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ASRock Z77 Extreme11 (Intel Z77) Motherboard Review

ASRock Z77 Extreme11 (Intel Z77) Motherboard Review

ASRock extend its already very large and very strong Z77 motherboard line with the new massively feature-packed Extreme11 version.

@ShawnBakerTW
Shawn Baker
Published Tue, Feb 5 2013 3:41 PM CST   |   Updated Tue, Apr 7 2020 12:31 PM CDT
Rating: 97%Manufacturer: ASRock

Introduction and Package

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VIEW GALLERY - 43 IMAGES

17. That's the number of motherboards that ASRock currently have using the Z77 chipset. It's truly a massive amount of boards for one chipset, but the Z77 is a mainstream one and ASRock are known for making boards for so many categories. The chipset saw Nick Shih's first board in the Z77 OC Formula which did a fantastic job of impressing us.

We also saw a Mini ITX board in the Z77E-ITX which was absolutely awesome and showed us just how much power can be packed into a Mini ITX motherboard. We had a look at the Z77 Pro3 which comes in under $100 along with the slightly more expensive Z77 Extreme6. Finally we checked out the Fatal1ty branded Z77 Professional which looked good and performed extremely well.

If that wasn't enough ASRock Z77 boards for you, today we're checking out the brand new Z77 Extreme11 which sits at the top of the Z77 food chain. We're not too sure what to expect so we'll simply just get into the package side of things and get the ball rolling.

Once we've done that we'll take a look at the board itself, move onto the BIOS, have a look at the overclocking side of things and finally get down and dirty with the performance.

Package

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Starting off with the front of the box you can see we've got a fairly typical ASRock design with a large focus on the 555 XFast Technology. Flipping the front over we're greeted with some of the major features that are present on the motherboard. Some of the highlights here include the integration of eight SAS2 ports, 3-Way SLI and 4-Way CrossFireX support. We can also see mention of Digi Power, Dual-Stock MOSFET along with the inclusion of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

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Moving onto the other side of the box we get our first look at the Z77 Extreme11. Turning over to the back of the box we again have a run down on some of the major features that are included on the board with the 555 XFast technology taking up a large portion. We've also got Premium Gold Caps, 8 + 4 Power Phase Design, 2oz Copper PCB, 12x USB 3.0, Lucid Virtu MVP, Fast Boost and UEFI to round out the major highlights.

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As we move inside we've got a fairly typical paperwork line up with a couple of manuals, a guide on Lucid Virtu MVP and what it does along with a larger explanation on the 555 XFast technology. Above we can also see the driver CD and the standard I/O shield.

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Finishing off the bundle we've got a massive eight SATA cables, two Molex to SATA power connectors along with a SLI and 3-Way SLI bridge. Finally we have the ASRock Wi-SB BOX, which is something that is new to us. This box offers two USB 3.0 ports which you can clearly see along with an SSD mount. Also included are two wireless antennas to help boost the wireless signal. It's a nice addition and beats the standard antenna that you might find yourself having sit on top of your chassis.

ASRock Z77 Extreme11 Motherboard

ASRock

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

BIOS

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Looking above you can see screenshots of the BIOS on the ASRock Z77 Extreme11 and if you've read any of our recent ASRock board reviews, you wouldn't see anything too out of the ordinary here. We're a huge fan of the ASRock UEFI BIOS thanks to its ease of use and just general quickness that is offered.

If you're in the BIOS the chances are you're going to be looking at the overclocking side of things and that's all done in the OC Tweaker section. You've got everything you would want and need here and you can see that above. As for the rest of the BIOS, moving through it, you can see a fairly standard setup and all the options you'd expect.

Benchmarks - Test System Setup and Overclocking

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We would like to thank the following companies for supplying and supporting us with our test system hardware and equipment: Intel, ASUS, MSI, Western Digital, MemoRight and Corsair.

Outside of the ASRock Z77 Extreme11 we've also got the ASRock Z77 OC Formula. Other Z77 offerings include the MSI Z77 MPOWER and ASUS Maximus IV GENE with the ASRock X79 Extreme4 rounding out the lineup of motherboards here.

We headed straight into the BIOS and went to the OC Tweaker section. We moved the CPU multiplier up to 47x which would bring our CPU in at 4.7GHz and adjusted the voltages to where they needed to be. Our machine booted up and got into Windows with no problems.

We then headed into Media Espresso to check out stability and we opened up Core Temp to see what was going on with CPU speed and temperature while testing. Straight away our CPU jumped to 105c and started throttling to combat the heat. Instead of just going into the BIOS and moving our multiplier down, we thought we'd try and just adjust the voltage to get the temp down. We managed to do this with some success and the throttling wasn't as bad - any throttling when overclocking is pointless, so we headed back into the BIOS. We dropped the voltage lower, but we got to a point where Media Espresso would just crash because there wasn't enough juice on hand for the processor to operate at overclocked speeds.

