The Z77 chipset represents an interesting new trend from Intel–one of backwards compatibility. Unlike in previous generations, where a new motherboard necessitated a new CPU and often new RAM, the Z77 boards are backwards compatible with existing LGA 1155 Sandy Bridge CPUs. Since no LGA 1155 Ivy Bridge CPUs are yet available (at time of publication), this is good news for those looking to upgrade their system without dropping a huge load of cash all at once.
Since this board is backwards compatible with existing Sandy Bridge CPUs, the obvious question is: how does this board perform with current generation CPUs? Today we’ll be taking a look at the ASRock z77 Extreme6, a mid-range enthusiast board centered around this new chipset.
Some of the highlighted features include:
- Premium Gold Caps
- Digi Power Design, 8 + 4 Power Phase Design
- Supports Dual Channel DDR3 2800+(OC)
- 2 x PCIe 3.0 x16 Slots, 1 x mini-PCI Express slot
- Supports AMD Quad CrossFireX™, CrossFireX™ and NVIDIA® Quad SLI™, SLI™
- PCIE Gigabit LAN
- Supports Intel® HD Graphics with Built-in Visuals
- Multi VGA Output options: D-Sub, DVI-D, HDMI and DisplayPort
- 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, UEFI System Browser
- Supports Intel® Smart Connect, Intel® Rapid Start, Lucid Virtu Universal MVP
- Free Bundle : 1 x Front USB 3.0 Panel, 1 x Rear USB 3.0 Bracket, CyberLink MediaEspresso 6.5 Trial, ASRock MAGIX Multimedia Suite
This board looks like it’s got all the essentials, and quite a few extras as well. Without further ado, let’s jump into first looks.