ASRock Teases with X79 Extreme7 Picture

141a vrz ASRock Teases with X79 Extreme7 Picture

ASRock is now a full-fledged motherboard manufacturer with boards targeting every market segment, from $50 office PC boards, to all-out enthusiast boards. Its upcoming socket LGA2011 lineup has one such board, one that woos budget-unconcious buyers, the X79 Extreme7. 

ASRock is now a full-fledged motherboard manufacturer with boards targeting every market segment, from $50 office PC boards, to all-out enthusiast boards. Its upcoming socket LGA2011 lineup has one such board, one that woos budget-unconcious buyers, the X79 Extreme7. 

141a vrz ASRock Teases with X79 Extreme7 Picture

After looking at the slurpy teaser picture we scored, we really wish we had a shot of this board's landscape. But from what little we can make out,  the board seems to be fully loaded in a very unique way. 

To begin with, this board seems to have six DDR3 DIMM slots. That's an odd number, considering the Sandy Bridge-E processor embeds four DDR3 memory channels, and so motherboards should ideally either have four slots (one per channel), or eight (two per channel). As with all LGA2011 boards, the memory slots are arranged on either sides of the large 2011-pin socket.

The CPU seems to be powered by at least an 8-phase VRM. We're able to count just one row of chokes on the VRM area north of the socket, there could be more rows. Interestingly, the FETs of the memory VRM seem to be cooled by heatsinks, as well. The last time we saw heatsinks over memory VRM was with Foxconn QuantumForce X58 boards. 

The heatsink cooling the X79 PCH (platform controller hub) is cooled by an active fan-heatsink. Active cooling, we think, is redundant. X79, unlike X58, is a single chip platform controller hub, with the northbridge completely relocated to the CPU package. A PCH is not much more than a glorified southbridge. Overclockers will seldom need to play with PCH voltages. Besides, small fans can add to the case noise. One upside we see is that with a multi-disk RAID array, the PCH could heat up, and the active heatsink design could help keep the size of the heatsink down.

We see at least five PCI-Express x16 slots, one can expect at least four of them to be Gen 3.0, and wired to the processor. We spy 9 internal SATA ports, and two front-panel USB 3.0 headers (four ports). Apart from the usual 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS power inputs, the board can draw power from a 4-pin Molex connector. The extra power might come handy in some scenarios (such as a PhysX-dedicated graphics card that relies on the motherboard entirely, for power.

Oh yes, we're looking forward to more pictures.

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