Asrock Fatal1ty Z77 Professional-M Z77 Motherboard

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asrock z77 pro-mIf you are a gamer,but lack space for your next gaming build and infatuated with the colors black and red then I think we have your very next motherboard on hand. It is the new Fatal1ty Z77 Professional-M from Asrock. A gaming motherboard marketed by a gamer for gamers. The board has the making to being a big hit with the masses as it offers a great many features for less than of the ASUS Gene series.  When a mainboard like this comes along it may be a hit with the gamers but it has to overclock well to be a hit with the enthusiast crowd. Does it do that? We will in fact find out for you.

Introduction to the Asrock Fatal1ty Z77 Professional-M Z77 Motherboard

If you are a gamer,but lack space for your next gaming build and infatuated with the colors black and red then I think we have your very next motherboard on hand. It is the new Fatal1ty Z77 Professional-M from Asrock. A gaming motherboard marketed by a gamer for gamers. The board has the making to being a big hit with the masses as it offers a great many features for less than of the ASUS Gene series.  When a mainboard like this comes along it may be a hit with the gamers but it has to overclock well to be a hit with the enthusiast crowd. Does it do that? We will in fact find out for you.


Specifications

CPU

- Supports 3rd and 2nd Generation Intel® Core™ i7 / i5 / i3 in LGA1155 Package
- Digi Power Design
- 8 + 3 Power Phase Design
- Supports Intel® Turbo Boost 2.0 Technology
- Supports Intel® K-Series unlocked CPU
- Supports Hyper-Threading Technology

Chipset

- Intel® Z77
- Supports Intel® Rapid Start Technology and Smart Connect Technology
*Intel® Rapid Start Technology and Smart Connect Technology are only supported under Windows® 7 OS or later versions.

Memory

- Dual Channel DDR3 memory technology
- 4 x DDR3 DIMM slots
- Supports DDR3 2800+(OC)/2400(OC)/2133(OC)/1866(OC)/1600/1333/1066 non-ECC, un-buffered memory
- Max. capacity of system memory: 32GB*
- Supports Intel® Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) 1.3 / 1.2
*Due to the operating system limitation, the actual memory size may be less than 4GB for the reservation for system usage under Windows® 32-bit OS. For Windows® 64-bit OS with 64-bit CPU, there is no such limitation.

BIOS

- 64Mb AMI UEFI Legal BIOS with GUI support
- Supports "Plug and Play"
- ACPI 1.1 Compliance Wake Up Events
- Supports jumperfree
- SMBIOS 2.3.1 Support
- CPU Core, IGPU, DRAM, 1.8V PLL, VTT, VCCSA Voltage Multi-adjustment

Audio, Video and Networking

Graphics

- Supports Intel® HD Graphics Built-in Visuals : Intel® Quick Sync Video 2.0, Intel® InTru™ 3D, Intel® Clear Video HD Technology, Intel® Insider™, Intel® HD Graphics 2500/4000
- Pixel Shader 5.0, DirectX 11 with Intel® Ivy Bridge CPU. Pixel Shader 4.1, DirectX 10.1 with Intel® Sandy Bridge CPU.
- Max. shared memory 1760MB
- Multi VGA Output options: D-Sub, DVI-D, HDMI and DisplayPort
- Supports HDMI 1.4a Technology with max. resolution up to 1920x1200 @ 60Hz
- Supports DVI with max. resolution up to 1920x1200 @ 60Hz
- Supports D-Sub with max. resolution up to 2048x1536 @ 75Hz
- Supports DisplayPort with max. resolution up to 2560x1600 @ 60Hz
- Supports Auto Lip Sync, Deep Color (12bpc), xvYCC and HBR (High Bit Rate Audio) with HDMI (Compliant HDMI monitor is required)
- Supports HDCP function with DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort ports
- Supports Full HD 1080p Blu-ray (BD) / HD-DVD playback with DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort ports
*Intel® HD Graphics Built-in Visuals and the VGA outputs can be supported only with processors which are GPU integrated.

**Due to chipset limitation, the Blu-ray playback of Intel® HD Graphics is only supported under Windows® Vista™ and Windows® 7.

