asrock z68 extreme7 ASRocks PCI Express 3.0 motherboards unveiled

Details of several new motherboards with support for PCI Express 3.0 from ASRock have turned up, including specs of a couple of upcoming models.  The most exciting model is the feature packed Z68 Extreme7 which has been given quite a makeover since Computex, not in terms of features, but in terms of looks.

Details of several new motherboards with support for PCI Express 3.0 from ASRock have turned up, including specs of a couple of upcoming models.  The most exciting model is the feature packed Z68 Extreme7 which has been given quite a makeover since Computex, not in terms of features, but in terms of looks.

Although four new models have shown up, only two are actually new, as all four models have the Gen3 moniker tacked on the end. The two boards that don't appear to have changed much is the P67 Extrem4 Gen3 which has been given an overhaul with regards to the choice of colours and of course PCI Express 3.0 switches for the x16 PCI Express slots has otherwise not changed at all from what we can tell. The same goes for the Z68 Extreme4 Gen3, which got the same treatment as the P67 Extreme4 Gen3.

The Z68 Etreme3 Gen3 is a brand new model though that slots in between the Z68 Pro3 and the Z68 Extreme4. Unlike the previous two models, this one has been given a set of new chipset heatsinks as well which look rather quite stylish. It's quite hard to see any details from the tiny picture though, but the specs give us an idea of what's on offer. The board has a pair of x16 PCI Express slots that operate in dual x8 mode when both are in use, two x1 PCI Express slots and two PCI slots. Around the back the board has what we think is four USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, an eSATA port, Gigabit Ethernet, 7.1-channel audio and a D-Sub, HDMI and DVI port. The board also features power, reset and clear CMOS buttons, but for everything else we're going to have to wait until it launches.

asrock gen3 spec ASRocks PCI Express 3.0 motherboards unveiled

Finally we have ASRock's new flagship board, the Z68 Extreme7 Gen3 and although there was a version on display at Computex, the revised version doesn't look anything like it. ASRock has gone for a design that has ended up somewhere between Gigabyte's UD7 and Asus' ROG series of boards, although there are a few things that could've been better in our opinion. The new heatsinks and gold capacitors look very modern and high-tech though, even though they are unlikely to offer any extra benefits over more regular looking components.

The slot-layout is far from ideal and ASRock has kitted out the board with an nForce 200 chip which enables 3-way SLI and according to the spec sheet the top slot is the only x16 PCI Express 3.0 slot, whereas the other four x16 slots are stuck at PCI Express 2.0. There's also a single PCI Express x1 and a single PCI slot on the board. A very strange setup, but at least it's something unique to this board.

asrock z68 extreme7 ASRocks PCI Express 3.0 motherboards unveiled

ASRock has gone feature crazy on the Z68 Extreme7 with no less than four additional SATA 6Gbps ports, an eSATA controller, three USB 3.0 host controllers and a pair of Gigabit Ethernet controllers. Due to lack of PCI Express lanes from the chipset, ASRock has as such had to add a PLX bridge chip to handle all the peripheral controllers. The board also has headers for eight USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports and a FireWire port.

Around the back, unless ASRock has changed things around since Computex, there are two USB 2.0 ports, four USB 3.0 ports, two Ethernet ports, a FireWire port, an eSATA port, 7.1-channel audio with optical S/PDIF and a full set of display connectivity options which consist of a DisplayPort, HDMI, DVI and D-Sub connectors. Finally we have power, reset and clear CMOS buttons alongside a POST 80 debug LED. The real question is how much this board will cost, as we expect this to be the most expensive motherboard ASRock has ever launched to date.

Source: TweakTown, VR-Zone Forums