ASRock X79 Extreme11

Posted by on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 - 2:59pm

Asrock X79 Extreme11But just when we thought they would not be able to top the feature rich X79 Extreme9 they up the ante with the granddaddy of them all with the Extreme11 featuring the same X79 chipset from Intel. The Extreme11 comes in at a very hefty price tag of $649 but ASRock did not hold out when it came down to packing the board with everything they had and more. Granted I could not fork over the money to obtain one of those off the shelf but there are many that can. So, is if worth it even to them? Lets check it out first.

 Asrock X79 Extreme11

ASRock X79 Extreme11 Motherboard Review

Introduction

After motherboards like the X79 Extreme9 and the Z77 OC, we can no longer called ASRock a second tier motherboard company when it comes to all out performance and features. Each of these motherboards display just what ASRock is capable of. The Z77 OC quickly became one of our favorite motherboards of all time. Its overclocking features rival those of ASUS, Gigabyte and MSI and honestly out did a couple of them when it comes down to the Z77 chipset.

But just when we thought they would not be able to top the feature rich X79 Extreme9 they up the ante with the granddaddy of them all with the Extreme11 featuring the same X79 chipset from Intel. The Extreme11 comes in at a very hefty price tag of $649 but ASRock did not hold out when it came down to packing the board with everything they had and more. Granted I could not fork over the money to obtain one of those off the shelf but there are many that can. So, is if worth it even to them? Lets check it out first.

ASRock’s take on the X79 Extreme11

ASRock is hitting the top end of Intel's motherboard chipset. This is ASRock's top-end board for a top-spec desktop chipset. The brand new X79 Extreme11, like most of ASRock's latest boards aimed at the enthusiast end of the market, is full to the brim with features. PLX PEX 8747 bridges let this board to run multi-GPU 4-Way SLI/CrossFireX in full x16 PCIe 3.0 speed, 8 SATA3/SAS ports (sourced from LSI™ SAS2308 controller) support LSI™ MegaRAID®, delivering 3.8 GB/s high transfer speed in RAID 0 mode, Creative Sound Core3D 7.1 CH HD Audio brings astonishing sound experience to user. This is a rare, superior motherboard that brings all luxurious components together, delivering the highest level of performance.


Specifications

CPU

- Supports Intel® Core™ i7 processor family for the LGA 2011 Socket
- Digi Power Design
- 24 + 2 Power Phase Design
- Dual-Stack MOSFET (DSM)
- Supports Intel® Turbo Boost 2.0 Technology
- Supports Hyper-Threading Technology
- Supports Untied Overclocking Technology

Chipset

- Intel® X79

Memory

- Quad Channel DDR3 memory technology
- 8 x DDR3 DIMM slots
- Supports DDR3 2500+(OC)/2133(OC)/1866(OC)/1600/1333/1066 non-ECC, un-buffered memory
- Supports DDR3 ECC, un-buffered memory with Intel® Workstation 1S Xeon processors E5 16xx/26xx/46xx series in socket LGA 2011
- Max. capacity of system memory: 64GB*
- 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, VCCSA, DRAM, VTT, CPU PLL, PCH1.1V, PCH1.5V Voltage Multi-adjustment

Audio, Video and Networking

Graphics

- n/a

Audio

- 7.1 CH HD Audio
- Creative Sound Core3D quad-core sound and voice processor
- Supports THX TruStudio™ PRO
- Supports CrystalVoice
- Supports Scout Mode
- Supports EAX1.0 to EAX5.0
- Premium Headset Amplifier (PHA)

LAN

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

Expansion / Connectivity

Slots

- 7 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots (PCIE1/PCIE2/PCIE3/PCIE4/PCIE5/PCIE6/PCIE7: x16/0/16/0/16/0/16 mode or x16/8/8/8/8/8/8 mode) (2 x PLX PEX8747 Bridges to support 4-Way SLI™ in Gen3 x16/16/16/16 mode)
- Supports AMD Quad CrossFireX™, 4-Way CrossFireX™, 3-Way CrossFireX™ and CrossFireX™
- Supports NVIDIA® Quad SLI™, 4-Way SLI™, 3-Way SLI™ and SLI™

Storage

- 2 x SATA3 6.0 Gb/s connectors by Intel® X79, support RAID (RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 10 and Intel® Rapid Storage 3.0), NCQ, AHCI and "Hot Plug" functions
- 8 x SAS2/SATA3 6.0 Gb/s connectors by LSI SAS2308 PCIe 3.0 controller, support RAID (RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 1E and RAID 10), NCQ and "Hot Plug" functions

