ASRock X58 Extreme3
In terms of design, the Extreme3 is very good, albeit with a few niggles here and there. There is adequate space for large components and around the socket area to fit a monstrous CPU cooler. The bottom USB ports and Power/Reset buttons are not accessible with a graphics card installed in the bottom slot, though that scenario isn’t likely anyways. The mid-board SATA ports are also not ideally placed, making cable routing an issue; these ports really should be along the right side of the board. But overall, ASRock did a fine job here for the most part.
The functionality offered by the Extreme3 should be enough to satisfy most diehard users, and with Solid State Drives now hitting the market that saturate the SATA 3G ports, these new 6Gbps ports will be up to the task for the most demanding enthusiasts. USB 3.0 will also soon make USB 2.0 obsolete, and the speed difference is utterly jaw-dropping. The only real hiccup here is the poor 3-way graphics card action. Working with dual cards, the expansion slot layout is great, offering improved cooling and airflow between the cards. However, with the third expansion slot running in x4 mode, a 3-way setup is off the table; you’ll need to find another motherboard if you want to run anything more than two graphics cards.
The build quality here is also well done, and ASRock has come a long way over the past couple of years in establishing themselves as providing great value boards in the marketplace. The X58 Extreme3 is available for approximately $190 USD, which sits as one of the least expensive LGA1366 ATX boards on the market that offers SATA 6G and USB 3.0. It’s considerably less money than most competitors’ boards, so this Extreme3 is an excellent deal for the feature set offered. As we saw during our sub-zero run, it’s probably not going to break any overclocking records. Other than that, this ASRock board offers most things that consumers are looking for at a great price.
Don’t expect to break overclocking records on sub-zero extreme cooling on this board, but in terms of value offered to consumers, the ASRock Extreme3 certainly lives up to its name.
ASRock X58 Extreme3