***Intel® InTru™ 3D is only supported under Windows® 7 and Windows® 7 x64.

Audio

- 7.1 CH HD Audio with Content Protection (Realtek ALC898 Audio Codec)
- Premium Blu-ray audio support
- Supports THX TruStudio™

LAN

- PCIE x1 Gigabit LAN 10/100/1000 Mb/s
- Broadcom BCM57781
- Supports Wake-On-LAN
- Supports Energy Efficient Ethernet 802.3az
- Supports PXE

Expansion / Connectivity

Slots

- 2 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots (PCIE1/PCIE3: single at x16 (PCIE1) / x8 (PCIE3) or dual at x8/x8 mode)
- 1 x PCI Express 2.0 x16 slot (PCIE4: x4 mode)
- 1 x PCI Express 2.0 x1 slot
- Supports AMD Quad CrossFireX™, 3-Way CrossFireX™ and CrossFireX™
- Supports NVIDIA® Quad SLI™ and SLI™
*PCIe Gen3 is supported on 3rd Generation of Intel® Core™ i5 and Core™ i7 CPUs.

SATA3

- 2 x SATA3 6.0 Gb/s connectors by Intel® Z77, support RAID (RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 10, Intel® Rapid Storage and Intel® Smart Response Technology), NCQ, AHCI and "Hot Plug" functions
- 2 x SATA3 6.0 Gb/s connectors by ASMedia ASM1061, support NCQ, AHCI and "Hot Plug" functions (SATA3_A2 connector is shared with eSATA3 port)

USB 3.0

- 2 x Rear USB 3.0 ports by Intel® Z77, support USB 1.0/2.0/3.0 up to 5Gb/s
- 2 x Rear USB 3.0 ports by ASMedia ASM1042, support USB 1.0/2.0/3.0 up to 5Gb/s
- 1 x Front USB 3.0 header by Intel® Z77 (supports 2 USB 3.0 ports), supports USB 1.0/2.0/3.0 up to 5Gb/s

Connector

- 4 x SATA2 3.0 Gb/s connectors, support RAID (RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 10, Intel® Rapid Storage and Intel® Smart Response Technology), NCQ, AHCI and Hot Plug functions
- 4 x SATA3 6.0 Gb/s connectors
- 1 x IR header
- 1 x CIR header
- 1 x COM port header
- 1 x HDMI_SPDIF header
- 1 x Power LED header
- 2 x CPU Fan connectors (1 x 4-pin, 1 x 3-pin)
- 2 x Chassis Fan connectors (1 x 4-pin, 1 x 3-pin)
- 1 x Power Fan connector (3-pin)
- 24 pin ATX power connector
- 8 pin 12V power connector
- SLI/XFire power connector
- Front panel audio connector
- 3 x USB 2.0 headers (support 6 USB 2.0 ports)
- 1 x USB 3.0 header (supports 2 USB 3.0 ports)
- 1 x Dr. Debug with LED
- 1 x Power Switch with LED
- 1 x Reset Switch with LED
- 1 x Clear CMOS Switch with LED

Rear Panel I/O

I/O Panel
- 1 x PS/2 Keyboard/Mouse Port
- 1 x D-Sub Port
- 1 x DVI-D Port
- 1 x HDMI Port
- 1 x DisplayPort
- 1 x Optical SPDIF Out Port
- 1 x Ready-to-Use USB 2.0 Port
- 1 x Fatal1ty Mouse Port (USB 2.0)
- 1 x eSATA3 Connector
- 4 x Ready-to-Use USB 3.0 Ports
- 1 x RJ-45 LAN Port with LED (ACT/LINK LED and SPEED LED)
- 1 x Clear CMOS Switch with LED
- HD Audio Jack: Rear Speaker / Central / Bass / Line in / Front Speaker / Microphone

Other Features / Miscellaneous

Unique Feature

- F-Stream
- ASRock Instant Boot
- ASRock Instant Flash
- ASRock APP Charger
- ASRock SmartView
- ASRock XFast USB
- ASRock XFast LAN
- ASRock XFast RAM
- ASRock Crashless BIOS
- ASRock OMG (Online Management Guard)
- ASRock Internet Flash
- Lucid Virtu Universal MVP
- Hybrid Booster:
- CPU Frequency Stepless Control
- ASRock U-COP
- Boot Failure Guard (B.F.G.)
- Combo Cooler Option (C.C.O.)
- Good Night LED
*Lucid Virtu Universal MVP can be supported only with processors which are GPU integrated.