USB 3.0

- 4 x Rear USB 3.0 ports by TI, support USB 1.0/2.0/3.0 up to 5Gb/s
- 2 x Front USB 3.0 headers (support 4 USB 3.0 ports) by TI, support 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 and Intel® Rapid Storage 3.0), NCQ, AHCI and Hot Plug functions
- 2 x SATA3 6.0 Gb/s connectors
- 8 x SAS/SATA3 6.0 Gb/s connectors
- 1 x IR header
- 1 x CIR header
- 1 x HDMI_SPDIF header
- 1 x IEEE 1394 header
- 1 x Power LED header
- 2 x CPU Fan connectors (1 x 4-pin, 1 x 3-pin)
- 3 x Chassis Fan connectors (1 x 4-pin, 2 x 3-pin)
- 1 x Power Fan connector (3-pin)
- 1 x SB Fan connector (3-pin)
- 24 pin ATX power connector
- 2 x 8 pin 12V power connectors
- 2 x SLI/XFire power connectors
- Front panel audio connector
- 3 x USB 2.0 headers (support 6 USB 2.0 ports)
- 2 x USB 3.0 headers (support 4 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 Port
- 1 x Optical SPDIF Out Port
- 8 x Ready-to-Use USB 2.0 Ports
- 2 x eSATA Connectors
- 4 x Ready-to-Use USB 3.0 Ports
- 2 x RJ-45 LAN Ports with LED (ACT/LINK LED and SPEED LED)
- 1 x IEEE 1394 Port
- 1 x Clear CMOS Switch with LED
- HD Audio Jack: Rear Speaker / Central / Bass / Line in / Front Speaker / Microphone

Other Features / Miscellaneous

Unique Feature

- ASRock Extreme Tuning Utility (AXTU)
- ASRock Instant Boot
- ASRock Instant Flash
- ASRock APP Charger
- ASRockSmartView
- ASRockXFast USB
- ASRockXFast LAN
- ASRockXFast RAM
- ASRock X-FAN
- ASRockCrashless BIOS
- ASRock OMG (Online Management Guard)
- ASRock Internet Flash
- ASRock UEFI System Browser
- ASRock Easy RAID Installer
- ASRock Interactive UEFI
- Hybrid Booster:
- CPU Frequency Stepless Control
- ASRock U-COP
- Boot Failure Guard (B.F.G.)
- Good Night LED

Smart Switch

- 1 x Power Switch with LED
- 1 x Reset Switch with LED
- 1 x Clear CMOS Switch with LED

Support CD

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

Accessories

- 2 x ASRockSLI_Bridge Cards
- 1 x ASRock SLI_Bridge_3S Card
- 1 x ASRock 3-Way SLI Bridge Card
- Quick Installation Guide, Support CD, I/O Shield
- 6 x SATA Data Cables
- 2 x SATA 1 to 1 Power Cables
- 1 x Front USB 3.0 Panel
- 4 x HDD Screws
- 6 x Chassis Screws
- 1 x Rear USB 3.0 Bracket

Hardware Monitor

- CPU Temperature Sensing
- Chassis Temperature Sensing
- CPU/Chassis/Power/SB Fan Tachometer
- CPU 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

- CEB Form Factor: 12.0-in x 10.5-in, 30.5 cm x 26.7 cm
- Premium Gold Capacitor design (100% Japan-made high-quality Conductive Polymer Capacitors)

OS

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

Certifications

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

Features

  • 7 x PCIe 3.0 x16 slots (2 x PLX PEX 8747 bridges), Support 4-Way SLI/CrossFireX in full x16 PCIe 3.0 speed
  • 8 SAS2/SATA3 from LSI™ SAS 2308 PCIe 3.0 Controller
  • Creative Sound Core3D 7.1 CH, Supports Premium Headset Amplifier, THX TruStudio PRO™
  • Premium Gold Caps (2.5 x longer life time), 100% Japan-made high-quality Conductive Polymer Capacitors
  • Supports Dual-Stack MOSFET (DSM)
  • Supports Digi Power, 24 + 2 Power Phase Design
  • Supports Quad Channel DDR3 2500+(OC)
  • Broadcom PCIE Dual LAN with Teaming Function
  • 8 USB 3.0 (4 Front, 4 Back), 10 SATA3 (2 from Intel® X79, 8 from LSI)
  • Supports XFast 555, OMG, Internet Flash, Easy RAID Installer, Interactive UEFI, UEFI System Browser
  • Free Bundle : 1 x Front USB 3.0 Panel, 1 x Rear USB 3.0 Bracket, CyberLinkMediaEspresso 6.5 Trial, MAGIX Multimedia Suite

Closer look

The Extreme11 as you may have noticed is based on Intel's high-end X79 chipset. Yes, the Z77 chipset maybe more popular with the enthusiast, gamer and bencher but if you want all that Intel has to offer the X79 is the way to go. The board is a tidbit on the large side being larger than your typical ATX motherboard brings it into the realm of SSI-CEB form factor. So, the chance of your case supporting the board is pretty good but the added width needs to be taking into account.

The layout of the motherboard is awesome with its black, gold and silver theme going on. The placement of the slots cannot be argued as all of them are PCIe full length ones. And heat sink is not that much of an issue as with all X79 motherboards there are only two heat sinks; one above the CPU socket and one on the PCH of the board. And in this case the heat sinks are joined by a single Nickel-plated heat pipe.

