The BIOS on the ASRock X58 Extreme6 is fairly typical of an ASRock product. They use a customized AI BIOS (the version we used was P1.00). The main page shows you the "at a glance" information about your system and also lets you set the date and time.
The OC Tweaker page is of a little more use to the enthusiast or overclocker (yes, they are different). Here you can use one of the two available EZ options (RAM and CPU) to setup an overclock with minimal effort.
Both of these options are controlled by simple drop down menus. Once you select a setting the system will automatically adjust the rest of the settings for the best stability (i.e. voltage QPI etc).
The rest of the OC Tweaker page is what you have come to expect from ASRock. They have put in more than enough voltage controls and tweaks to keep the majority of people happy (at this level anyway). There is an interesting option that caught our eye, though; SSD Performance Mode. We ran all of our tests with this on and will be looking to see if there is any improvement in performance over the other boards in our testing group.
There are other areas in the X58 Extreme6's BIOS that you will want to visit as well. One of these is the Advanced CPU Settings page. Here are some little extras that can improve performance at both stock speeds and when you are trying to overclock. Turning off items like SpeedStep can help with pushing the CPU farther while the C-State can let you improve performance with multi-threaded applications.
The Advanced Chipset settings mostly control the peripherals and their states on the board. However, there are a few here that are not all that common like the QPI L0s and L1, APMC Control and even the CIR10 settings.
The Storage Configuration page is important as ASRock gives you a fairly large amount of control for the 12 SATA ports that are on the X58 Extreme6 (six SATA II and six SATA 3.0).
The last page of note is the H/W Monitor. This page allows you to check the system temperatures and voltages. It also has the controls for setting up automatic fan performance.
When it comes to overclocking the X58 Extreme6 does not do bad, but I think it could have done much better. We had stability issues at 4.2GHz that we could not get around and maintain using all of the functions of the board. We were able to disable some items like Audio and the extra SATA 3.0 controllers and get closer to stability, but that sort of defeats the point of our overclocking test.
In the end we found that we could run stable at 174*24 for a final clock of 4.176GHz. Top get there was pretty simple, though. We started out with the EZ CPU overclocking and pushed up to 4.2GHz; from there we backed things down to reach our final stable OC.
You can see the validation for the ASRock X58 Extreme6 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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