Asrock Z97 Extreme6 Motherboard
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|Item Dimensions (Length * Breadth * Height)||34.29 x 30.48 x 8.64 Centimetres||11.2 x 7.9 x 11.7 Centimetres||11.68 x 4.57 x 10.41 Centimetres||35.56 x 27.94 x 10.16 Centimetres|
|Item Weight||1.8 kg||318 grams||91 grams||1.86 kg|
|Model Number||Z97 EXTREME6||BX80646I74790K||BX80684I58600K||GA-Z97X-UD3H-BK|
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
This is the Extreme6 from ASROCK. It's highly rated by Tom's Hardware and a number of other outlets, and it has kept that position for quite a while. Personally, I couldn't be happier with it. I used this to replace an older (~2009) motherboard which eventually died when a glass of water mysteriously ended up inside my case. Oh, my, how times have changed. The BIOS has mouse support, can automatically go online and check for updates and update the BIOS if need be on the fly; it can also put the network drivers somewhere on your hard drive (at which point Windows can figure out the rest of the drivers for itself), which is fantastic. On top of that, during the boot sequence there is a small LED display which lets you know where the motherboard is in the boot process, which helped me diagnose a bad stick of RAM.
The system has pre-sets for OC'ing, and I picked one (4.2G on the 3.5G i5-4690K( after installation of the system and haven't had to fiddle with it at all (nor have I had a single game or app which I thought 'boy this appears to be limited by the CPU). I also slapped an R9 290x in there, and have had no problems.
Admittedly I have not used many of the advanced features of this board (M.2, or dual-ethernet ports), but those which I have used worked perfectly. But honestly if you're looking for a motherboard I'd suggest doing research off of Amazon. If you are wondering if this is, in fact, the Asrock z97 Extreme6 highly reviewed everywhere (as I was due to the lack of reviews), it indeed is.
While the MB has some configuration, and a lot more than that of a OEM PC, it still leaves more to be desired, not enough settings for enthusiasts. Other than that, it installed well in a Fractal Design Core 3300 case, running an i7-4770 pulled from a XPS 8700, and 32GB RAM from the same PC, had Dell included two 4 pin power pins for CPU's, wouldn't had built my own, the i7 was starved for power.
That's not the case with this MB, which has ample connections for much everything. One plus if one's running a single GPU, then the 2nd
PCIe 3.0 slot can be used for install with either the Lycom or Addonics adapter for M.2 SSD's, this gets it away from the heat of the MB, and every digit drop in Celsius counts towards longevity for an expensing Samsung 950 PRO M.2 (soon will be 960 PRO & EVO offerings). This allows one to use components on the x4 socket w/out speed penalty, such as, though not limited to, a PCIe wireless/BT combo with external antennas.
On the other hand, this is one of the few MB's that has a native PCIe 3.0 M.2 socket on the MB, in addition to a PCI 2.0 one, and was a big deal in 2014.;-)
I was going to do a X99 build, and I foolishly listened to a friend who stated that CPU's with built in graphics are the best. How wrong that proved to be, would have double the number of PCIe lanes, even with the lowest cost option (about $389 if no promo offered).
For a Haswell build, this MB is unbeatable as far as setup goes, while it has it's caveats (what doesn't?), it's also a great board for the money. One last thing I need to add. Check for bent pins as soon as received, I was burned by a competitor, because I was purchasing components as was able to save & on promo, and filed for rebate before testing, which disqualified me for a swap (may be that way here also). Yet the good one came from Amazon, and I'll surely be linking more folks to the site. As an Advisor on a major Tech forum, many asks me about hardware, what to purchase, where to buy. Amazon did what their major competitor didn't (who'll I'll not name) in delivering me a sealed product that works & all accessories included.
EDIT: I had to edit my original evaluation, lowering the the overall rating from a 5 to a 4. The Intel RJ45 port became flaky, providing only about 10% of the bandwidth available at about the 10 month mark, but the Realtek RJ45 port still works fine. I purchased a separate PCIe network card just in case I need it.
However, I have disabled the ASMedia SATA controllers, as other reviewers seem to say they are flaky. I am only using the Intel chipset SATA controller ports. Read the manual carefully to identify non-intel SATA ports. (As I recall, they have an "A" in them printed on the pcb)
The only con I have, which is minor since I don't have SLI/Crossfire, is the extra power molex connector isn't really accessible in most mid-tower cases. The Define R5 case seems to allow you to use it if you use a right angle connector. I have one shipping to me; I will update my review for this. Theoretically you could desolder this connector and put your own on, but I will not do that.