**LucidLogix Virtu MVP only supports Windows® 7 OS or later versions.

Support CD

- Drivers, Utilities, AntiVirus Software (Trial Version), CyberLink MediaEspresso 6.5 Trial, ASRock MAGIX Multimedia Suite - OEM

Accessories

- 1 x ASRock SLI_Bridge Card
- Quick Installation Guide, Support CD, I/O Shield
- 4 x SATA Data Cables
- 1 x SATA 1 to 1 Power Cable

Hardware Monitor

- CPU Temperature Sensing
- Chassis Temperature Sensing
- CPU/Chassis/Power Fan Tachometer
- CPU/Chassis Quiet Fan (Allow Chassis Fan Speed Auto-Adjust by CPU Temperature)
- CPU/Chassis Fan Multi-Speed Control
- Voltage Monitoring: +12V, +5V, +3.3V, CPU Vcore

Form Factor

- Micro ATX Form Factor: 9.6-in x 9.6-in, 24.4 cm x 24.4 cm
- Premium Gold Capacitor design (100% Japan-made high-quality Conductive Polymer Capacitors)

OS

- Microsoft® Windows® 7 / 7 64-bit / Vista™ / Vista™ 64-bit / XP / XP 64-bit compliant

Certifications

- FCC, CE, WHQL
- ErP/EuP Ready (ErP/EuP ready power supply is required)

Features

  • Premium Gold Caps
  • Digi Power Design
  • Supports Dual Channel DDR3 2800+(OC)
  • 2 x PCIe 3.0 x16 Slots, Supports AMD Quad CrossFireX™, 3-Way CrossFireX, CrossFireX™ and NVIDIA® Quad SLI™, SLI™
  • PCIE Gigabit LAN
  • Supports Intel® HD Graphics with Built-in Visuals
  • Multi VGA Output options : DVI-D, D-Sub, HDMI
  • Combo Cooler Option (C.C.O.)
  • 7.1 CH HD Audio with Content Protection (Realtek ALC898 Audio Codec), Supports THX TruStudio™
  • Supports ASRock XFast RAM, XFast LAN, XFast USB, OMG, Internet Flash, Dehumidifier, UEFI System Browser
  • Supports Intel® Smart Connect, Intel® Rapid Start, Lucid Virtu Universal MVP
  • Free Bundle : CyberLink MediaEspresso 6.5 Trial, ASRock MAGIX Multimedia Suite

Closer look

This smaller form factor motherboard from Asrock as all the liking to be a great motherboard just like the Gene series from ASUS. They both share the same color pattern but I can guarantee there is no money see monkey do here. You have to realize that black and red has been the color theme of Fatal1ty the Gamer for as long as he has been around branding products.

The overall looks follow that of the Asrock Fatal1ty line up what consist of the X79, Z68, P67 and several Z77 board. And this motherboard being a Z77 in flavor has all the wonderful features that Intel added to the chipset. It all begins with the HD graphics as the board has all the outputs but it’s up to the CPU to provide the actually graphic solution. But a lot the reason to get this board is overclocking and the several added fates that Asrock added.

The Professional-M was just one of several motherboards Asrock launched under the Intel Z77. The Z77 supports all of the current socket processors including Sandy Bridge as well as Ivy Bridge. But only with the Ivy Bridge CPU will you get the PCIe 3.0 as well as a couple of other features. The board using an 8+3 power phase arrangement to deliver smooth power to the CPU and its various voltage aspects.

The Professional-M does support multiple GPU configurations with NVidia and Crossfire cards. The PCIe slots which the cards are used at rated at x16 for the first slot, and when dual cards are used the first two red slots are at x8/x8. This is typical of the Z77 unless an additional bridge is being used to up the PCIe lanes. And there is no such bridge on this board. The slot is also full length but is only rated at x4. There is one lone x1 slot in between the first two longer slots.

