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  • Assimilator87 - Friday, July 13, 2012 - link

    I feel like for the majority of people IDE is way more useful than floppy. If ASRock is gonna put one on the board, they may as well include both. I still have a handful of IDE drives laying around, which is useful for troubleshooting, or for use in a secondary rig. Reply
  • hsew - Friday, July 13, 2012 - link

    If I really wanted a floppy drive I would buy an external USB one for 20 USD. Seems pointless to put it on a motherboard. Reply
  • Johnmcl7 - Friday, July 13, 2012 - link

    Agreed, I still need to use floppy disks at work and it's no problem with new machines as a USB floppy disk drive appears to work as well as an internal drive as I've had no issues with it. Even then I don't really get this board, I could certainly see making a legacy Z77 board with a couple of serial ports, PS/2 ports, PCI and IDE ports with the rest of the board very basic would be handy for legacy enterprise use but this board is nothing like that, it seems a fairly fancy motherboard with a floppy connector strangely added.

    An IDE port which be handy as there are times I'm still working with IDE drives and keep some of the older P4 machines which had both sata and ide connectors for that use.
  • Havor - Monday, July 16, 2012 - link

    Agree have not used a floppy for at least 5 years, and have not build one in my PCs for even longer, still have a USB floppy, that i used literly just once, and properly never again.

    Just keeping it to show the grand kids in +20y or so, "look that's what gramps use to use to install DOS and Win 3.1!"
  • taltamir - Saturday, July 14, 2012 - link

    It is an issue of compatibility. Floppies are needed for ancient software you cannot replace for some reason, and such software typically does not play well with USB floppy drives. Reply
  • Notmyusualid - Saturday, July 14, 2012 - link

    Absolutely agree. Reply
  • cknobman - Friday, July 13, 2012 - link

    Just built my new gaming rig using this board which I picked up from the Egg for less than $160.

    I am happy with the board layout as it was easy to connect all my devices.
    The BIOS was super easy to navigate and understand and my internet BIOS update worked which was pretty cool being able to update BIOS like that.

    The build has only been running about 2 weeks and I am just running everything stock now making sure all components are stable. In another week or two I will try out overclocking.

    I did have problems with the board recognizing my RAM. I put 16GB of cheap Team Xtreem Dark Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 in the board and it kept thinking it was 1333. I had to go in and force the board to think the RAM was 1600.

    So far I get an occasional BSOD and it is either related to my RAM or my SSD (OCZ, I should have known better).
  • C'DaleRider - Friday, July 13, 2012 - link

    "I did have problems with the board recognizing my RAM. I put 16GB of cheap Team Xtreem Dark Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 in the board and it kept thinking it was 1333. I had to go in and force the board to think the RAM was 1600."

    Dude, that's not a problem, that's exactly the way memory is supposed to work. The JEDEC standards call for 1333 as a/the default setting when first installing memory so it'll work in any motherboard, regardless of rated speed.

    Then, to achieve the rated speed spec of the memory, one HAS to enter the BIOS and set it. The motherboard won't do that natively.
  • cknobman - Friday, July 13, 2012 - link

    Ok thanks for the clarification!

    After reading this review I am now a little bummed about the middle/lower performance of this board compared to its competitors.

    In all reality such a small difference in performance though is not my primary concern.

    I think I will see much more real world benefit from the XFast USB included with this board as it seems to make a substantial impact and I do quite a lot of USB transfers (pictures, video, files).

    Also nice to see this board is a good overclocker.
  • Samus - Friday, July 13, 2012 - link

    I still wouldn't pass over the OCZ SSD as a problem. Both of mine eventually failed causing BSOD's. My Agility II didn't even last two weeks before disappearing into never-ever-land, never detected again, that is.

