ASRock Z87 OC FORMULA Motherboard
It very much resembles the original Z77 OC FORMULA in a lot of ways, but with a few changes. The overall color scheme is that same black and yellow bumblebee style and you can see a similar heatsink setup around the CPU area.
You can see we've got four PCIe x16 slots. If you're running a single card, the card will run at x16. If you're using two, the setup will be x8 / x8. If you go for a three card setup, you'll be running at x8 / x4 / x4.The final slot is a PCIe 2.0 x16 slot which runs at x4. Along with these we've also got two PCIe x1 slots and a mini PCIe slot between the top two PCIe x16 slots.
Moving across to the bottom of the board you can see a couple of USB 2.0 headers, COM header, main front panel header and an extra Molex power connector towards the right hand side. You can also see we've got a power and reset button towards the right hand side.
The area that really takes our interest, though, is the new OLED display towards the right hand side. Over the years we've seen the debug process become more and more advanced in a sense of making troubleshooting problems easier and easier. ASRock has really taken it to another level here. This display shows where we're at with the boot process and once everything is up and running. It can tell us other information like temperature. We saw it on display at Computex and it's just a really cool feature. We're glad to see ASRock jump on this and we're sure more boards will follow soon enough.
Turning the corner you can see we've got a total of eight SATA ports on offer. All are SATA III with the four closest do us being labeled A1 - A4 running off the ASMedia ASM1061 controller. The further six labeled 0 - 5 all run natively off the Intel Z87 controller and these are the main ports you would want to use for best performance.
Starting to head up towards the top of the board you can see the standard four DIMM slots which support up to 32GB of DDR3 ranging from 1066MHz DDR to over 3000MHz DDR via overclocking. You can also see a + and 1 button for overclocking on the go, along with voltage check points just below. We have the main 24-pin ATX power connector and instead of just a single USB 3.0 header like usual, we've got two here. Other little areas that stand out is the onboard USB port making updating the BIOS or saving screenshots extremely easy and next to that we have a switch that gives us the ability to disable PCIe slots, which is a great feature for overclockers.
Moving around to the CPU area side of things you can see we've got two 8-pin CPU power connectors. This is of course for people who need a strong clean line of power for LN2 overclocking. Most people will no doubt just find themselves using one. The CPU area has a water block mount along with a small fan which we must note is pretty quiet. The area looks great and if you've got a water cooling loop, you'd be crazy not to make use of the built in water cooling solution.
Heading over to the I/O department you can see we've got a PS/2 port on the left along with two USB 2.0 ports above that. Next to that you can see we've then got two HDMI ports, one is an in while the other is an out. From a USB 3.0 point of view you can see we've got a massive eight ports being offered and Gigabit networking is provided via the PHY Intel I217V chip. Between the large amounts of USB 3.0 ports, you can see a clear CMOS switch and finally we finish with an optical port and five auxiliary ports which run off the Realtek ALC1150.
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