REPORT ANALYSIS AND FINAL THOUGHTS
At first, it may seem like we floated away from the subject of this report, this being the ASRock Z97 Extreme6 motherboard, but we really haven’t. Our goal hasn’t been to tell this story in the guise of a full motherboard review, but rather, we wanted to look at it from a storage perspective as, just as we had done with the Fatal1ty 990FX and the Extreme11/ac before that.
If we were to explore things from that angle, I might just provide a bit of a suggestion that ASRock should include 802.11ac (and maybe even ThunderBolt 2) in each and every one of their boards. These are the keys to long-term ‘leader of the pack’ sales.Having said that, this picture reminded me that the Extreme6 is fully capable of 4K displays which is definitely a step in the right direction, that and dual ethernet connectivity.
The goal of our report was to ensure that ASRock had their i’s dotted and t’s crossed with respect to performance of their Ultra M.2, M.2 and SATA ports and, in this respect, everything is as expected. Full performance is available through all three methods of data transfer. We did have a bit of a hiccup, however, with the installation which mandated a bit of creativity in getting the XP941 installed as a boot device and there is a discussion here that identifies the found solution. Just like we had done with a similar XP941 boot issue with the Fatal1ty FX990 boad before, we had a chat with ASRock to which they sent us updated bios firmware to test and we were good as gold. All in all, the Z97 Extreme6 looks absolutely amazing in this build.
Pricing was another characteristic of the Extreme6 that we favored considerable, it can be found right now at less than $200. This is surprising considering many of those buying this board are premium buyers looking for the speed of the XP941; those who would have paid twice the listed price. Instead, ASRock stayed with the tried and true practice of gaining more customers through lower pricing and we think they were smart in those regards. The fact that this board is fully compatible with Z87 CPU’s is yet another plus.
At the end of the day, the ASRock Z97 Extreme6 motherboard is definitely deserving of our Editor’s Choice Award. With its low price and PCIe Gen 3 X4 M.2 connector, it is definitely the only of its kind worldwide.