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Oct 28, 2012

ASRock Z77 Extreme6/TB4 Thunderbolt Motherboard

After launching several AMD-compatible motherboards in quick succession, ASRock is back in business on Intel's side of the field, having released the Z77 Extreme6/TB4 motherboard.

ASRock dwells on the existence of Thunderbolt support quite a bit, describing it as the most relevant feature of the new mainboard. Whether or not that is true is debatable. On the one hand, the 10 Gbps transfer speed is considerable, twice as fast as USB 3.0. On the other hand, there aren't many Thunderbolt-equipped devices (monitors, external storage units, etc.), and the majority of those that do exist are designed for Apple PCs, not normal desktops. Still, ASRock is behaving as though it believes TB will become more widespread soon enough. “Thunderbolt technology is unquestionably the great finale of year 2012,” its announcement says. The company chose the full-size ATX form factor and the Intel Z77 chipset when designing the newcomer. Two PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots are present, along with a pair of PCI Express 2.0 x1 slots and four DDR3-2800+ memory slots. 7.1-channel HD audio is part of the feature set as well, along with Gigabit LAN, six USB 3.0 ports, right USB 2.0 connectors and the Lucid Virtu MVP technology (switches between the HD 4000 integrated graphics and whatever add-in video board is present).

Furthermore, the company figured it would be useful to ensure the Z77 Extreme6/TB4 didn't burn or melt at the first sign of clock tweaking. As such, premium gold caps were used in the manufacturing. The other relevant perks are UEFI BIOS, Instant Flash boot-up, THX TruStudio audio technology and a dehumidifier.  Sadly, ASRock did not say what price the Z77 Extreme6/TB4 Thunderbolt-equipped motherboard has. Then again, if Thunderbolt lovers will want to use those two ports to the fullest, they will want to buy 12 external storage units (six per each port, daisy-chained, 6TB capacity per set), and that will cost more than what the mainboard itself ever could.

ASRock Z77 Extreme6/TB4 Thunderbolt motherboard
Images credits to ASRock


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