The BIOS on the ASRock X58 Extreme is pretty straight forward. It will look familiar to ASUS owners as it follows the same lines as the typical ASUS BIOS. For testing I usually like to use the shipping BIOS unless I run into issues with it. In this case I found that the shipping BIOS had some memory issues. I found that I was not able to use our standard Kingston DDR3 2000 kit (KHX160003K3/3GX) and even with a more compatible KHX12800D3T1K3/6GX DDR3 1600 the board would only see two out of the three modules.
After a quick update using the ASRock Instant Flash application, the system could see all three modules, but still would not post with our Kingston KHX160003K3/3GX.
Another item that is noteworthy between the two BIOS' is that in the shipping BIOS you have a menu titled Smart. This is where all of the overclocking options are, but also the options to set default values are here. With the update the entire menu was replaced with one called OC Tweaker.
As you can see, OC Tweaker has a considerably larger number of overclocking options and is a much more refined page.
The rest of the BIOS has your usual options for hardware monitoring etc. - If you pick up this board I would highly recommend updating the BIOS for memory compatibility and also for the extra performance tweaking features.
Overclocking the ASRock X58 Extreme was pretty easy. I was able to attain a stable OC of 3.8GHz (190x20) using only the EZ OC profiles. This makes for a decent 500MHz jump over stock speeds. At 3.9GHz I was able to get into Windows and record a CPU-Z shot but, any of the system tests I use would cause the system to lock up. These results are not that great considering we have had this particular i7 up to 4.1GHz stable and a suicide run at 4.3GHz on different boards.
You can see the validation here.
As all overclocking results are dependent on the hardware you use, your results may vary.
Results of our overclocking tests are included in the performance section with the stock scores.
Important Editor Note: Our maximum overclocking result is the best result we managed in our limited time of testing the motherboard. Due to time constraints we weren't able to tweak the motherboard to the absolute maximum and find the highest possible FSB, as this could take days to find properly. We do however spend at least a few hours overclocking every motherboard to try and find the highest possible overclock in that time frame. You may or may not be able to overclock higher if you spend more time tweaking or as new BIOS updates are released. "Burn-in" time might also come into play if you believe in that.
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