The first thing I want to say is that I really do like the Fatal1ty Z77 Professional, but there are some design decisions that I just down right don't agree with. I'm not sure if they're coming from the ASRock side or from Fatal1ty who has say in the design. Why have we got an IDE and floppy connector on this board? There's nothing gamer about it and there's nothing professional about it.
I just don't understand why we see these connectors on Fatal1ty designed boards, which make me think that the decision for this is coming from that end more so than the ASRock team itself. The simple fact is that we don't see these connectors on any of ASRock's top non Fatal1ty boards or any other brand's high-end boards.
Along with that I would've liked to have seen a move over to just a single legacy PCI slot and add a third PCIe 1x into the mix or no legacy PCI slot period. I'd love to see ASRock offer us a black and red themed high-end board without the Fatal1ty branding because the looks on the board are killer, but some of the extras on the board are highly questionable.
In the end, though, I find myself complaining about "extra" things that are added to the board more so than the stuff that is missing. It just feels like its stuff we don't need and this could in turn make the price slightly more aggressive or the room could be used for other things like another USB 3.0 header or something similar.
At $229.99 the ASRock Fatal1ty Z77 Professional isn't a cheap Z77 option as the Z77 Extreme6 which really impressed us carries a $174.99 price tag. For the most part it feels like we're paying an extra $55 for a different color scheme. This is a good board, but it doesn't shine as bright as other ASRock offerings in the past.
If you're after a good looking board that performs well this is a good option. If you're after something that can perform just as well while saving some money, then it might be worth looking at the Z77 Extreme6 offering.
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