Asrock Z87 Extreme11/ac Review: 22 SATA ports, 4-way GPU support and more

By on January 5, 2014, 11:01 PM

Although Asrock's Z87 Extreme9/ac offers all the motherboard we need at $360, we're happy to see companies catering to enthusiasts who will take things further -- like $200 further. LGA2011 is known for such solutions, including Asus' $500 P9X79-E WAS or Asrock's own $600 X79 Extreme11. With that platform now a few years old, manufacturers are shifting their focus to LGA1150, which arrived this year alongside Haswell and is accompanied by the Z87 chipset, among other Lynx Point-based parts.

Asrock's new Z87 Extreme11/ac may very well be the most extreme motherboard we've handled. It touts four-way GPU support, premium onboard audio that includes a headphone amp, dozens of ports, dual gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and -- unsurprisingly -- the largest price tag in its class.

Read the complete review.




User Comments: 31

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2 people like this | ---agissi--- ---agissi---, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Its nice to see a real hardware article, that's not about a phone. Even if its a motherboard I'd never buy.

2 people like this | howzz1854 said:

These guys are giving Asus run for their money. I gotta say recently I upgraded my rig and instead of going with Asus, I decided to give Asrock a try, and got myself a Z77 Exetrme6. gotta be honest, it's the best bang for my buck. other than cooking breakfast, and 3 way SLi, this thing can do everything a $300+ mobo can. it took my i7 3770K up to 4.8ghz without much trouble. feature vs feature, this thing just beats Asus by price. hopefully these guys will keep up the good work. only caveat, they're known to have poor customer support. but it's not like Asus won the year of best customer service either. we need more manufactuers like Asrock.

1 person liked this | madboyv1, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Sweet mother of Santa Maria, that is a lot of SATA ports. LSI chip in there too, huge savings over buying a good dedicated RAID card from them, though the logic for more computation intensive RAID (RAID5/6 and variations) is not there.

2 people like this | Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

Nice article... crazy board. Wouldn't use all the SATA ports myself but can think of a few who would.

When running @ x8, those PCIe slots are 3.0 slots aren't they? So they'd be pretty substantial anyway?

Staff
Steve Steve said:

When running @ x8, those PCIe slots are 3.0 slots aren't they? So they'd be pretty substantial anyway?

Yep that is correct they certainly won't bottleneck any existing graphics cards.

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

You see many many components with an unjustifiable "Extreme" moniker. This one lives up to that title at the moment especially in the SATA connectors department, not to mention the tortured wallet department.

LukeDJ LukeDJ said:

FINALLY! A motherboard with enough storage capabilities to store all of my HD......movies, yeah, movies.

amstech amstech, TechSpot Enthusiast, said:

I liked the board until I saw the built in fan. Yuck.

LukeDJ LukeDJ said:

I liked the board until I saw the built in fan. Yuck.

I'd like to see how loud those suckers get when they ramp up, and how annoying they are. @Steve ?

2 people like this | MrBungle said:

I liked the board until I saw the built in fan. Yuck.

Yeah, an onboard fan is usually a deal breaker for me... if there is no fan then there is no fan to die.

1 person liked this | GhostRyder GhostRyder said:

Great review, man this board is very sexy I can't believe how far Asrock has come over the years to provide such high end components on par with companies like Asus and Gigabyte. My jaw dropped after reading 22 Sata ports because I mean...Just wow, that's so much!

Having those mini-PCI-E spots with a wireless card built in along with bluetooth, 4 way CFX/SLI support, Dual LAN, that beautiful built in sound card, and the dual USB 3.0 headers on the board is making my drool. Even at 540 bucks which is a bit pricey, just the fact this board contains all these features makes it a good buy for that money.

I don't know why you three above me are complaining about the fans on the board, all that does is give you bonus cooling in extreme overclocking situations and improve the longevity of your board. I doubt the board would have an issue if the fan failed in the realm of overheating at least...

Great board and review.

Guest said:

I cannot even begin to comprehend having 22 hard drives in my home computer...

... aww crap, I need to change my boxers.

1 person liked this | Guest said:

20 SSDs, 4 Titans, don't be surprised if that thing became self aware.

Guest said:

PCI-E SSD is coming. 4 SATA ports are enough.

Guest said:

What on earth would you do with 20 SATA ports? Here's the answer.

I would mod a case... we'll call it a REALLY Full Tower, that would hold that many drives. Then... I would worship it, and chuckle when people tell me they are running out of drive space.