Heading back into the BIOS we then moved the CPU multiplier down to 46x and adjusted the BCLK a little to see what we could get out of the system. We tried to get as close to that 4.7GHz mark with a combination of a 46x multiplier and a bump in the BCLK.

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Looking above you can see we managed to get our BCLK only just above that 100 number alongside the 46x multiplier with 100.39 being seen or 100.4 as it was set at in the BIOS. As you can see above this brings our CPU speed in at 4618.05MHz or 4.62GHz as shown in our graphs here today.

CPU Benchmarks

HyperPi 0.99

Version and / or Patch Used: 0.99

Developer Homepage: www.virgilioborges.com.br

Product Homepage: www.virgilioborges.com.br

Download It Here

HyperPi is a front end for SuperPi that allows for multiple concurrent instances of SuperPi to be run on each core recognized by the system. It is very dependent on CPU to memory to HDD speed. The faster these components, the faster it is able to figure out the number Pi to the selected length.

For our testing we use the 32M run. This means that each of the four physical and four logical cores for the i7 and the four physical cores of the i5 is trying to calculate the number Pi out to 32 million decimal places. Each "run" is a comparative to ensure accuracy and any stability or performance issues in the loop mentioned above will cause errors in calculation.

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AIDA64

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.00.1035BETA

Developer Homepage: http://www.aida64.com

Product Homepage: http://www.AIDA64.com

Buy It Here

Replacing Everest in our labs is AIDA64. This new testing suite is from the core development team from Lavalys and continues that tradition. The guys have thrown in better support for multithreaded CPUs as well as full 64 bit support. We use this to test memory and HDDs for now, but may find ourselves opening this up to other areas of the motherboard.

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ASRock Z77 Extreme11 (Intel Z77) Motherboard Review 32 | TweakTown.com

Starting off with our CPU benchmarks we can see under Hyper Pi the performance is fairly in line with the other Z77 options here.

Under AIDA64, though, you can see that L3 Cache performance is a little stronger compared to the other boards. Overclocking as always, though, helps bring a nice noticeable boost to our numbers, which can be seen above.

System Benchmarks

PCMark 7

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.04

Developer Homepage: http://www.pcmark.com

Product Homepage: http://www.pcmark.com

Buy It Here

PCMark 7 includes a range of tests that give different views of your system's performance. In the Advanced Edition you can choose which tests to run. The common use and hardware component tests are unavailable in the Basic Edition.

Overall system performance is measured by the PCMark test. This is the only test that returns an official PCMark score. The Lightweight test measures the system capabilities of entry-level systems and mobility platforms unable to run the PCMark test, but it does not generate a PCMark score. Common use performance is measured by the scenario tests - Entertainment, Creativity and Production - each of which results in a scenario score. Hardware component performance is measured by the hardware tests - Computation and Storage - each of which results in a hardware score.

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MediaEspresso

Version and / or Patch Used: 6.5

Developer Homepage: http://www.cyberlink.com/

Product Homepage: http://www.cyberlink.com/products/mediaespresso/overview_en_AU.html?fileName=overview&r=1

Buy It Here

MediaEspresso is a blazingly fast media universal converter that can transcode your videos, photos and music files and out put them to a huge range of portable devices including mobile phones, portable media players and even game consoles. With technologies like Smart Detect, Direct Sync and CyberLink's TrueTheater™ video enhancements, you can not only forget about complicated format, resolution and output settings, but your converted file will come out the other side looking better than when it went in!

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Out of the box the PCMark 7 numbers look good as the Z77 Extreme11 is able to sneak ahead of our other boards here.

MediaEspresso numbers sit towards the middle of the back coming in a little slower than the MSI and ASUS board, but ahead of the OC Formula. Again, though, we see a nice boost when it comes to overclocking and MediaEspresso always does a fantastic job of showing us the real-world benefit that overclocking brings to the table.

USB 2.0 and 3.0 Benchmarks

AIDA64

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.70.1400

Developer Homepage: http://www.aida64.com

Product Homepage: http://www.AIDA64.com

Buy It Here

Replacing Everest in our labs is AIDA64. This new testing suite is from the core development team from Lavalys and continues that tradition. The guys have thrown in better support for multithreaded CPUs as well as full 64 bit support. We use this to test memory and HDDs for now, but may find ourselves opening this up to other areas of the motherboard.

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Thanks to XFast technology we see a decent boost in USB 2.0 performance compared to the non-XFast based boards. USB 3.0 performance, though, lines up with the other boards.

SSD Benchmarks

AIDA64

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.70.1400

Developer Homepage: http://www.aida64.com

Product Homepage: http://www.AIDA64.com

Buy It Here

Replacing Everest in our labs is AIDA64. This new testing suite is from the core development team from Lavalys and continues that tradition. The guys have thrown in better support for multithreaded CPUs as well as full 64 bit support. We use this to test memory and HDDs for now, but may find ourselves opening this up to other areas of the motherboard.

