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::>Motherboards > 2012 > 04 > ASRock X79 Extreme4

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13-04-2012


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Review and testing of the motherboard ASRock X79 Extreme4

On our "operating table" is again a motherboard based on chipset for enthusiasts - Intel X79 Express . The solution under consideration is in the range of motherboards based on Intel X79 Express from ASRock sort of compromise, which is endowed with a balanced set of features. From our previous flagship tested ASRock X79 Extreme9 , it differs much more modest set of delivery, less the outstanding overclocking capabilities and expansion, but offers little more than a motherboard compact form factor ASRock X79 Extreme4-M . In this review, we'll find what receives the user when chosing a mainstream motherboard ASRock X79 Extreme4 .

ASRock X79 Extreme4

The specifications of the motherboard ASRock X79 Extreme4:

Manufacturer

ASRock

Model

X79 Extreme4

Chip

Intel X79 Express

Socket

Socket LGA 2011

CPU

Intel Core i7 processors of the second generation (Sandy Bridge-E)

Memory

DDR3 800/1066/1333/1600/1866 * / 2133 * / 2400 * (OC)

Supporting memory

4 x 240-pin DIMM quad architecture up to 32 GB

Expansion slot

3 x PCI-E 3.0 x16 (x16/x16/x8)
2 x PCI-E 2.0 x1
2 x PCI

Disk subsystem

Intel X79 Express Chipset supports the
4 x SATA 3.0 Gb / s
2 x SATA 6.0 Gb / s Support SATA RAID 0, 1, 5, 10.
2 x Chip ASMedia ASM1061 supports
3 x SATA 6.0 Gb / s
1 x eSATA 6.0 Gb / s.

LAN

Gigabit Ethernet Controller Broadcom BCM57781

Sound subsystem

Realtek ALC898, 8-channel High-Definition Audio CODEC supports internal port S / PDIF

Power

24-pin power connector ATX
8-pin ATX12V power connector
4-pin connector for peripheral devices (such as MOLEX)

Cooling

The aluminum heatsink on MOSFET
aluminum radiator on the chipset with integrated fan

The connectors for the fans

2 x CPU
4 x corps fan

External Ports I / O

1 x PS / 2 keyboard
1 x PS / 2 mouse
1 x LAN (RJ45)
2 x USB 3.0
6 x USB 2.0
1 x eSATA 6.0 Gb / s with
1 x IEEE 1394
1 x reset button CMOS
1 x Coaxial S / PDIF
1 x optical S / PDIF
8-channel audio output

Internal Port I / O

3 x USB 2.0 (supporting up to six USB 2.0)
1 x USB 3.0 (supporting up to two USB 3.0)
4 x SATA 3.0 Gb / s
5 x SATA 6.0 Gb / s
1 x IEEE1394
1 x IR
1 x CIR
1 x COM
1 x SPDIF
1 x Power Button 
1 x Reset Button  
1 x Dr. Debug LED
Connector System Tray

BIOS

64 Mb AMI UEFI BIOS with a graphical user interface
Plug and Play, ACPI 1.1, jumperfree, SMBIOS 2.3.1

Complete

user manual,
CD with drivers and utilities,
4 x SATA-cables
1 x SLI bridge,
1 x 3-Way SLI bridge,
stub interface panel.

The form factor,
dimensions, mm

ATX
305 x 244

Website

http://www.asrock.com/
New versions of the BIOS and drivers available to download from the support pages .

ASRock X79 Extreme4

Package of the motherboard ASRock X79 Extreme4 differs strict but stylish design and is equipped with a flexible plastic handle for easy carrying. On the front side of the package contains a minimum of information - here are just a model name of motherboard and a few icons.

ASRock X79 Extreme4

On the reverse side of the package showed the image of the motherboard with the footnotes to its key elements, it is stated on the possibility of support for bus PCI-Express 3.0, in addition, there is found a description of the four proprietary technologies with the same prefix «XFast»:

  • XFast LAN - tool for managing the priorities of Internet applications;
  • XFast RAM - a feature that allows full use of storage space, which is not involved in the 32-bit versions of Windows, as well as reduce the total number of calls to the SSD or HDD drive, thus increasing, it's life;
  • XFast USB - technology, that in theory increases a bandwidth of USB 3.0 interface, up to 5 times;
  • XFast Charger - a feature that allows to reduce the charging time of mobile devices.

