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ASRock X99 Extreme6/ac (Intel X99) Motherboard Review

By: Steven Bassiri | Socket LGA 2011 in Motherboards | Posted: Apr 11, 2015 2:15 am
TweakTown Rating: 93%Manufacturer: ASRock

Packaging and the Board

 

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The box advertises the extreme memory support and the other noteworthy features such as dual LAN and wireless AC. The packaging is well done, the board is zip tied into a foam container, and there is an antistatic bag covering the board.

 

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Accessories are plenty; 4x SATA6G cables, 2-Way SLI bridge, 3-Way SLI Bridge, Wi-Fi/BT4 antenna and wire extensions, IO Shield, SATA Saver power connectors, screw for M.2, manuals, case badge, and driver DVD.

 

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I have circled the fan headers on the board, there are a total of six headers, two circled in red are 4-pin PWM headers, and four circled in green are 3-pin voltage mode headers. The blue heat sinks look better in person, and even in a case with dim lighting the blue comes through. I actually like the shade of blue ASRock is using; but if you don't like blue, it is a bit hard to cover up. The back of the board is pretty bare which is a good thing.

 

You can see the PCB isolation for the audio, the doublers/dual drivers for the CPU VRM, and the low profile socket backing. Since this board is aimed at servers, there are no holes for the CPU socket coolers - make sure not to overtighten or you can screw into the PCB itself. The pins for the memory DIMMs that you can see on the back are very low profile; this reduces electrical noise and helps with clearance levels for certain chassis.

 

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The back panel IO features a 2x1GBit NIC, 6x USB 3.0 ports, 2x USB 2.0 ports, PS/2 keyboard and mouse, a 7.1 TOSLINK for audio with S/PDIF out, eSATA6G, and a ClearCMOS button.

 

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The PCI-E layout on this motherboard is optimized for performance, while it supports 3-way SLI and CrossFireX, you will lose the last 16x slot if you use the Ultra M.2 slot. The PCI-E layout is electrically wired at 16x/16x/8x in the three full sized 16x slots. The CMOS battery is in a position where even if you use two GPUs, you can still remove the battery, which is great.

 

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Purity Sound 2 is ASRock's upgraded ALC1150 implementation with high quality Nichicon electrolytic audio capacitors, dual amplifiers, and PCB isolation.

 

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There are 10 SATA6G ports from the PCH. SSATA3_3 shares its bandwidth with the eSATA port on the backpanel and SSATA3_2 shares its bandwidth with the Ultra M.2 slot so it can run SATA based M.2 drives. Two USB 3.0 front panel headers are located north of the PCH which is great for cable management.

 

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The wireless AC comes from a mini PCI-E card. There is a BIOS selection switch on the bottom of the board. The M.2 connector is located right beneath the first 16x slot.

 

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It is nice to see basic OC features like power and reset buttons and a POST code display, that POST code display is basically required for boards in this price region. The image on the right shows the USB DOM connector which can take an authentication key for high-end workstation software.

 

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Here is a Molex power receptacle for extra power for the PCI-E slots so that you can run 3-Way SLI/CrossFireX.

 

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The 12 phase VRM is advertised to be capable of boasting 1300W, and this large heat sink cools it all down.

 

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These are the heat sinks, all of them use screws and contact looks great on the VRM and PCH.

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