Taking the board out of the box for the first time and looking at it you can see we've got a whole lot going on. You can see the black and silver setup that we see with all the higher end Extreme based ASRock boards.
There are four PCIe x16 slots and three PCIe 1x slots. As for the PCIe x16 slots they run in a x16 / x8 / x8 / x4 configuration and offer support for up to three cards in SLI or four cards in CrossFireX. Above the top most slot we have a Molex connector to help provide some extra power to the video card, while between the bottom two PCIe x16 slots you can see the Wireless / Bluetooth mini PCIe card. This offers 802.11 a/b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0 support.
Running across the bottom of the board you can see the standard line up of 1394, Com, USB 2.0 and fan headers. We've also got the Dr Debug reader at the button along with a power and reset button. What's new here, though, is the built in USB connector on board. This is a feature that's designed for overclockers who don't want to reach around to the back of the board. Instead they can just put a USB drive in and upload images to it from Windows or update the BIOS.
Turning the corner we've got a massive line up of SATA connectors with eight SAS2 connectors on the left hand side which run off the LSI SAS2308 PCIe 3.0 8x controller. Support from it includes RAID (RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 1E and RAID 10), MegaRAID Utility, NCQ and Hot Plug.
Along with those we've got another six SATA ports all running off the Intel Z77 chipset. We've got four SATA II ports which are black and on the far right a further two SATA III ports in grey to bring a great total of 14 SATA ports on this motherboard.
As we head to the top of the motherboard you can see four DIMM slots which support up to 32GB of DDR3 at speeds ranging from 1066MHz DDR to 3000MHz+ DDR via overclocking. Below that you can see the main 24-pin ATX power connector and where we'd normally see a single USB 3.0 header, you can see in this case we've got two present here.
Heading across the top of the motherboard you can see the main 8-pin CPU power connector and moving back slightly you can see the CPU socket area. It's pretty clean with some sexy looking gold caps and a massive heatsink setup which looks great.
Finishing up in the I/O department you can see a strong presence of blue thanks to a total of eight USB 3.0 ports here running off a combination of both the Intel Z77 controller and the Etron EJ188 controller. You can also see a combo PS/2 port, clear CMOS button, HDMI port and two Gigabit network ports that run off Intel controllers (one being the 82579V and the other bring the 82583V controller). Finally we finish up with two USB 2.0 ports, 1394 Firewire, an eSATA port and five auxiliary audio connectors alongside an optical out that run off the Realtek ALC898.
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