REPORT ANALYSIS AND FINAL THOUGHTS
Considering that I am truly not a gamer, one might wonder if I feel just a bit guilty having one of the top gaming systems money can buy. Similarly I guess, one might have wondered similar in our last report of the ASRock OC Formula, as I am not much of an accomplished overclocker as well. The answer… not a bit, and the reason is simply that ASRock seems to be creating motherboards that are as appealing to the expert as they are to the enthusiast. Having said that our expertise lies in storage and that is probably the reason that ASRock relies on us with their top motherboards before even the best reviewing websites. We appreciate that sincerely and hope that this report is fitting of that compliment.
What ASRock’s most recent offerings are doing is pushing the motherboard industry ahead by leaps and bounds, and in doing so, they seem to be taking a position of leadership where they dare other motherboard manufacturers to keep up. Not only does storage performance at levels of 6.1GB/s play a large part in board advance, but ASRock pushes even further with boards like their X99 OC Formula where Nick Shih introduces the board with an overclocking world record. Now add to this that, once again ASRock is introducing a board capable of 16/16/16/16 SLI or CrossfireX graphics, and thanks to PLX, it doesn’t eat up complete PCIe lane use for other hardware.
From our perspective, storage performance of the ASRock X99 Extreme11 seems to be on par with that of the X99 chip, noting of course that much of the testing conducted here cannot be completed on any other consumer enthusiast level motherboard in the world. Right now, not only is the X99 the only to have 18 SATA ports, but also, it is also the only with 4 included SAS ports along with two M.2 PCIe 3.0 X4 slots. The only thing that we are not really content with was that we have yet to be able to reach data transfer speeds (at least at the low 4K write level) that we have become used to in the Z87 and Z97 series chips.
The only other concern we might see with the ASRock X99 Extreme 11 will be the price if it lies anywhere near pricing of the original either the X79 or Z87 Extreme11 when released, this being anywhere from $650 to $1000. Prices like this make the Extreme 11 a niche board for the extreme enthusiast, however, the ASRock X99 Extreme 11 accounts for this with the LSI SAS 3008 controller, two PLX PEX 8747 chips and other similar great components. After all, where else can you put together a gaming system capable of just under 5Ghz CPU overclock, up to 128GB DDR4 RAM, quad X16 SLI/CrossfireX graphics, dual Ultra M.2 slots capable of up to 32GB/s each, orquad SAS/18xSATA ports that bring in up to 6.1GB/s transfer speeds?