ASRock X79 Extreme4

In addition to the motherboard ASRock X79 Extreme4, in it's package was discovered quite poor delivery, sufficient only to build the system and get started:

  • user manual;
  • CD with drivers and utilities;
  • 4 x SATA-cable;
  • 1 x SLI bridge;
  • 1 x 3-Way SLI bridge;
  • stub interface panel.

By the luxuries you can include the SLI bridge, although for the motherboard on Intel X79 Express their presence is more of a necessity than a nice bonus.

ASRock X79 Extreme4

Motherboard ASRock X79 Extreme4 belongs to a popular form factor ATX, carried out on the PCB of dark brown color and has a rational arrangement of on-board elements. Thus, the connectors are equipped with a static memory locks on the lower side, slots PCI-Express x16 are considering the possibility of installing three double-slot graphics cards, the main tandem SATA ports has a horizontal orientation, in addition to the lower edge of the board are such controls and diagnostic systems as key Power, Reset and seven-segment LED POST-codes.

ASRock X79 Extreme4

Opportunities for organizing the disk subsystem of motherboard ASRock X79 Extreme4 suggest a connection to a total of ten drives - six can "serve" the controller, which is integrated into the PCH SATA. The work of three onboard ports SATA 6.0 Gb / s and one eSATA 6.0 Gb / s provides by two additional controllers ASMedia ASM1061.

Also, the chipset provides on the motherboard ASRock X79 Extreme4 the functioning of the twelve ports USB 2.0, six of which are displayed on the front panel, and six can be connected on the board with three 9-pin connectors. Here, on the lower edge of the board, we can see the ports which almost not used in home systems: COM and the port IEEE1394a.

The latter is duplicated on the panel interfaces ASRock X79 Extreme4, the functioning of the two FireWire ports provides a chip VIA VT6315N.

The motherboard allows you to connect as many as four devices that support high-speed USB 3.0 - two of the ports are brought to the panel interface, also you can use additional two, using a special 19-pin connector, bred directly to the board.

The work of USB 3.0 ports is regulated by the two controllers ASMedia ASM1042, soldered in different parts of the board.

Motherboard ASRock X79 Extreme4 features seven expansion slots, three of which belong to the specifications of PCI-Express 3.0 x16. Accordingly, the board supports the configuration of the three cards, united by technology ATI CrossFireX and NVIDIA SLI in modes x16/x16/x8, that is sure to be appreciated about the quality of images in modern games users. When using two or more powerful graphics card is recommended to use a 4-pin power connector type MOLEX, which is located next to the upper slot PCI-Express 3.0 x16. Interestingly, in the case of the installation of three video cards equipped with large cooling system, the owner will retain slot PCI, which lost it's relevance for the modern system, but not the PCI-E x1.

Motherboard ASRock X79 Extreme4 has four DIMM-slots for the RAM of DDR3 standart, which are divided into pairs and are spaced on either side of the CPU socket to support a four-channel mode. Supported modules are operating at a frequency of 1600 MHz at rated speed, as well as up to 2400 MHz in the mode of acceleration. The maximum amount of memory banks can be 32 GB, which should be enough in most cases.

The node of processor's voltage regulator circuit is made using 6+2 phases and supports digital mode pulse width modulation, which has high accuracy and stability. In accordance with the corporate design Premium Gold Capacitor motherboard ASRock X79 Extreme4 highly ubiquitous Japanese solid capacitors, based on conductive polymers, which differ in longer life. For supplying power to the processor uses a full 8-pin power connector ATX12V. In general, the system CPU power under consideration of the motherboard can be characterized as fully adequate to deal with this level.