Asrock X79 Extreme11

Heata sink and fan

The slots of the Extreme11 are insane. There are a total of seven 100% PCI 3.0 x16 slots all running via the chipset and two PLX PEX878 chipsets. The PLX chipsets allows the board to take advantage of the forty PCIe lanes offered by the chipset. The end result is slots 1, 3, 5 and 7 can operate at x16 bandwidth with four cards installed or x16 only with the first slot and all the others at x8 with more than four cards are used. The first configuration allows all cards install to take advantage of maximum bandwidth. The board also supports 4-way SLI and Crossfire setups.

Besides the chipset of the board the next most important vein here is the high quality premium caps which are total 100% Japanese-made and the dual stacked Mosfet which we touched on in the Z77 OC review. The caps alone are said to have longer life span of 2.5 times of regular caps. The board uses a large number of digital power phase to deliver power to the CPU's voltage system with twenty-two of them going to the going to the VCore and four others pumping power in the ram controller and the CPU's VTT.

VRM

Like most other X79 motherboard, the Extreme11 has a total of eight DIMM which will support module as big as 8GB each for a total of 64GB. The frequency support is dialed in at 2400MHz in OC mode.

DIMM slots

DIMM slots

The power supplied to the CPU comes from two 8-pin EPS connections. I was not at all surprised to see this due mainly to the large number of power phases the board has. And in conjunction with the phase and the circuitry of the board, we would suspect the board to run more efficiently.

Dual EPS

And also to help in the power delivery department there is two Molex connectors for extra power to the PCIe lanes as well. One above the first PCIe slots near the memory slots and the second down on the very edge of the bottom of the board in a right degree angle.

Molex connector

The SATA ports on the Extreme11 are very plentiful. There are a total of fourteen of them along the edge of the board. Starting from the right the first six are controlled by the X79 chipset and the gray ports are SATA III and the other four are SATA II. The other eight gray ports are controlled by a LSI SAS2308 PCIe 3.0 Raid controller. All of the ports support the common forms of Raid which would include 0, 1, 5 and 10. The LSI does include support for Raid 1e which is basically similar to Raid 10 but just three drives are needed and not four.

SATA ports

For the audio Asrock did not go cheap at all. The sound chip is courtesy of Creative in the form of a Recon3Di chip.

Core3D

And if you need outside storage capabilities well the Extreme11 has a lot to offer here are well:

  • 1x Firewire (VIA VT6315N)
  • 12x USB ports (TI TUSB7340)
  • 2x eSATA (Marvell 88SE9172)
  • 2x LAN port (Broadcom BCM57781)
  • 7.1 channel audio (CREATIVE Recon3Di)
  • 1x PS/2
  • 1x CLR CMOS

Rear I/O


BIOS


Main Screen


OC Tweaker


CPU EZ OC Settings


BCLK and XMP Settings


OC Tweaker/DRAM Configuation


Voltage Controls


CPU Configurations


North Bridge Configurations


Sound Effects


Fan Controls


Testing Setup

Test Hardware:

1. Asrock X79 Extreme11
2. Intel Core i7 3930K 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

CPU-Z Detection

CPU-Z 1

CPU-Z 2

CPU-Z 3


Overclocking Results

Overclocking the X79 Extreme11 did not get me any gain then any of the X79 motherboards I have tested. This is mostly due to the chip and not the boards. Most people know by now that it is the luck of the draw with it comes to Ivy and Sandy Bridge (-E) processors. But I will say this in fact of this new motherboard and that is it took less voltage to get the processor's max than any other board. We topped at 4.6GHz using 1.42v and not 1.45v that it usually took. Granted the .03 volts don’t sound like much but when it comes to prolonging the life of your CPU, you will find that is it.

4.6GHz


Conclusion

The Asrock X79 Extreme11 is one of the prettiest motherboards we have even seen. The use of black with outlines of gold makes the board look awesome. But the overall layout is what does it. The seven PCIe slots do not interrupt any other ports on the motherboard. The heat sinks used aren't overwhelming. There are five fan header distributed over the surface of the board. The list goes on and on.

We can easily see why the X79 Extreme11 could be the dream motherboard for so many people. First of all it offers a lot when we are talking about storage handling. It begins with the fourteen SATA ports on the board then it moves around to the rear and continues with all the USB, fire wire and eSATA ports. And every one of those SATA ports supports Raid in some form. Yes, this will benefit the professional or the data collector but what about the gamer?

For the gamer and those wanting the awesome is rigs look no further. The X79 Extreme11 support both quad Crossfire and SLI with max bandwidth across all four slots that would be used. The help in being able to do this is from the use of dual PLX PEX8748 switch bridges. And by using the four slots to their full capabilities you still do not lose performance in other of the motherboard like everything that run off of the X79 chipset I.E. SATA and USB ports.

Overclocking is a breeze as we were able to that the 3930K to its max with very little effort which was 4.6GHz. But the delightful part about this is it was done using .03 the voltage normally this processor would need to get to 4.6GHz.

The Extreme11 has a ton of features and we could go on for days talking about them. But we won't. Most are listed with the main body of the review.

We only found one thing on the uneasy side when it came to this motherboard. And that would be the price. At $600, it is only meant for those that really plan on taking advantage of what it has to offers. I you are planning on dropping in four GTX 680s, some high performance solid sate drives and 64GB of ram the $600 is just a drop in the bucket.

Elite Hardware

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