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Oct 31, 2011

ASRock X79 Extreme9 Black Edition Motherboard Approaches and First Micro-ATX LGA 2011 Motherboard

ASRock X79 Extreme9 Black Edition Motherboard Approaches

New flagship product has a black PCB and will be one of, if not the most expensive LGA 2011 platform once the product launches start in November. 

The ASRock X79 Extreme9 Black Edition is most assuredly not the first motherboard to leave the company's laboratories. 

Nevertheless, it is, quite clearly even, the most feature-packed of them all, or so VR-Zone says. 

The existence of five PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots is the first thing, or one of them, that jumps into view. 

The fact that the CPU socket is wired to eight DDR3 memory slots is no small feat either. 

Meanwhile, eight SATA 6.0 Gbps ports are present, six of which are supplied by Marvell 2-port SATA 6.0 Gbps controller chips. Four SATA 3.0 Gbps connectors exist as well. 

Additionally, ASRock was able to include eight USB 3.0 ports (four on the back panel, four as headers). 

At this point, it is ready to see just why this might qualify as the true flagship instead of the ASRock X79 Extreme7

The above, as well as the extensive connectivity options on the I/O panel, aren't all that enthusiasts can look forward to though. 

After all, ASRock also intends to offer a daughterboard, to permanently occupy one of the PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots. 

Said board is called “Game Blaster” apparently and has 7.1 channel audio and a gaming network controller. 

Alas, even though the specifications have been unraveled (the photos of the ASRock X79 Extreme9 Black Edition don't leave much to the imagination after all), it is unclear how much it will cost to get one. 

Naturally, the price will be considerable, perhaps the highest of all motherboards to be launched alongside the Intel Sandy Bridge-E CPU series. November 14, or around that time, is when things will become truly clear.

ASRock Shows Off First Micro-ATX LGA 2011 Motherboard

We've seen the X79 Extreme4-M micro-ATX motherboard for LGA 2011 processors mentioned in a wide series of ASRock documents until now, but now the Taiwanese company has finally released the first pictures of this small form factor solution for Intel's upcoming Sandy Bridge-E CPUs.

This is actually the first micro-ATX Intel X79-based motherboard we have seen so far and it seems to offer many of the features of its older brothers while using a more compact form factor.

One of the most important features is the inclusion of an eight phase VRM that makes use of high-grade solid-state chokes, driver-MOSFETs and which should be able to deliver enough power for Intel's chips, even when overclocking is added to the mix.

Furthermore, users also get full support for quad-channel memory thanks to the four DIMM memory sockets installed and can also pair the X79 Extreme4-M with three PCI Express graphics cards.

When all are populated, two of these will work at x16, while the middle one has only eight PCIe lanes routed to it, according to TechPowerUp.

The rest of the expansion slots include a single legacy PCI slot, while storage is provided thanks to a pair of SATA 6Gbps ports, which are seconded by four other SATA ports working at 3Gbps.

When taking a look at the rear I/O connections of the X79 Extreme4-M, users are greeted by a pair of USB 3.0 ports, one Gigabit Ethernet, a number of USB 2.0 ports, a Firewire port and by an eSATA connector.

Audio is provided by an 8+2 channel HD codec with optical and coaxial SPDIF outputs, and the rear of the ASRock motherboard also houses a Clear CMOS switch.

On the PCB of the board, consumers will also find the usual Power and Reset buttons and a BIOS POST display, but also a header for connecting two extra USB 3.0 ports. The Intel X79 PCH is cooled by an active cooler.

No details regarding the release or the price of this motherboard were provided by ASRock.


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