ASRock X79 Extreme 11
OverviewHardware: CPU & Motherboards
WHAT WE LIKED:Full size CEB form factor with a ton of room plus seven PCIE slots and fourteen sata ports.
WHAT WE DISLIKED:Overclocking is a bit tougher with this platform.
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With all the Ivy Bridge hype, many of us have forgotten about Sandy Bridge “E” processors that actually offer better performance. This is a nice build-up to the Ivy Bridge “E” processors, which are just around the corner, but not here yet. This makes the X79 platform still very viable. ASRock really steps up to the plate with the ASRock X79 Extreme 11 as we saw today. For those seeking top gaming performance, using multiple graphics cards, or if you are looking to lock and load multiple drives in raid, ASRock has exactly what you’re looking for.
The X79 Extreme 11 has an attractive aesthetic package that is black on black with chrome tipped heat shields, and gold-tipped capacitors. It should easily blend with any build since black goes with just about anything. Aesthetics aside, features and performance are really what matters, and the X11 has serious prowess. Starting out with graphics support, ASRock uses two PLX PEX 8747 chips that run four PCIE slots in a 16X configuration for NVIDIA Quad SLI and Radeon Quadfire graphics. In addition, ASRock adds a whopping fourteen sata ports for those looking for mega raid setups. Blend these goodies with ASRock’s 555 X Fast features (5x Lan, 5x USB, 5x Ram), and you have something really breathtaking here. Sure, most do not need all these features, but ASRock’s Extreme 11 hits the high-end performance seeker like a runaway train, and cannot be ignored.
Overclocking this particular platform has always been tough, but we did hit 4.7GHz stable with our Intel core i7 3930K. The Extreme 11 uses 24+2 Digi Power Phase so we did expect a bit more but our results were still very good. On the other side of raw board performance, we saw great sata speeds with both the Sata and SaS ports, but only average USB 3.0 speeds. ASRock’s included X Fast Ram shines; however, with memory speeds that were off the hook at over 8,000Mb/s. For those looking to load games or programs to a virtual drive, X Fast Ram is something to behold. Performance was greatly enhanced using your memory as a virtual drive.
When choosing the right motherboard, some may go overboard, some may not. If your looking for an X79 motherboard that packs in as many features as possible, the ASRock X79 Extreme 11 is your choice. The price tag for X79 motherboards is more expensive than other platforms (as it is for SandyBridge “E” processors too). Coming in at $599 is not cheap, but Sandy “E” users won’t flinch at the price tag. If you take into consideration the PEX and SAS chip with increased lanes, $599 is really not bad with all the features the X79 Extreme has under the hood. It earns our Pure OverClock Great Hardware Award.