Software & Features
One cool piece of software that is included with the Z68 Extreme4 is the ASRock Extreme Tuning Utility. It allows you to monitor and control and overclock your system. When you first open it up it shows you a hardware monitor that is quite in depth.
Moving down to the next tab you have fan control. You can set fan speeds for both CPU fan connectors and the 3 chassis fan connectors (Level 1-10). You are also able to set a target temperature for the CPU fan and the chassis fan1. In the Overclocking tab you can set the BCLK/PCIE Frequency, CPU Ratio, GT Frequency, CPU Voltage Offset, DRAM Voltage, PCH Voltage, VTT Voltage, CPU PLL Voltage, VCCSA Voltage and IGPU Voltage Offset. This allows you to easily overclock your system in Windows, which many people do prefer because going in to the BIOS scares them.
The OC DNA shows you the BIOS version and allows you to load 3 user OC profiles. IES is ASRock’s Intelligent Energy saver. It will show you how many power phases are being used and if you enable it, it will turn the power phases down when the CPU is idle or inactive.
XFast LAN is another cool tool that is included on the Z68 Extreme4. Here is what ASRock has to say about it, “The XFast LAN is a convenient tool that controls the internet applications easily and efficiently. Creating a perfect Internet environment, all you need is a smart manager. The ASRock XFast LAN allows you to enjoy more speed, easier multitasking, enhanced multimedia experience, and more – all without weighing you down.”. It is a very useful utility, especially for gamers.
Finally there is XFast USB. ASRock says, “XFast USB Technology redefines the new standard in high performance computing. ASRock dedicated hundreds of hard working engineers to make immediate boosts possible – XFast USB Technology instantly accelerates performance for the best possible gain profiles. Proving once again to be the pioneer in motherboard industry, ASRock XFast USB Series Motherboards integrate with the latest XFast USB Technology which delivers the world’s fastest USB data transfer speed.” They also say that, “XFast USB technology can boost USB 3.0 performance up to 97.7%! For USB 2.0 performance, it can even boot up to 396.28% faster!”. That is pretty bold to say, especially since we know USB and USB 3.0 speeds have limits.
To test this I had two flash drives the Patriot Supersonic 32GB USB 3.0 drive and the Patriot Xporter XT Rage 32GB USB 2.0 drive. I ran Sandra’s Physical Disks benchmark using the Z68 Extreme4 motherboard with XFast USB enabled and again on a similar P67 motherboard. Below are the results.
As you can see the results are nothing close to the 97.7% and 396.28%. XFast USB does speed things up a little bit, but nothing noticeable.