The Ivy Bridge has been proven to have a much better integrated memory controller than the Sandy Bridge models. We can be seen with the glowing number of high frequency memory kits being offered. We recently tested some 2400 MHz modules that topped off at 2520 MHz that would not have been possible with the older processor unless you were lucky enough to get one with an outstanding IMC.  Intel did implement the Ivy Bridge’s IMC with 1600 MHz native DDR3 support while the SB was only 1333 MHz. Guess that does have a little to do with it. According to Asrock the board supports DDR3 up to 2800 MHz.

The Z77 supports a total of six SATA port four being SATA II and two SATA III. But on this Asrock motherboard there are two additional SATA III ports but they are controlled by an ASMedia AMS1061 chip. The Intel ports do support RAID while the other two do not.

The Professional-M using two sets of passive heat sink to cooler the Intel PCH. They are not as nice looking as those on the X79 Extreme9 we reviewed here. But they do get the job done and that is what matters. Asrock also using a metallic-like buttons for the onboard power and reset.

One of the most interesting ports on the rear of the motherboard is the Fatal1ty Mouse Port. This port allows gamers to adjust the polling rate of their mouse. This is done in conjunction with the F-Stream application. The port does have some limitations like USB 2.0 mice can’t be used nor can USB ports.

  • PS/2 (mouse/KB)
  • 6x USB ports (4x USB3.0, Intel Z77, ASMedia AMS1042)
  • 1x eSATA (ASMedia AMS1061)
  • 1x LAN port (Ateros AR8151)
  • 7.1 channel audio (Realtek ALC898)
  • 4x Graphic ports (DVI, VGA, HDMI, DisplayPort)
  • 1x CLR CMOS


Testing Setup

Test Hardware:

1. Gigabyte Z77X-UD3H Motherboard
Asrock Z77 Fatal1ty Pro-M
2. Intel Core i5 3570K Processor
3. Kingston HyperX 1866 DDR3 8GB (9-11-9)
4. Kingston V+ 200 120GB Solid State Drive
5. ASUS BC12B1LT BD-Rom Drive
6. Thermaltake Frio Extreme CPU Cooler
7. MicrocoolBanchetto 101 Open Air Test Bench
8. Silverstone Strider Gold Evolution 850W Power Supply
9. ASUS Nvidia GTX 560Ti 448 Graphic Card

Test Software:

wPrime
FuturemarkPCMark Vantage
SiSoftware Sandra 2011
Super PI Modded 1.5
Geekbench2.2.7
PiFast

CPU-Z CPU and memory detection.

Overclocking Results

 


Results

wPrime
wPrime is a leading multithreaded benchmark for x86 processors that tests your processor performance by calculating square roots with a recursive call of Newton's method for estimating functions, with f(x)=x2-k, where k is the number we're sqrting, until Sgn(f(x)/f'(x)) does not equal that of the previous iteration, starting with an estimation of k/2. It then uses an iterative calling of the estimation method a set amount of times to increase the accuracy of the results. It then confirms that n(k)2=k to ensure the calculation was correct. It repeats this for all numbers from 1 to the requested maximum.

 

Futuremark PCMark Vantage
3DMark Vantage is a PC benchmark suite designed to test the DirectX10 performance of your graphics card. We’ve been making 3DMark for over 10 years, with each new edition using the latest 3D technology to determine real-world performance.

 

SiSoftware Sandra 2011
We are pleased to announce the launch of SiSoftware Sandra 2011, the latest version of our award-winning utility, which includes remote analysis, benchmarking and diagnostic features for PCs, servers, mobile devices and networks.
At SiSoftware we strive to ensure that we give our users the best software experience. We observe the industry, try to predict where trends are going, but more than that: we also come up with new ideas on how to measure performance. SiSoftware works with all major hardware vendors to ensure we can accurately measure, report and present performance in the most accurate and informative way.
A year ago, SiSoftware released Sandra 2010 with full support for Windows 7; in the 18 months since the launch of Windows 7, more than ever before we have seen the line blur between PC and entertainment hubs. Two months ago we released a Blu-Ray benchmark, now we have added a brand-new Media Transcoding benchmark using the new Media Foundation of Windows 7. We have also added yet another benchmark (GP Cryptography) which allows direct comparison of CPU performance (using crypto instruction sets) and GPGPU/GPCPU/GPAPU performance.