    Stick with Intel, Crucial or some other well known memory manufacture. Plextor is up and coming, too, but I still think if one is to go Sandforce, Intel 330 or 520 is your best bet.
  • albiglan - Friday, July 13, 2012 - link

    I liked the parts about the difficulty in reviewing motherboards and the explanation of the humidity feature. (Overclocking could maybe have benefited from a table layout)

    Would be nice to see additional benchmarks for things not directly related to performance (something that covers things like ease of setup, stability, etc. that is easy to compare against other mobos...)
  • IanCutress - Friday, July 13, 2012 - link

    I have a board on the test bed now that was a little different to set up - all the additional controllers had to be installed one by one. Every other board manufacturer usually has a one button install for drivers and software. Odd.

    It is hard to benchmark stability. We don't have infinite CPUs to keep all the boards running for days. I only have one CPU, and when one motherboard is tested I move it on to the next one. All I can do are my PovRay/OCCT tests to make sure it won't fall over in the first five minutes or so. I'm sure there are owners of these boards (like cknobman) who have been using these boards in a real world context that can give you a hint as to how they feel about their boards :)

  • xodius80 - Friday, July 13, 2012 - link

    please anand, its time to move into the future of computing, we need a floppy port benchmark to see how well the chipset handles the data over competing products.

    thank you.
  • extide - Friday, July 13, 2012 - link

    Or are the pictures of the ATX headers on ALL ASRock boards show a bowed motherboard? I swear I have seen that like 2-3+ times before. Reply
  • Draconian - Friday, July 13, 2012 - link

    I'm disappointed they didn't include an IDE port. It really would've made this board stand out from the competition. I'm in the market to buy a Z77 board in the next month or so.

    My wish list for a Z77 board:
    Thunderbolt, IDE, and eSATA on the same board

    Don't care about Floppy or mSATA
  • arthur449 - Friday, July 13, 2012 - link

    Buy a cheap IDE->SATA converter for your older drive. One of the requirements of the SATA standard was that it be backwards compatible with IDE.

    Or get a USB 2.0 to IDE converter (I'm not certain if USB 3.0 -> IDE converters exist for cheap). You'll be limited to ~40MB/s, but you'll have hotswap functionality without the potential headache of making sure old school IDE drives are run in IDE mode instead of the usual AHCI that most folks prefer for NCQ support.
  • geforce912 - Friday, July 13, 2012 - link

    IDE is a parallel bus and it is not compatible with SATA which is a serial point to point connection (Hence SATA is not backwards compatible with IDE). Those IDE>SATA converters are active converters and not just simple wire-crossing. Same goes for usb which is serial point to point. Reply
  • ypsylon - Saturday, July 14, 2012 - link

    Seriously, both additions are completely pointless. To some extent I can understand IDE, perfect for equally antiquated optical drives which are still around, but floppy.... I haven't used those in years, something around 10 for sure. If somebody need floppy then USB floppy is the logical choice. If AsRock are so concerned about legacy support then where is Fast SCSI port? I still own my first FastSCSI HDD for sentimental reasons. It weights ~ as much, as car battery but it works. Reply
  • duffman55 - Saturday, July 14, 2012 - link

    I just upgraded my computer with the ASRock Z77 Extreme4 at the beginning of the week. It consistently threw a blue screen error a few seconds after it started to load Windows which I found out was because I didn't have the AHCI drivers installed. I had to switch to IDE mode, boot up, install the drivers, then switch back to AHCI.

    What's the difference between the IDE and AHCI modes when using a SATA drive? It makes no sense to me to have an IDE mode for SATA devices.

    P.S. On the BIOS and software page you mistyped AHCI as ACHI.
  • Coup27 - Saturday, July 14, 2012 - link

    What is a COM header? Is this a serial port under a different name?

    Personally I think this product makes no sense. Anybody buying a "legacy" motherboard would try and find one with native serial and parallel ports for starters. Serial is still very much alive in the automation sector with barcode readers, PLC, funky sensors etc..

    Unfortunately Fujitsu are the only laptop manufacturer left making new laptops with native "legacy" ports.
  • nubie - Saturday, July 14, 2012 - link

    Yes, a COM port and Serial port are generally the same thing.

    I much prefer Parallel, because I am "bit-banging" to program an Atmega micro-controller, a I2C EEPROM, or an SPI EEPROM.

