The new Ivy Bridge platform from Intel is a bit of an interesting one and we've almost got this AMD Bulldozer like aura hanging over it. There are two things that feel similar to the Bulldozer launch. The first is that Intel has split the release of the motherboard chipset and accompanying CPUs. Something that makes no sense at all, especially considering we've been seeing Ivy Bridge CPUs for weeks now.
The second is the huge clocks we've seen out of the processors via LN2 which doesn't translate to air and water cooled processors. Bulldozer saw these awesome high clocks on LN2 and other high-end cooling solutions, but when it came to your typical kind of cooling solution (air), the numbers couldn't be reached at all.
The current crop of Ivy Bridge chips are similar. Talking to people who do use LN2, the new platform absolutely loves being cooled by it, more so than other Intel chips. On more conventional cooling, though, we see that the Ivy Bridge chip runs fairly warm with 100c not being uncommon with standard air cooling solutions.
As for the motherboard itself, ASRock in typical fashion have put together a really nice offering that performs well, looks great and comes in at a really strong price point. At $174.99 the ASRock Z77 Extreme6 looks like a great buy for anyone interested in jumping on the Z77 bandwagon.
The main thing you've got to decide now is if you grab yourself a Z77 based motherboard now and pair it with a Sandy Bridge CPU like the 2700k or wait a few more weeks for the official launch of the new Ivy Bridge CPUs and buy a board and CPU then.
There's really no wrong answer; if you're looking for a good performing Z77 motherboard that comes with a nice little bundle and hits at a strong price point then the new ASRock Z77 Extreme6 is a board that you should be looking at.
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