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ASRock X79 Extreme11 Intel LGA 2011

cadaveca

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#1
The ultra-high-end ASRock X79 Extreme11 is fitted with an onboard PCIe 3.0 LSI RAID controller, and not just one, but TWO PLX PEX8747 PCIE 3.0 switches. The ASRock X79 Extreme11 really does take it to the Extreme, offering functionality and capabilities no other motherboard can claim. But does it perform to the Extreme?

Show full review
 
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#2
Great review!
This board rocks!

Cadaveca i'm looking at getting the ASRock X79 Extreme6 Do you think it would be a good board as well? Plan on 64GB ram for a 56GB ramdisk...
 
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#3
At that price i have bought a whole PC
 
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#4
•High price, although I personally feel the price is justified. Unfortunately, not all users need 14 SATA ports and a built-in RAID card.
No kidding, particularly someone who's also an overclocking enthusiast, kind of narrows the feild a little. I also couldn't beleive all of the I/O connectors.

The performance (with exception of SATA) was rather amazing.

Thanks for yet another great review.
 

cadaveca

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#5
Great review!
This board rocks!

Cadaveca i'm looking at getting the ASRock X79 Extreme6 Do you think it would be a good board as well? Plan on 64GB ram for a 56GB ramdisk...
I'm sorry, but without having tested teh board myself, I cannot give any opinion. SHould it be good? YES. IS it really, and is the BIOS nicely optimized like this one? I cannot be sure at this time.


At that price i have bought a whole PC

Sure. Many people would. This isn't meant for those people..it's strictly for high-end multi GPU users that like RAID as well...high-end workstation-like people. unfortunately for me, I am one of those people. Here's my "office":

009.jpg


With all that hardware laying around, clearlyfor me personally, A $600 board is no big deal. Heck, the 2 3960X chips I have retial for like $2500. My gaming system, new, would cost about $6000.


My wife, on the otherhand, uses a Dell laptop from 4 years ago, that cost $500 back then. There are many differnt users, with many different needs. Personally, I'm glad we even have such expensive choices!
 

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#6
The one thing that stand out to me is the amount of sata ports. Really nice seeing more then the usual 4-6. With 2 cd drives and a few hdd's your boards already tapped. Really sweet option here. Kinda wish they went with the sata power for gpu lanes instead of molex. Much easier to work with then molex as the pins are kinda funky.

Great review as always.

Loving your brick wall in your man cave..
 
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#7
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#8
at first: thanks for the review, i enjoyed reading it. :)

the price-tag of $600 is not a problem considering that a decent sas-cotroller with 8 ports can cost $600 alone. the question is: is it any good? if you have to disable it and use a separate raid-card because of bad performance (or high temp on the combined cooler), than maybe it is a bit to high... :)

although this is an enthusiast platform an since when do enthusiasts really care for the price their components cost? i mean discussing +/- $100 on a board while spending $1000 on the cpu (3960x) without considering the justification doesn't seem right, does it?

what i don't get is the thing you said about watercooling? to me it seems the only valid option if one plans to use that board in anything other than a benchmark session. all it needs is a custom water block?! i believe that if this board is any good and gains acceptance in the enthusiast community, there will be a manufacturer who builds a block for this board as there is a custom block for nearly all competing boards.

with that being said, it would have been nice to see how it fares against the other top-tier x79 boards, like the asus rampage iv extreme or the evga x79 classified/ftw for instance.
 

cadaveca

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#9
asus rampage iv extreme or the evga x79 classified/ftw for instance.
I'd love to try those boards out, but those board makers neglected to send me samples. I do not currently have any sort of working relationship with EVGA, and not for a lack of trying, but perhaps soon I'll be able to add them to the list of manufacturers I work with now. Hopefulyl ASUS will continue to send me ROG products from this ponit forward, but last year I did purposely ask that they did not, and that they send me "regular" products, as they were more common. AS you can see by teh ASUS boards I have reviewed recently, getting ROG products is not an issue at this point, so maybe in the future Iwil lahve numbers that compare similar products to this one. I just might have a similar board for next week, even! ;)


ASRock does have a couple of screenshots of the LSI RAID working with 8 drives, on the website for the board, which can be found here:

http://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/X79 Extreme11/

I cannot confirm those numbers at this point, as I do not have eight SSDs to test with, nor eight mechanical drives. I will be purchasing more drives at the end of September, and do paln on re-visiting drive technologies, including Thunderbolt, so perhaps I can examine the LSI controller then.

I must say, since the rest of the board did perform fiarly well, and the "poor" drive performance isn't really noticed in daily tasks, that I do feel confident that the LSI controller will work well.


As to the watercooling...to me, watercooling is best used to eliminate noise, if you are not overclocking, and even when overclocking, total fan noise can be reduced greatly. Unfortunately, as you said, it would require an OEM make a custom bloack for this board, which I do not think is very likely, so the noise must be dealt with. IT can be managed with the BIOS controls, as I mentioned, so it's not overly bad, but out of the box, it really did hurt my ears.
 
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#10
Dave, living in a cave

da bum ts!
 
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#11
I must say, since the rest of the board did perform fiarly well, and the "poor" drive performance isn't really noticed in daily tasks, that I do feel confident that the LSI controller will work well.
Yea, "poor" is only relative to the other boards. In reality, it doesn't suck.
 
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#12
You mean Man Cave, right?
It's more like Dave Cave.

