's finally given them enough freedom to innovate on their own without capitalizing on ASUS's own higher end offerings.

Tharic, yeah no kidding! But to use an LSI controller... big points for ASRock in my book on that alone even though I don't run RAID anymore. I'd wonder how it handles bleeding edge SSDs...

ASRock has been coming up with premium models for awhile, but they've never been able to get traction with me. I think their P/Z68 generation stuff still had rough edges with EFI, but I only vaguely remember at this point. But this beast of a board has really gotten some attention on various forums and a lot of interest, which is surprising for an X79 board AND a board that's not even out yet in my opinion. I just hope despite all of those features, the board is still affordable...

This board may be enough to cement ASRock as a premium contender with the big two. As I read on another site, ASRock is already in the #3 spot for mainboard shipments, surpassing even MSI. I didn't realize they had climbed quite that far up the ladder!
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Old 03-30-2012, 02:30 AM   #4
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I've built plenty of cheap systems for people over the years and ASRock has been solid, even for simple overclocks on stuff that wasn't meant to be. The only issues I've had with them have not been with the boards themselves, but with the use of Realtek NICs. This is why I love the fact they're moving onto Intel NICs.

That disk controller is a surprise though, something missed a lot in other high-end boards. Intel controllers are great, don't get me wrong, but limited to the number of ports that can be supplied. So using LSI instead of Marvel - would love to see the benches, see if they got past the 300MB/s limit of Marvel.
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Old 04-15-2012, 10:05 PM   #5
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I am not sure how I missed this thread, but that board is intense. And I'm not quite sure ASRock is a "subsidiary" of ASUS, per se. They are both separate companies and don't share R&D or anything. It's really, really tough to get a straight answer out of ASUS on the relationship.
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Old 04-19-2012, 07:35 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Williams View Post
I am not sure how I missed this thread, but that board is intense. And I'm not quite sure ASRock is a "subsidiary" of ASUS, per se. They are both separate companies and don't share R&D or anything. It's really, really tough to get a straight answer out of ASUS on the relationship.
If ya check my second post I corrected myself, they're owned by Pegatron which is no longer owned by ASUS.

Also, still no ETA or price yet on this board... I wonder what they're waiting for?? It should have a bug-free UEFI by the time they release it. Part of me is wondering if they're perhaps waiting for the LGA2011 refresh, Intel was going to launch a new flagship part which would hopefully either introduce eight cores, or at least bump lower model SKUs down a notch....
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