ASRock has finally launched its new flagship motherboard, the X79 Extreme 11. The board was first showcased during CeBIT, but has gone through several revisions since. The most prominent features have stayed of course, such as the eight DDR3 slots, seven PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots (powered by twin PLX PEX 8747 switch chips), and support for both SATA and SAS drives thanks to the separate LSI SAS2308 controller. Eight ports are compatible with SAS, which comes in handy when using professional hard disks or SSDs. ASRock claims that speeds of up to 3.8 GB/s are possible, when eight modern 6 Gbps SSDs are combined in RAID0. The LSI chip also provides support for hardware-based RAID.
ASRock's X79 Extreme 11 is in no way a budget board, as no compromise was made when selecting the components. All across the board are solid-cap capacitors, and the 24+2 phase Digi+ VRM power design and PCI-Express switch chips are cooled by dedicated heatsinks. Naturally, the board offers support to SLI and CrossFireX configurations with four cards, while the onboard Creative Soundcore 3D soundcard provides high-quality analogue and digital 7.1 audio that is compatible with THX, TruStudio Pro and AEX 5.0. The integrated headphone amplifier ensures that high-end headphones with an impedance of up to 250 Ohms are powered properly.
The graphical UEFI makes it easier for users to overclock the system and tweak it as they see fit. The I/O panel consists of 8x USB 2.0, 4x USB 3.0, 2x eSATA, 2x Gigabit LAN, Firewire and both analog and digital audio outputs. ASRock's new motherboard should be available soon, at a still unknown price.
ASRock develops X79 Extreme11 motherboard