Back on topic, it's interesting how ASRock delivers a Mercedes when they where known not long ago to produce Volkswagen for the masses. But considering some will populate all those slots with high-end GPUs, SSDs and ridiculous amounts of RAM, 600$ is not really such a big deal. And furthermore, the performance is there.
 
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#13
Who buys this? It's so damn expensive I don't know what kind of person picks this up (stupid or stupid with money).
 

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#14
Who buys this? It's so damn expensive I don't know what kind of person picks this up (stupid or stupid with money).
I'd buy it.:p

And, BTW, people with money to afford stuff like this, typically got that money because of a lack of stupidity, not an overabundance of stupidity.

Usually stupid people sit and bitch about not having money, instaed of going and getting the thing they desire so much.


Me, I'm broke. However, if i want something, like fancy hardfware, I work for it...like by doing reviews. A RAID card, and it's cost, easily makes the cost of this board seem like nothing. NOw, I can have a RAID card, and high-performance board, and it cost me a week of 6-hour days doing this review.


IF you can't make $600 in a week, you need to find a new job. $600 barely feeds me and my 4 kids for a week. Not everyone lives in the same economic conditions.
 
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#15
Shame about the fan.
 
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#16
Well if you're gonna shell out $1k for a CPU, why not $600 for a motherboard?

Heck, I spent almost $300 on my motherboard for a $300 CPU, so technically this would be a relatively better deal for someone picking up a 3960X.
 

cadaveca

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#17
Shame about the fan.
That's about how I feel. But they really couldn't do much about it.

These PLX PEX8747 chips run quite hot. With 48 lanes of PCIe 3.0 going through each of them(or 96 total), plus the chipset, plus the RAID card, that fact they stuffed it all in there and it stays stable is a feat in itself by all rights.

THe 24-phase VRM goes a long way towards that though. On the other X79 boards I've palyed with so far, the VRM generates all the heat, and it's fair bit when overclocked, especially considering that the CPU can easily consume 250 W. WIth this board, the VRM gets heated by the other part of the cooler, and the load being spread out over all those phases makes that no big deal. 24 phases @ 250 W, means that eahc phases is pushing a wee bit over 10 watts...

That helps keep it efficient, too.


There are quite a few products out there with silly amount of power phases, but this board really helps show how that can truly be useful, and that is a lesson that is invaluable. $600 really is a small price to pay.
 

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#18
I'm sorry, but without having tested teh board myself, I cannot give any opinion. SHould it be good? YES. IS it really, and is the BIOS nicely optimized like this one? I cannot be sure at this time.





Sure. Many people would. This isn't meant for those people..it's strictly for high-end multi GPU users that like RAID as well...high-end workstation-like people. unfortunately for me, I am one of those people. Here's my "office":

http://www.techpowerup.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=48287&stc=1&d=1346437908

With all that hardware laying around, clearlyfor me personally, A $600 board is no big deal. Heck, the 2 3960X chips I have retial for like $2500. My gaming system, new, would cost about $6000.


My wife, on the otherhand, uses a Dell laptop from 4 years ago, that cost $500 back then. There are many differnt users, with many different needs. Personally, I'm glad we even have such expensive choices!
Your a cave man!
 
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#19
The Asus Striker boards (nforce chipset) were also extremely hot and some waterblocks were on the market. For those that did not mount waterblocks there were all kind of "rat" solutions fitting tiny fans, "air ducts", giant passive headsinks everywhere... to cool the damn chipset.
 
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#20
And, BTW, people with money to afford stuff like this, typically got that money because of a lack of stupidity, not an overabundance of stupidity.
This.
 
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#21
Dave, I have rather simple a question about the 77 vs. 79 chipset.

What is the reason for the superior performance of the 79 chipset? In the past, different intel chipsets supporting the same CPU and memory typically didn't have much performance difference, it was usually just more/less features.
 

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#22
Dave, I have rather simple a question about the 77 vs. 79 chipset.

What is the reason for the superior performance of the 79 chipset? In the past, different intel chipsets supporting the same CPU and memory typically didn't have much performance difference, it was usually just more/less features.
Honestly, both chipset are quite similar, and the major differences are actually contained in the CPU, both by additional cache, additional cores, and additional bandwidth, both the PCIe devices, and system memory.

The differences aren't truly beneficial to everyone, but there are tangible differences if your computing needs require a lot of processing power.

Most X79 boards don't take full advantage of all the features that X79 offers. The platform itself was quite crippled on release..should have been SAS on all chips, and 8-core CPUs.
 
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#23
molex power connectors

each powerful video card has its own 6 pin or 8 pin power connector. so whats the point about molex power connectors on some boards like this board. how should i know that i need to connect psu molex cable to these molex power connectors or not?
 

cadaveca

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#24
each powerful video card has its own 6 pin or 8 pin power connector. so whats the point about molex power connectors on some boards like this board. how should i know that i need to connect psu molex cable to these molex power connectors or not?
All cards draw power via PCIe slot as well. Most high-end VGAs, this is 75 W. when you add more than two high-end VGAs, the chances that your PSU's 24-pin plug cannot properly handle the PCIe power draw increases, so there are power plugs there to provide that additional power, and spread the load out.


You'll find that most boards now, with 3 slots or more, that are designed for gamers or overclocking, will have these additional power plugs. I think the past 4-5 Z77 boards I've reviewed have had them, even, and those boards support just 3 cards.
 

Aquinus

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#25
I would have liked to see the SAS performance on the embedded LSI controller. It's basically a beefy workstation board without using server grade memory and CPU.