Guest said:

The absurd thing is that they went the SATA port route verses Mini-SAS connectors. I would buy this in a heartbeat if it had 4x MiniSAS plugs + 6 standard SATA ports. 22 SATA cables? A wiring nightmare!

Guest said:

Now that's a bad ass motherboard.

1 person liked this | Misagt said:

I don't have need of this but still really impressive, I'll be giving Asrock a good look next time I'm thinking of upgrading my motherboard

JC713 JC713 said:

Wow ASROCK has been stepping up their game lately.

amstech amstech, TechSpot Enthusiast, said:

Yeah, an onboard fan is usually a deal breaker for me... if there is no fan then there is no fan to die.

Exactly, and anyone who says different is obviously inexperienced. The fans can get noisy/dusty quickly, easily break, and if they fail (ive seen plenty in my experience) can help cause abnormal temps. It's unneeded risk and at minimum makes the board look cheap.

Staff
Steve Steve said:

Exactly, and anyone who says different is obviously inexperienced. The fans can get noisy/dusty quickly, easily break, and if they fail (ive seen plenty in my experience) can help cause abnormal temps. It's unneeded risk and at minimum makes the board look cheap.

They are not ideal but it's also certainly not as dramatic as you are making it sound. If you keep your system clean/free of dust they shouldn't fail. While they can be loud these fans on the Asrock board weren't. In most cases the fans won't be needed as the case fans will provide enough air-flow over the board. But since Asrock can't count on everyone having a well setup case the small fans were needed as a precaution.

amstech amstech, TechSpot Enthusiast, said:

While they can be loud these fans on the Asrock board weren't. .

That doesn't mean they won't be over time as they get used, even when cleaned. I've seen it happen on several mobo's and GPU's. Only some "ball bearing" fans are proven IMO. I am not against this board but there is no doubt the onboard fan will turn off many customers and IMO its unneeded & cheap. Is that dramatic? Lol.

1 person liked this |
Staff
Steve Steve said:

If its unneeded then simply remove it

GhostRyder GhostRyder said:

I don't understand why this is a problem, I mean fans on a board just mean slightly lower temps on the chip-sets and mosfets. I mean its like steve said,

In most cases the fans won't be needed as the case fans will provide enough air-flow over the board. But since Asrock can't count on everyone having a well setup case the small fans were needed as a precaution.
.

The fans are just a bonus, but even if unplugged them from the motherboard, its still the standard Z87 chipset (Well of course there's the extras that are added on the board added by AsRock) so I highly doubt there would be a temperature problem without them. Alot of the top tier LGA 2011 boards have them yet there are also boards from the same lineup that don't contain the fans as well. So I honestly doubt these fans were needed, but I like the fact AsRock included something like that for extended life of the motherboard components.

Camikazi said:

I am in awe of all those SATA ports and of just everything this board has built in and that includes the price, my god it is expensive.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I can make due with boards that cost less than $200. I do believe the general public can as well.

1 person liked this | GhostRyder GhostRyder said:

I can make due with boards that cost less than $200. I do believe the general public can as well.

No @cliffordcooley we must have ALLL the motherboards that cost 400+. Mo Money = Mo Better in the world of computers right :p

MrBungle said:

They are not ideal but it's also certainly not as dramatic as you are making it sound. If you keep your system clean/free of dust they shouldn't fail. While they can be loud these fans on the Asrock board weren't. In most cases the fans won't be needed as the case fans will provide enough air-flow over the board. But since Asrock can't count on everyone having a well setup case the small fans were needed as a precaution.

If I really like a board I can stomach them if the fans are standard replaceable 40 or 60mm with a standard power connector. In this case the one over the power circuitry is replaceable but the one over the south bridge looks proprietary (yuck). Two types of equipment... that which has died, and that which is going to die.

Prosercunus said:

I am still running ASRock P67 EXTREME4 GEN3 with my i5 2500k and I am a big fan. I would buy Asrock again, but not a board that expensive. I usually put about a $150 limit on motherboard purchases. Maybe $200 if it has some specific thing about it.

Guest said:

Can't support raid 5 or 6. No SAS Support. Better off with a cheaper m/b & a pci-e SAS raid controller.

I would think your better off getting a cheaper m/b & have a NAS as instead. Stream to your TV without switching this sucker on...

Guest said:

Hello

I just got the board, I have one remark, the bottom heat sink next to the SATAs have a idle temp of 60 all the time, while on load it goes up to 70, I am sure it is safe to run at these temps, and I don't even overclock, but is this what you had when you reviewed??, I cant see any reviews with the temps of these heat sinks, the heat sink next to the CPU sticks to 34 and up to 45 at load.

Thanks!

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