ASRock X99 Extreme4 Intel LGA 2011-3 Motherboard Review

Layout, Design and Features …

Already the ASRock X99 Extreme4 Socket 2011-3 motherboard packaging looks very promising:

With a view of the back we can see already some features:

We now open the box and take a look at the content:

As with other high-quality motherboards, ASRock envelops the motherboard for safe transportation with foam:

Even at first glance, the ASRock X99 Extreme4 motherboard looks very high-quality processed and the second look at, the love of detail becomes visible. Very durable Nichicon 12K Platinum Caps capacitors, 12 Power Phase Design and Purity Sound 2 using the new Nichicon Fine Gold capacitors are only a few of the high-quality characteristics of the 2oz copper high density fiber board:

Like the X99 Extreme6 and Z97 Extreme6 motherboard, it offers the ultra fast M.2 slot for PCIe Gen3 x4 modules with up to 32 GB/s on the X99 Extreme4:

We recently tested a Plextor M6e 256 GB PCIe M.2 SSD in the Ultra M.2 slot with extremely high data transfer rates:

On the Dr. Debug 7-segment LED post code display, two LED illuminated buttons for power and reset and the switch for the two UEFI BIOS ICs of the X99 Extreme6 is not available on this ASRock X99 Extreme4 board. Anyway, it offers two BIOS ICs which are selectable by a jumper. The useful HDD saver power connector, which let you switch on and off data drives during operation per software is also available:

Here you can see the internal USB3.0 connectors, besides a few high-quality 12K Platinum capacitors and the 24-pin ATX power connector:

Here you can see a side view of the motherboard with the large XXL aluminum alloy heatsinks, very carefully assembled on the MOSFETs and chipset:

Contrary to the LGA1150 Socket, the Sockel 2011 and the latest Sockel2011-3 have two levers, ensuring an optimum contact pressure of the CPU on the socket contacts.
Here you can see the mounted Haswell-E CPU, where we have installed a 3.5 GHz Intel Core i7-5930K CPU with 15 MB smart cache in the LGA2011-v3 Socket for the X99 motherboard tests:

Here you see the four memory modules installed properly on the X99 motherboard to get quad channel support:

Equipment and other features …

The ASRock X99 Extreme6 motherboard came with a manual, software setup guide, one DVD, four SATA data cables, a SLI bridge, 3-way SLI bridge card, a HDD saver cable, a screw for the M.2 socket and an ATX I/O shield. USB Slot brackets or the ASRock 3.5-inch USB 3.0 frontpanel are optional available.

The ASRock X99 Extreme4 offers numerous features like for example the ASRock A-Tuning Tool, ASRock Instant Flash, ASRock Internet Flash, ASRock APP Charger, ASRock Fast Boot, ASRock Restart to UEFI, ASRock XFast USB, ASRock XFast LAN, ASRock XFast RAM, ASRock Crashless BIOS, ASRock Online Management Guard, ASRock UEFI System Browser, ASRock Dehumidifier Function, ASRock Easy RAID Installer, ASRock Easy Driver Installer, ASRock UEFI Tech Service, ASRock Good Night LED, ASRock USB Key, ASRock Home Cloud, Purity Sound 2, Secure Backup UEFI, 12 Power Phase Design, ASRock FAN-Tastic Tuning and HDD Saver Technology.

Expansion cards …

The Board has three PCI Express 3.0 slots for AMD CrossFireX or nVidia SLI, whereby either one graphics card with x16 bandwidth or two graphics cards with x8 or one graphics card with x8 and two graphics cards with x4 lanes bandwidth can be connected. The motherboard comes with a CrossFire bridge and a 3-way SLI bridge card. More SLI/XFire switch cards are not required to obtain optimum performance for the single, CrossFireX, or 3-way CrossFireX operation. If you want to use only one graphics card on the X99 Extreme4, you should insert the PCI Express graphics card PCIE1 or PCIE3 slot, to obtain the highest x16 bandwidth. By the way, a CPU with 40 lanes is required for 3-way SLI. Additionally to the three PCI Express 3.0 slots there is one more PCIe 2.0 x16 slot and one PCIe 2.0 x1 slot.

