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Asrock Z97 Extreme6 review

Michael Passingham
27 Feb 2015
Expert Reviews Recommended Logo
AsRock Z97 Extreme6
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
152

The Asrock Z97 Extreme6 is a superb enthusiast's board, but only for those who are serious about overclocking

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Specifications

Processor socket: LGA1150, Dimensions: 303x243mm, Chipset: Z97, Memory slots: 4, PCI-E x16 slots: 3, PCI-E x1 slots: 2, PCI slots: 0, USB ports: 6x USB3, Video outputs: DVI, DisplayPort, HDMI

As the name implies, the Asrock Z97 Extreme6 is a motherboard for high-end systems with overclocking at the very top of its ambitions. It uses the Intel Z97 chipset meaning it has plenty of room for high-performance components and later expansion if required.

The Extreme6 supports Intel processors with the common LGA1150 socket, which includes 4th and 5th generation Core and Xeon chips. If you buy an unlocked processor (denoted by a K suffix), you'll be granted access to a range of advanced overclocking features through the motherboard's UEFI BIOS.

It's not quite as friendly to use as the menus found on cheaper, overclock-friendly motherboards, although there is an automatic mode that's rather unhelpfully called "Advanced Turbo". There were two options available for the Intel Core i5-4670K we were using: Advanced Turbo 20 and 30. The first mode, 20, overclocked our processor to 4.4GHz giving it an overall score of 122 in our benchmarking tests, while 30 overclocked the processor to 4.6GHz, peaking at a score of 135 for the image rendering test, before overheating and crashing in the video conversion segment due to a lack of suitable cooling.

AsRock Z97 Extreme6 top down

This is very much representative of the type of overclocking Asrock expects you to be doing, and it should only be conducted with extreme caution and with the right equipment: Asrock's BIOS won't hold your hand and pull you back as you overclock your machine into oblivion.

With no overclocks applied, the motherboard performed as expected, with our benchmark chip scoring 101 overall; but to keep your processor and RAM at stock speeds would be a gross underuse of this expensive motherboard's capabilities.

Ports are suitably generous on this high-end board, with an impressive 10 SATA3 ports. Nine of them are on the right edge, and if you have a case with plenty cable routing options, this will be a boon, otherwise you may have to go through a fiddly process of routing your SATA cables around from the side of the board. Six of the SATA3 ports support multiple drives in RAID modes 0, 1, 5 and 10, as well as Intel Rapid Storage and Smart Response (SSD caching), while the other four don't. Two of these also double up as a SATA Express port, or will become inactive if you choose to use M.2 flash storage using the connector on the front of the board, because M.2 and SATA Express use the same PCI-E lanes on Z97 motherboards.

AsRock Z97 Extreme6 ports

There are two full-speed PCI-E x16 slots on the board. They're ready for dual graphics setups either from Nvidia (SLI) or AMD (CrossFireX), so even if you don't want to buy two graphics cards today, you could easily expand your setup in the future. If you choose not to install a graphics card on the motherboard and instead opt for the on-board graphics capabilities of your processor, there are DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort connectors provided.

The DisplayPort output is capable of outputting a maximum resolution of 3,840x2,160 (the typical resolution of Ultra HD monitors) at 60Hz, or can manage 4,096x2,304 pixels at 24Hz. The DVI and HDMI ports have maximum outputs of 1,920x1,200 pixels at 60Hz, although the HDMI port can also output 3,840x2,160 pixels at 24Hz. There's dual Gigabit Ethernet ports at the rear: one made by Intel and one from Realtek, and there's also five 3.5mm audio jacks and an optical audio connector, too.

The Asrock Z97 Extreme6 is a great motherboard for enthusiasts, but you'll need to make sure you have a processor, a cooling system and a fair amount of expertise to make the most of it. If you don't have overclocking ambitions, opt for something cheaper, such as the Asus Z97-E.

Hardware
Processor socketLGA1150
Form factorATX
Dimensions303x243mm
Processor support4th Generation Core processors (Haswell)
Processor external bus100MHz
ChipsetZ97
Supported memory typeDDR3
Maximum memory speed3200MHz
Memory slots4
Maximum memory32GB
Motherboard power connectors1x 24-pin ATX, 1x 8-pin 12V
PCI-E x16 slots3
PCI-E x4 slots0
PCI-E x1 slots2
PCI slots0
Motherboard fan headers6
SATA II ports0
SATA III ports10
RAID support0, 5, 5, 10
Wired network ports2x 10/100/1000Mbit/s
Motherboard sound (ports)Realtek HD Audio (6x analogue, optical S/PDIF)
USB ports6x USB3
USB headers4x USB, 4x USB3
Video outputsDVI, DisplayPort, HDMI
Other portsPS/2
Cables included2x SATA
Motherboard clock adjustmentCPU/RAM
Motherboard voltage adjustmentCPU/RAM/chipset
Buying information
Price including VAT£152
WarrantyOne year RTB
Supplierwww.ebuyer.com
Detailswww.asrock.com
Part code90-MXGTE0-A0UAY1Z

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