Quick Opinions - Asrock Z68 Extreme4 Gen3

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DaddyRabbit
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Quick Opinions - Asrock Z68 Extreme4 Gen3

Postby DaddyRabbit » Sat Sep 03, 2011 6:55 pm

Picked this up a couple of weeks ago, mostly based upon reviews. Was intrigued by Smart Response and Virtu and the reviews highlighting the boards overclockability.

First impressions:
- Like the packaging, very subtle and not uber flashy.
- Decent bundle (includes some multimedia apps and trials that I didn't use but some may) what I DID use was the front panel 2 port USB3 adapter.
- Good looking board. While some like colorful I like the black & gunmetal look of the board. Looks killer in a CM Storm Sniper.
- While I am a Gigabyte fan (they have yet to let me down with 4 boards) I think I like this board overall.

After some "light" playing with it (and the comparison is to my X58-UD3R with an i7 920):

Pros:
- I didn't OC the 920 too much because I had bad cooling and it was reasonably involved getting everything tweaked to be stable. This board was a 1 minute jump to 4.6 with adequate cooling (Corsair H100 might be overkill but I love it).
- Seems very stable with this quick overclock. Can run Prime95 large FFT all day and not break a sweat.
- For the most part the layout is pretty good. The SATA ports are hard to access with large GPUs but that is the case with a lot of boards.
- Initial layout is well marked (e.g. Marvell SATA3 ports and ATX 12v ports are marked with stickers).
- Onboard power and reset buttons as well as a rear Clear CMOS button and an LED diagnostic readout.
- I like the UEFI BIOS with a couple of reservations. In general it is very descriptive and user friendly. I was worried that I would miss the Gigabyte Dual BIOS feature but I have yet to need to even use the Clear CMOS button even when failing an overclock.
- Plenty of ports ( VGA, DVI, HDMI, & Display port off of the IGMP)!

Cons:
- The rear E-SATA port is driven off of the Marvell controller. Can't format a Seagate 320G drive attached via a Thermaltake Dock. Could be anything but the format worked on the front E-SATA port attached to the Intel controller and Marvell has a rep no?
- I get weird readings off of various monitoring utils (Speedfan 4.44 and CPU-Z 1.58 seem to be the best). Tried CoreTemp64 and it's readings were all over the place and the Asrock utility seemed to take a static read at startup and not really change.
- The rear IO plate doesn't seem to fit quite right.
- The one thing about the color scheme is that once the initial labels are removed it can be hard to determine which SATA3 ports run off of which controller.
- Why the hell include a legacy floppy controller!? I could almost understand a PATA but c'mon! (goes the same for the PS2 port).
- I didn't find the included utilities and apps very useful but YMMV.

Overall under-edjumicated viewpoint - This is a nice board so far. Very stable and easy to get a good overclock with minimal effort. I will be looking at Asrock for consideration for my next build, although I understand their tech support is spotty at best.

EDIT - One other BIG PRO (and I imagine this would be the case with any Z68 board) - Moving up from an X58 and I didn't have to re-install Win7. Put my old SSD and HDD on the SATA2 ports, set the controller to AHCI in BIOS and 5 minutes and a few driver installs later I was at my familiar old desktop just wondering what I was going to do for the rest of the day I had set aside to re-install everything :)
Last edited by DaddyRabbit on Sun Sep 04, 2011 11:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
Asrock Z68 Extreme4 Gen3
Core i7 2600k
Corsair H100 Liquid Cooler
8gig (2x4) G.Skill Ripjaws DDR3-1600
Powercolor HD5870 PCS+
OCZ Agility 2 240G SSD (boot, programs, games)
WD Caviar Black 1TB (Data)
CM UCP RS700-AAAAA3 700W 80+ Silver PSU
CM Storm Sniper
Gateway FHD2400
Win 7 Pro 64bit

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Apoptosis
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Re: Quick Opinions - Asrock Z68 Extreme4 Gen3

Postby Apoptosis » Sun Sep 04, 2011 6:22 am

I can see some still wanting PS2 as some older gaming keyboards that were expensive were PS2 only... IE: AuraVision EluminX
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DaddyRabbit
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Re: Quick Opinions - Asrock Z68 Extreme4 Gen3

Postby DaddyRabbit » Sun Sep 04, 2011 11:13 am

Yes I can see that. I didn't think about specialized keyboards. Not the floppy controller though O:)
Asrock Z68 Extreme4 Gen3
Core i7 2600k
Corsair H100 Liquid Cooler
8gig (2x4) G.Skill Ripjaws DDR3-1600
Powercolor HD5870 PCS+
OCZ Agility 2 240G SSD (boot, programs, games)
WD Caviar Black 1TB (Data)
CM UCP RS700-AAAAA3 700W 80+ Silver PSU
CM Storm Sniper
Gateway FHD2400
Win 7 Pro 64bit


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