Memory …

The ASRock X99 Extreme4 can be equipped with up to eight DDR4 modules and is expandable depending upon operating system used (see list) up to maximally 128 GB memory.
Here you can see a picture of the eight DDR4 memory slots with quad channel support. First assemble the four black slots DDR4_A1, B1, C1 and D1 as mentioned above:

Here you can see the new DDR4 sockets along with caption:

The Intel LGA2011-3 motherboard supports DDR4 memory modules and can be optimized in the BIOS for DDR4-2133 Quad Channel modules with an Intel Haswell-E processor. UEFI offers the selection for DDR4-800, DDR4-1000, DDR4-1066, DDR4-1200, DDR4-1333, DDR4-1400, DDR4-1600, DDR4-1800, DDR4-1866, DDR4-2000, DDR4-2133, DDR4-2200, DDR4-2400 und DDR4-2666 and higher clock-rates are currently only possible with Intel BCLK overclocking or from DDR4-2600 to DDR4-3500 by OC Presets (see below in the UEFI OC test section).

Thanks to XMP support (Intel eXtreme Memory Profiles), XMP memory modules are set correctly with one mouse click in the UEFI and of course there are far more memory adjustments and even more OC-options, but more on that later. You can also check the officially supported modules at ASRock’s memory support page.

Hard disk drive connectors …

The ASRock X99 Extreme4 offers all 10 angled SATA3 ports and an eSATA3 port on the I/O Panel. ASRock has left only the SATA Express port.

Here you can see the ten SATA3 ports, whereby you should connect the boot device to SATA3_0:

The SATA 3 ports SATA3_0 to SATA3_5 are supporting RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 10, Intel Rapid Storage Technology 13 and Intel Smart Response Technology, NCQ, AHCI and the Hot Plug function in AHCI mode (AHCI stands for Advanced Host Controller Interface and can be selected in the UEFI). Thanks to UEFI BIOS also drives with more than 2 TB for the installation of Windows 8, Windows 7 x64 or Vista x64 can be used.

Drivers for Windows 8 and Windows 7 32-Bit and 64-Bit can be installed over the Easy Driver Installer or Easy RAID Installer button in the UEFI, are provided on the DVD, and can be downloaded at the ASRock support page.

The HDD saver function is another feature, we already know it from the X99 Extreme6 and Z97 Extreme6 motherboard and no longer miss this feature. At the HDD saver connector can be operate up to two hard drives in AHCI mode, which can be power on or off over the UEFI or in Windows. This not only saves electricity, but also allows e.g. the independent operation of a backup HDD, which can be also protected with a password. The HDD saver function can be called after A-Tuning installation over the supplied ASRock A-Tuning tool or by using the key combination CTRL + ALT + S.

USB and FireWire …

The motherboard features 3.0 ports and four USB 2.0 ports on the ATX Panel four USB. Internally are two USB 2.0 ports for up to four optional USB ports and one USB 3.0 port for up to two optional USB3.0 ports available. The 20-pin connector can either connected to an optional USB3.0 front panel or to an enclosure with USB3.0 support.

Network …

The ASRock X99 Extreme4 motherboard is equipped with the Intel I218V chip, to provide the 10/100/1000 network connection at the ATX Panel. The LAN connection is capable of WoL, provides LAN cable detection, supports the 802.3az energy efficient Ethernet standard and supports Intel remote wake technology, ASRock full spike protection, PXE, and more.

Serial port and parallel port …

This motherboard does not provide a parallel port. The serial COM port is available as internal connector on the motherboard.

Sound …

The ASRock X99 Extreme6 motherboard is equipped with the ALC1150 audio codec with content protection, 115dB SNR DAC, TI NE5532 Premium Headset Amplifier and Purity Sound 2, which supports 7.1 surround sound for example analog over 5x 3.5mm connectors on the ATX panel or over an internal frontpanel audio connector. Additionally, there is an optical digital SPDIF output and premium Blu-Ray audio support. So most users do not need to buy an additional sound card with digital outputs.

ATX back panel connectors …


From left to right, you can see 2x PS/2 connectors for a PS/2 keyboard and PS/2 mouse, Clear CMOS button, 2x USB2.0, 2x USB2.0 and eSATA3, 2x USB 3.0, Intel RJ45 Gigabit LAN and 2x USB3.0, Optical SPDIF output and 5x 3.5mm jacks for sound.

BIOS and Overclocking …