 


Super PI Modded 1.5
In August 1995, the calculation of pi up to 4,294,960,000 decimal digits was succeeded by using a supercomputer at the University of Tokyo. The program was written by D.Takahashi in collaboration with Dr.Y.Kanada at the computer center. This record should be the current world record. (Details are shown in the windows help.) This record-breaking program was ported to personal computer environment such as Windows NT and Windows 95. In order to calculate 33.55 million digits, it takes within 3 days with a Pentium 90 MHz, 40 MB main memory and 340 MB available storage.

 

Geekbench 2.3.1
Geekbench provides a comprehensive set of benchmarks engineered to quickly and accurately measure processor and memory performance. Designed to make benchmarks easy to run and easy to understand, Geekbench takes the guesswork out of producing robust and reliable benchmark results.

 

AIDA64 Extreme Edition 1.50
FinalWire Ltd. today announced the immediate availability of AIDA64 Extreme Edition 1.50 software, a streamlined diagnostic and benchmarking tool for home users; and the immediate availability of AIDA64 Business Edition 1.50 software, an essential network management solution for small and medium scale enterprises.
The new AIDA64 update implements AVX-optimized benchmarks for the upcoming Intel Sandy Bridge processors, adds a brand new video encoding benchmark, and supports the latest AMD and nVIDIA graphics processors.


MaxxMEM 2
“Is the *little brother of MaxxPI², it contains the same Memorybenchmark routine as MaxxPI² does. So your reaced results will be comparable to Memory / Latency benchmarks done by MaxxPI².”

Futuremark 3DMark 11
Your PC’s performance is determined by the interactions between different hardware components, the operating system and the type and amount of software running. A benchmark provides a set of performance tests that can be repeated with a high degree of accuracy on a wide range of computer hardware.
3DMark 11 is the latest version of the world’s most popular benchmark for measuring the graphics performance of gaming PCs.
Designed for testing DirectX 11 hardware running on Windows 7 and Windows Vista the benchmark includes six all new benchmark tests that make extensive use of all the new features in DirectX 11 including tessellation, compute shaders and multi-threading.
After running the tests 3DMark gives your system a score with larger numbers indicating better performance. Trusted by gamers worldwide to give accurate and unbiased results, 3DMark 11 is the best way to test DirectX 11 under game-like loads.

Square Enix Final Fantasy XiV
FINAL FANTASY XIV takes the first intrepid steps into an unknown realm, and in doing soa new place for adventurers of all creeds to call home is born — Eorzea.
In the world of Hydaelyn, the term Eorzea denotes the geographical region comprised of the continent of ldenard and its surrounding islands, as well as the civilization which spawned there. Calling the area home are several independent city-states,the most notable being Limsa Lominsa, bustling port and pirate hub;Ul’dah, a desert city rich in mineral wealth; Gridania, nested deep within an ageless wood; and Ishgard, bastion atop the mountains.


Conclusion

First, we have to say that Asrock Fatal1ty Professional-M is one good looking motherboard. The combination of black and red is now considered a classic. It is a choice of many that want their build to be color coordinated. Matched with an all-black case or even a white, some Corsair red Vengeance, Phanteks red TC14PE air cooler as well as some other matched components you can have one great looking rig.

Granted looks aren’t everything just part of it. The Asrock does perform well matching the Gigabyte UD3H in just about every category. And overclocking the board results were the same as the Gigabyte offering as well. Overclocking results are not totally relied on the motherboard anymore mostly the processor nowadays. So, if we can’t hit 4.8 GHz on a system using this same processor we would have to say the board just doesn’t cut it in the overclocking area.

Asrock does allow the motherboard to take advantage of all the features that was added into the Z68 and Z77 chipsets. Some may not realize that these options can be left out if the manufacturer so wanted. Basically, we can’t take them for granted. Asrock does packed the board and its software package with a ton of added features. Dehumidifier, OMG and Internet Flash to name a few.

I have to give props to this motherboard as it was able to boot with ram rated at 2400 MHz with no problem. This was not the case with the Extreme6 we tested a few weeks ago.

The Asrock Fatal1ty Professional-M is not the cheapest mATX Z77 motherboard out there. At $170 at Newegg it is cheaper than the ASUS Maximus V Gene and Gigabyte G1.Sniper M3 but more expensive than the ASUS P8Z77-M which also gets good reviews.

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