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ASRock X99 Extreme 11 Review: The Most Extreme X99 Motherboard?

Intel’s X99 chipset, aka Wellsburg, is the company’s latest chipset for the high-end desktop market segment. Motherboards making use of the chipset have been readily available since last summer of 2014. Still, it took some time for motherboard manufacturers to kick out boards which can better take advantage of the supported Haswell-E processor family, and the promised drool-worthy feature set.

With several Z97 chipset motherboards tested and reviewed, we now levy our attention toward the ASRock X99 Extreme 11 motherboard. This one stands atop the pile as the company’s flagship offering with a features set that reads like an ideal wish list for enterprise, overclockers and gamers alike. The Extreme 11 is compatible with Intel Core i7 Haswell-E and Xeon 18-core processors. Other notable features include support for Quad Channel DDR4, Quad SLI or Quad CrossFire GPU configurations, 10x SATA 6Gb/s ports, two Ultra M.2 Sockets and M.2 PCI Express module for Gen3 x4 (23 GB/s). However one of the bigger guns in the Extreme 11’s arsenal is its LSI SAS 30008 storage controller, which governs eight SAS3 12Gb/s SATA3 6Gb/s connectors for very flexible storage functionality and speed via a RAID array. For example, users could create a RAID 0 or 1 array stocked with eight 12gb/s SAS or 18 SATA3 SSDs for some serious speed. High-end often commands high cost, however, and the ASRock X99 Extreme 11 is no different, ringing in just over $650 at most retailers.

product main

ASRock X99 Extreme 11 Motherboard
Specifications & Features
CPU:
Chipset:
Memory:
Audio:

Connectivity:
Slots:

Storage:

USB 3.0:
USB 2.0:
Form Factor:
Price:

Intel Core i7 processors – LGA2011-3, Intel Xeon 18-Core – LGA2011-v3 package
Intel X99 Express Chipset
8 x DDR4 DIMM sockets supporting up to 128 GB of system memory
4 channel memory architecture
Support for Quad Channel DDR4 3200+(OC), with maximum capacity up to 128GB
Support for DDR4 UDIMM ECC, RDIMM Memory supported with Intel Xeon CPU
Support for Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) memory modules
Realtek ALC1150 codec, High Definition Audio, 7.1-channel, S/PDIF In/Out
Support for Purity Sound 2 & DTS Connect
Intel Dual Gigabit LAN with Teaming Function
5 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots (running at x16, x8)
Support for 4-Way SLI or CrossFire x16 (run at x16 or x16/x16 or x16/x16/x16 or x16/x16/x16/x16)
2 x embedded PLX 8747 bridges
18 x SATA3 (8 x SAS3 12.0 Gb/s + 10 x SATA3 6.0Gb/s) from SLI SAS 3008 Controller
2 x Ultra M.2 (PCIe Gen3 x4 & SATA3)
Support for M.2 PCIe SSDs only.
2 x SATA Express connectors (back I/O)
Support for RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, and RAID 10
8 x USB 3.0 (4 x rear, 4 x front via internal header)
8 x USB 2.0 (4 x ports on back panel, 4 ports internal USB headers)
EATX Form Factor; 30.5cm x 24.4cm
MSRP: $649 currently

The bundled package is pretty standard stuff. Of course, you will find the main ASRock X99 Extreme 11 motherboard in an EATX form factor. There is also a velvet carrying bag which contains the back I/O panel shield, 2x SLI Bridge Cards, a single taller SLI Bridge 3S Card for more arid 2-Way configurations where your second GPU is in the third PCIE slot. You will also find a 3-Way SLI Bridge Card, 6x SATA cables, a single HDD Saver Cable and a pair of screws to lock down any Ultra M.2 SSDs inserted into the two supporting sockets.
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If you’re in the market for an extremely over-achieving motherboard, then look no further. Notable, however, for those who demand wireless connectivity: This board does not come with onboard Bluetooth or Wi-Fi adapter support. Look to other mobo solutions like the X99-Deluxe, if either is a must. Minus that, the features list suggests high performance at an equally high cost of entry. So let’s see if it delivers.

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