To cool the heating elements used two aluminum heat sink, whos heat pipe is not connected. The radiator is equipped with the south bridge cooling the active element - that is, a fan, which is enabled by default when a temperature of 50 ° C on the PCH. In our case, the fan is turned on very often and it has worked very quiet. Radiator of MOSFET is compact and unremarkable, however, there are no any complaints by it's work.

On the reverse side of the motherboard ASRock X79 Extreme4 there is a part of the power elements of the host CPU power, which requires careful handling to avoid damage to the board's fragile items.

Sound system of this motherboard is based with the popular HDA-codec 8-channel audio Realtek ALC898, and for support of network connection used Gigabit LAN-Controller Broadcom BCM57781.

At the interface panel ASRock X79 Extreme4 deduced the following ports:

  • 1 x PS / 2 keyboard,
  • 1 x PS / 2 mouse,
  • 1 x LAN (RJ45);
  • 2 x USB 3.0;
  • 6 x USB 2.0;
  • 1 x eSATA 6.0 Gb / s
  • 1 x IEEE 1394
  • 1 x reset button CMOS;
  • 1 x Coaxial S / PDIF;
  • 1 x optical S / PDIF;
  • 8-channel audio output.

A set of ports as seen in this model of the motherboard are rather extensive - there are all popular for modern systems interfaces, plus a useful button reset CMOS.

UEFI BIOS

Motherboard ASRock X79 Extreme4 uses a modern preloader, graphical user interface based on UEFI. On the main screen preloader displays information about the installed processor model, as well as the total volume and frequency of current RAM, the transition to UEFI sections performed by clicking on the labels at the top of the screen.

Settings, designed for overclocking, grouped in a special section of OC Tweaker. This section contains a sufficient number of settings for the full acceleration of the system at home, but this motherboard is not intended to achieve some great results, as threre are only a basic amount of overclocking settings here. For convenience, the basic configuration, designed to acceleration, we have brought to the table

Parameter

The name of the menu

Range

Step

FSB Frequency, MHz

Host Clock Override (BCLK)

90 - 300

0.1

The multiplier system bus

Adjust CPU Base Clock Ratio

Auto, 1.0, 1.25, 1.67

 

CPU multiplier

Max Ratio

12 - 60

1

Frequency multiplier Turbo Boost

Core Current Limit

50 - 200

1

 

 

Additional Turbo Voltage

0.004 - 0.996

0.004

Divider for the memory

DRAM Frequency

8, 10.66, 13.33, 16.00, 18.66, 21.33, 24.00

 

Delay RAM

DRAM Timing Control

CAS Latency, RAS to CAS, RAS PRE, RAS ACT, COMMAND Mode, RAS to RAS, REF, Cycle, DRAM Refresh, WRITE Recovery, READ to PRE, FOUR ACT WIN, WRITE to READ, CKE Minimum, CAS Write , RTL (CHA), RTL (CHB), tWRDR, tRWDR, tRWSR, tRR, tRRSR, tWW (DD), tWW (DR), tWWSR

 

The voltage on the CPU, V

CPU Core Voltage

0.6 - 1.7

0.005

The voltage on the chipset, V

VCCSA Voltage

0.6 - 1.7

0.005

 

 

 

 

The voltage on the memory modules, V

DRAM Voltage

1.2 - 1.8

0.015

 

VTT Voltage

0.8 - 1.7 V

0.013

 

 

CPU PLL Voltage

1.46 - 2.53 V

0.057

 

 

PCH 1.1V Voltage

0.726 - 1.907 V

0.063

 

 

PCH 1.5V Voltage

1.5 - 1.85 V

0.05

In addition to the opportunities for setting up the various factors and the frequency, OC Tweaker section provides a single point DRAM Timing Control, designed to delay memory settings.

Access to the power management settings established in paragraph Voltage Configuration.

Ask the CPU multiplier, as well as manage processor technology, you can point to the CPU Configuration.

Section H / W Monitor is designed to monitor all the main parameters of the system, you can follow:

  • the temperature of CPU, motherboard, and the south bridge;
  • rotational speed of the fan;
  • stress on the core and the main power lines.

In addition, it is possible to adjust the speed of the CPU and chassis fans individually.


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