We had a fabulous time with the ASRock X99 Extreme motherboard. There is ample room and spacing between components for builders to work unhindered. Moreover, this motherboard wields a ton of cutting edge features to keep users busy for the foreseeable future. Out-of-box performance is solid, if not impressive. However, the board supports one-click tuning in the BIOS environment and at the desktop, provided you download ASRock's A-Tuning software tools. Once we completed all our benchmark testing at the default timings for the CPU and memory, we used the desktop software to achieve a 4.5GHZ overclock to the CPU. With a massive 50% boost to CPU clocks speeds, we never looked back. No BSOD. No freezing. No problems at all. This told us two things. ASRock has an outstanding set of tools for this rock solid board. It makes tuning and squeezing out more performance mere child's for casual overclockers. However, the unflinching stability of the Extreme 11, without more manual hands-on tuning, suggests the ceiling is high for this one to go further in the hands of more pro-style overclockers--more so if using enhanced cooling methods. Custom water cooling and LN2-savvy users will be very pleased. The wealth of BIOS features and tuning options sweetens the pot even further.
: This is where things get dicey. The Extreme 11 is one of the most expensive boards on the market. When it first hit store shelves it was north of $700. Since, pricing has dropped a bit and can be found as low as $620
. Yet the ASRock X99 Extreme 11 still has few equals in terms of cost. The OC-heavy X99 ASUS Rampage V Extreme
, comes close ($499) but is still trumped in both price and shear number of high-end features.
This is an amazing board with very little to complain about. It could use a couple more 4pin fan connectors as there are only two. The fan over the X99 chipset is a bit loud on start-up and can be heard through much of a typical computing session. Those eyeing this mobo specifically for SAS3 and the LSI controller can find those same features on a couple older boards like ASRock's own Z97 Extreme11. Yet overall, this board has no equal currently, for your next generation storage needs.
Also, overclockers should be feverishly tempted by the tuning potential and 12 Power Phase design. Gamers will rejoice. Quad SLI and CrossFire is supported with cards running x16/x16/x16/x16, a veritable nirvana for hardcore PC gamers.
The ASRock Extreme 11 is no impulse buy; SAS3, PLX switches, dual Ultra M.2 x4 slots and 18 SATA3 ports were never going to come cheap, not at this early stage. Tack on support for Haswell-E and 18-Core Intel Xeon processors and you have a marvel of a motherboard that will turn heads and suit the needs of virtually any discerning enthusiast, from hardcore gamers to the demanding enterprise sector. It may be pricey, but if you have the cash, this comes highly recommended.
- Excellent Performance
- Well designed
- Unmatched storage options
- Dual Ultra M.2 x4 slots
- Full speed Quad-SLI/Crossfire w/ PLX Switches
- Intuitive and capable OC software
- Clean and comprehensive UEFI BIOS
- Extensive BIOS tuning options
- 12 Power Phase design
- Intel Xeon 18-Core Support
- Only two 4-pin fan connectors
- No Bluetooth support
- No Wi-Fi adapter