AS Rock’s CPU boards have effective through leaps and bounds in current years and the company has increased the bar of its enthusiast offerings now again with its LGA2011 CPU board line-up. The X79 Extreme4 is one of 2 ASRock CPU boards we have appeared at currently, the other being the X79 Extreme4-M, which is a micro-ATX edition of the board you see early you.
At first glance it looks that the Extreme4 shares few aspects of its miniature sibling, namely the fact that it has just four DIMM sockets. This looks to be a major weakness, but quad-channel support is even present, and quad-channel memorize kits recently consist of 4 sticks anyway.
The likelihood is that you will end up with 16GB of random access memory, which is sufficient for most tasks for the foreseeable future. If you imagine you will need to include a second 16GB kit at some point, you will require to purchase a pricey 4 x 8GB kit, and it is worth bearing in mind that together ASRock boards have a limit of 32 GB also.
The diluted DIMM socket count brings about one advantage though, which is that the Extreme 4 is importantly affordable than the competition. The following most costly example is the Asus P9X79 professional. That is more than
the Extreme4. Apart from the fewer DIMM sockets, the Extreme4 does not deficiency many characteristics either. It has on-board power and reset switches, a POST code readout, CMOS clear switch and fan-helped Southbridge heatsink also. Thankfully the latter did not require to spin up, still throughout our benchmarks, as the less South bridge temperature that would cause it to whir into life is a good 8˚C higher than the maximum arrived at throughout trying.
There are 3 SATA 6Gbps slots in entire – two through the Intel South bridge and a further port furnished through an ASMedia ASM1061 controller. There are lots of Universal Serial Bus ports too – 12 of the USB 2 variety with an ASMedia ASM1042 controller providing 2 Universal Serial Bus 3 ports on the I/O panel and a further two through a CPU board header.
Appears-wise, we have to commend ASRock for doing a excellent job. With a nice option of colors, gold capacitors and funky heat sinks, the Extreme4 lives up to its name. Its layout is nice also, although the diluted number of DIMM sockets has not raised the space around the central processing unit socket, meaning it is even worth avoiding tall DIMMs if you are planning to utilize a big CPU cooler.
Last edited by laxmi29; 01-30-2012 at 11:02 AM.