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HD Tune Pro

Version and / or Patch Used: 4.61

Developer Homepage: http://www.hdtune.com

Product Homepage: http://www.hdtune.com

Buy It Here

HD Tune Pro gives us accurate read, write and access time results and for the last couple of years has been gaining popularity amongst reviewers. It is now considered a must have application for storage device testing.

ASRock Z77 Extreme11 (Intel Z77) Motherboard Review 38 | TweakTown.com

Under AIDA64 we can see some excellent performance coming from the Extreme11 which puts it ahead of all our other boards. We ran the test multiple times and rebooted to make sure the numbers were consistent. We also made sure that we were running off the Z77 controller and not the LSI SAS controller. Over and over again, though, we saw these excellent numbers from the Z77 Extreme11.

HD Tune Pro doesn't paint quite the same picture with numbers that are fairly typical; still great numbers, but not quite as high as we saw under our AIDA64 tests.

Memory Benchmarks

AIDA64

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.00.1035BETA

Developer Homepage: http://www.aida64.com

Product Homepage: http://www.AIDA64.com

Buy It Here

Replacing Everest in our labs is AIDA64. This new testing suite is from the core development team from Lavalys and continues that tradition. The guys have thrown in better support for multithreaded CPUs as well as full 64 bit support. We use this to test memory and HDDs for now, but may find ourselves opening this up to other areas of the motherboard.

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Memory performance is fairly typical and when overclocked you can see a slight boost with the biggest seen in write numbers. This comes from the CPU overclock as the memory is running just above the previous 1600MHz DDR clock with it now coming in at 1606MHz DDR thanks to the slight boost in BCLK.

Gaming Benchmarks

3DMark 11

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.0

Developer Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com

Product Homepage: http://www.3dmark.com/3dmark11/

Buy It Here

3DMark 11 is the latest version of the world's most popular benchmark. Designed to measure your PC's gaming performance 3DMark 11 makes extensive use of all the new features in DirectX 11 including tessellation, compute shaders and multi-threading. Trusted by gamers worldwide to give accurate and unbiased results, 3DMark 11 is the best way to consistently and reliably test DirectX 11 under game-like loads.

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Metro 2033

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.4a-games.com//

Product Homepage: http://www.thqnordic.com/

Metro 2033 is an action-oriented video game with a combination of survival horror and first-person shooter elements. The game is based on the novel Metro 2033 by Russian author Dmitry Glukhovsky. It was developed by 4A Games in Ukraine and released in March 2010 for Microsoft Windows and Xbox 360.[3] In March 2006, 4A Games announced a partnership with Glukhovsky to collaborate on the game.[4] The game was announced at the 2009 Games Convention in Leipzig;[5] a first trailer came along with the announcement.[6] A sequel was announced, currently titled Metro: Last Light.

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Gaming performance is fairly typical with all our setups performing fairly close to each other. The only time we see any movement is when we overclock and that comes in the lower resolution tests. That's 1680 x 1050 under Metro 2033 and the Performance preset under 3DMark 11.

Temperature and Power

Power Consumption

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Power draw comes in at a 113 watt out of the box and 330 watt under load. Overclocked we of course see a bump in these numbers, but nothing too serious with a little over 350 watt being seen at load.

Core Temperature

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Looking at our temperature numbers at idle the Z77 Exteme11 numbers are really impressive coming in below our other setups at both stock and overclocked. At load our 63c number lines up with our MSI and ASUS offering while overclocked we as always see a decent jump in heat numbers with 89c being seen here - a lot better than the 100+ we saw when we first started overclocking.

Final Thoughts

When heading over to Newegg to look for the price I as always went to the Z77 motherboard section and figured if I sorted by highest price first it would probably sit towards the top of the list. With no surprise it was right at the top when it came to single boards lining up with the GIGABYTE Z77X-UP7 which carries the same $399.99 price tag.

This is a hefty price tag, but the inclusion of the quality LSI SAS controller was going to do that. There's no denying you're looking for a board that can offer some totally serious SATA HDD and SSD support, this is an option that you should be looking at. Along with that, though, we've got a massive amount of USB 3.0 ports, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi along with dual Gigabit Ethernet ports that run off more expensive and higher quality Intel controllers.

We've not only got all these features, though, but we've also got a board that performs excellent out of the box and had no issues getting to over 4.6GHz when it came to overclocking. ASRock has put together an extremely nice board that ticks all the right boxes.

This really is an excellent motherboard, but we can't deny it's not for everyone as some of the features might not be any use to you. If you're only looking at a one or two SATA III drives and don't need the likes of Dual Gigabit LAN ports, four way CrossFireX support and other things to name just a few of the extras, then something like the $229.99 Z77 OC Formula we looked at and absolutely loved, would be a better option for you.

If you're happy to spend the money that goes with a board that carries an absolute ton of features and performs extremely well, then this is truly a fantastic option.

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Shawn takes care of all of our video card reviews. From 2009, Shawn is also taking care of our memory reviews, and from May 2011, Shawn also takes care of our CPU, chipset and motherboard reviews. As of December 2011, Shawn is based out of Taipei, Taiwan.

We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.

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