Well, hasn't this whole "Gen3" PCIe 3.0 thing caused uproar with the smack being clearly laid down by MSI and ASRock letting people know that they are the only companies to offer "true" PCIe 3.0 support for the next generation of LGA 1155 processors.
Already we've looked at a couple of PCIe 3.0 boards; the first was the ASRock Z68 Extreme7 Gen3 and that's the big brother to the board we're looking at today. The other was the MSI Z68A-GD80-G3. While both are great boards in their own right, the problem at the moment is that nothing can really make use of the PCIe 3.0 capabilities on offer from these boards. Saying that, though, one would argue that if you're interesting in making use of the next generation LGA 1155 chips from Intel and a PCIe 3.0 video card in the future, it's almost silly to buy a non "Gen3" motherboard.
If you want to get in on the "Gen3" action at a good price, though, the MSI and Extreme7 offering might be a little too expensive for you. The Extreme4 on the other hand could be just the board for you. Coming in at a strong price point, it might be the perfect board to get you on the PCIe 3.0 bandwagon and be ready for when PCIe 3.0 capable devices come to the market.
Of course, before we get into the performance side of things, the first thing we need to do is check out the package. Once that's done we'll take the time to have a closer look at the board itself to see exactly what's on offer before we get into the BIOS and check out the overclocking capabilities of the board. Once all that's done, it's time to get into the performance side of things and see what the ASRock Z68 Extreme4 Gen3 can bring to the table.
Unlike the Extreme7, the Extreme4 has a little bit of a smaller box; the front gives us the model number and the normal rundown of logos. The back gives us the main details regarding the board itself and a rundown on some of the main features that are on offer.
Getting into the package, we've got a fairly standard ASRock setup which includes the normal line-up of paperwork, driver CD, AUX cable, four SATA cables, two Molex to SATA power connectors, floppy connector, SLI bridge and I/O back plate.
Along with the normal goodies, we've also got a dual USB 3.0 header that can be used at the front of your case or with the included backplane can be used at the back of your case. It just depends on where you want to install it.