Author: Bob Buskirk
It has been quite a while since I have personally reviewed an ASRock motherboard. The last boards I took a look at from them were nothing to really write home about and did not make my change my opinion of what motherboard choice to suggest to friends. After spending some time testing and having a system running on the ASRock Extreme6/GB I am thoroughly impressed.
Starting off with the design of the board itself. Taking a look at it, it is one of the sleekest board I have seen in the X79 segment. The black PCB looks awesome with the black, gunmetal and silver accents. Also the gold capacitors and other components look great on the board. If the design of the board was not enough ASRock has designed the add-on Game Blaster card to match it.
This board is designed for the mainstream and has pretty much every feature a mainstream user is looking for. You have three PCIe 3.0 x16 slots which support both SLI and CrossFireX, five SATA 6GB/s ports, one SATA 6GB/s eSATA port, six USB 3.0 ports, and support for dual quad channel memory. Other notable features on the board include power and reset buttons, debug LED and a Clear CMOS button. All of these features will really help with troubleshooting the board.
Let’s not forget about the Game Blaster card! It uses Creative Core3D 7.1 HD audio that not only is going to sound great, but will taking your gaming experience to the next level. The card also had an additional ethernet connection that can be used in conjunction with the one on the board itself. This add-on card definitely brings much more value to this board and gives gamers an all-in-one solution rather than them having to buy a motherboard and sound card separately. While we have seen other add-on cards make sure use of the the PCIe x1 slot the Game Blaster requires that you install in the bottom PCIe x16 slot, so if you plan on doing a triple graphics card setup you will not be able to use the Game Blaster Card.
ASRock’s Extreme Tuning Utility and their host of “XFast” products are actually really useful and not software that once installed you will quickly remove. The Extreme Tuning Utility allows you to easily monitor and overclock yourself from Windows, which is perfect for beginners who want to get a little more out of their system without having to go into the BIOS. I would have liked to see the EZ OC Settings that were in the BIOS in the AXTU software though. Talking about the BIOS it is very fluid and everything is in the right place.
The only other issue I saw with this motherboard is the placement of the GPU power connector. It is right above the top PCIe x16 slot which makes it hard to reach. I would have liked to see it on the bottom or side of the board, and not be a molex connector, rather a SATA power connector.
The ASRock Extreme6/GB is currently selling at my favorite online retailer for $279.99. With all the features and addition of the Game Blaster card that is definitely a value. Overall ThinkComputers gives the ASRock X79 Extreme6/GB Intel X79 Motherboard a 9 out of 10 score and our Good Value Award!
- Sleek design
- Support for 3-way SLI and CrossFire
- Awesome overclocking potential
- Game Blaster addon card
- Support for dual quad channel memory
- EZ OC Setting are not in the AXTU software
- Could have used better placement of GPU power connector