Intel's Z75 chipset isn't one we've heard about a lot and if you head over to Newegg and do a quick search for Z75 you'll discover just two motherboards that carry the chipset compared to the 65 items that are shown when you search for Z77.
If we head on over to the ASRock website and look at the motherboard section you'll see that while they offer a total of 12 Z77 based motherboards, they manufacture only one Z75 based motherboard and that is the ASRock Z75 Pro3. So why don't we see or hear much about this chipset? And what is the main difference between it and the higher end Z77?
Actually very little! On the PCI Express side the Z77 can have three PCIe x16 slots in an x8 / x4 / x4 configuration. The Z75 can only have up to two in an x8 / x8 configuration. The other main difference is that Intel SRT or Smart Response Technology isn't supported. What else differs, you ask? Nothing really - we've got the same CPU support, overclocking support, graphics support, RAID support, USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports and the same setup when it comes to SATA ports.
So why doesn't the Z75 platform not get the same attention as the higher end Z77 one? Maybe it's slower overall or could overclocking be affected? We're not too sure, but this is what we intend to find out with the ASRock Z75 Pro3 today and the first thing we're going to do is start by looking at what's going on with the package.
Next we'll take a closer look at the board itself before we head into the BIOS, cover our testbed and look at the overclocking side of things before we finally get into the performance of the board to see just how it differs to the ASRock Z77 Pro3 we looked at recently along with a couple of other boards.
Even though not part of the Z77 chipset, we can see from the front of the box that the same 555 XFast technology is supported on the Z75 Pro3.Turning over you can see that we get a bit more detail on the XFast 555 technology while also seeing that a lot of the features that we saw on the Z77 Pro3 are present including Lucid Virtu MVP, ASRock OMG, Internet Flash, UEFI System Browser and On/Off Play Technology to name a few.
As for the bundle side of things we can see it's fairly light with the typical manual line up and some paperwork explaining both XFast technology and Lucid Virtu MVP. We've also got a rear I/O panel, two SATA II cables and a driver CD to round off the bundle.