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Published November 17, 2009
At $140 the Asrock P55 Extreme is one of the most affordable P55 motherboards featured in our roundup. While it may not be the most feature complete board we tested, it is certainly no slouch as you are about to find out.
The P55 Extreme features 4 DIMM slots, a 8 + 2 power phase, 3 PCIe x16 ports, 7 SATA ports, Firewire, 8-channel audio and Gigabit LAN.
Some other features are standard across all P55-based boards such as multi-GPU support using either Crossfire or SLI technology. Also provided by the chipset are 6 SATA ports, which is the bare minimum you will see on any P55 motherboard since it's a stock characteristic.
Accompanying the default 6 SATA ports in the P55 Extreme is a single eSATA port using the JMicron JMB360 chip. This SATA port is self-powered meaning eSATA Flash Drives won't need to be powered externally or by a USB port.
The VIA VT6330 chip provides 2-port Firewire support, one of which is located on the I/O panel. The VT6330 also adds a single PATA channel that can handle up to two devices.
Gigabit LAN is delivered via the Realtek RTL8111DL controller, which utilizes the PCI Express bus for maximum throughput. The P55 Extreme only offers a single Gigabit LAN port, though we suspect most users will find this sufficient.
The P55 Extreme gets its audio from the Realtek ALC890B codec, which supports DTS and has a DAC with a 110dB dynamic range. Despite of having seen this chipset on numerous Asrock boards before, we were unable to dig up any real info on it. The Realtek website only lists 8-channel codecs from the ALC861 to the ALC889.
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