    Although I do have a couple Packard Bell Fast Media Infrared (FMIR) receivers that demand a COM port, as does the (sadly lacking drivers newer than Win98) 6-axis Spacetec Orb controller.
  • Meaker10 - Saturday, July 14, 2012 - link

    Without looking at the specs the mini slot is pci-e (for wifi) as it is half height and msata slots need to be full height. Reply
  • repoman27 - Saturday, July 14, 2012 - link

    I thought one of the features of the Z77 chipset was that you could select between 1 x16, 2 x8, or 1 x8 + 2 x4 for the PCIe 3.0 lanes coming off of the CPU? In which case you wouldn't need an additional PCIe switch and all three cards would get at least 32 Gbps of PCIe bandwidth...

    Also, Ian, you seem to have some persistent dyslexia going on when it comes to the model names of PLX's PCIe switches; it's "PEX 8747", not "PXE 8747". There are other options available as well, such as the smaller, cheaper PEX 8724, which would have allowed them to offer effectively 3 x8 PCIe 3.0 slots.
  • scott967a - Saturday, July 14, 2012 - link

    Do you guys ever test wake on lan or other wake up functions? Reason being for the first time I thought I would set up an old sys using Abit P35 Pro for WoL with fail result. Not sure if it is operator error or MB/BIOS problem but searching online doesn't yield much info on WoL performance. Reply
  • 529th - Sunday, July 15, 2012 - link

    Thank you for including a DPC latency test. Thank you Thank you Thank you! ha...

    Which app are you using to check DPC latency, btw?

    Please include DCP latency testings in your future Motherboard testings as well. I will be jumping on the Haswell wagon when it comes through town.

  • 529th - Sunday, July 15, 2012 - link

    And also include the BIOS that it's being tested on. Thanks :) Reply
  • IanCutress - Sunday, July 15, 2012 - link

    As you can perhaps tell from our DPC Graph, we've been testing it quite a while. And in the explanation of said test, I do mention the program I use - DPC Latency Checker. Quick Google will find it. Currently I'm rarely finding a motherboard on a mainstream chipset that severely fails it - usually it is the included monitoring software that causes peaks of 2000+. If this happens, disable your monitoring software or update the BIOS.

  • hansmuff - Sunday, July 15, 2012 - link

    If I were to release a legacy connector board, I would most certainly at the very least have two serial ports in the back, or one plus header. I would also most certainly include a parallel port header on the motherboard, and include brackets for serial and parallel headers.

    Floppy and IDE is all good and well, but one serial port and no parallel port are oversights to me for such a board.
  • adrianlegg - Monday, July 16, 2012 - link

    I just had some random idea,

    Couldn't You use, some kind of electric stopwatch, which can be started/paused with any current, connect it to poweron wire (from button), and then instead of using Windows, use some custom linux bootloader with option to, for example, use pc speaker, which signal would be used to stop mobo?
    I lack proper knowledge to design that system, aside from components (2 wires, custom bootloader, and stopwatch/some multimeter with time option)

    Excuse me if that's completely ignorant, but I think that could increase precision of Your timings.

    Thx for all good work.
  • adrianlegg - Monday, July 16, 2012 - link

    (ofc not "stop mobo" but "stop timing") Reply
  • IanCutress - Monday, July 16, 2012 - link

    You would be surprised at how regular these timings are. For the 10.81 seconds, I got that on my manual stop watch three times in a row. To do as you suggest would be a heavily distorted effort vs. reward, especially for motherboard reviews. Interesting exercise though, not sure if it would be possible. Not that I'd know how either :)

  • Demon-Xanth - Monday, July 16, 2012 - link

    These days I think the truly best way to support legacy is by add-in cards, and am kind of surprised nobody has come up with a 486 era style I/O card that has serial, parallel, floppy, and IDE on a single card. Just use an older PCI southbridge on a PCIe bridge and you can add some USB to the mix as well. Reply
  • stedaniels - Tuesday, July 24, 2012 - link


    I've been doing some research on this board and notice that you kept referring to the mini PCIe slot as an mSATA slot. While these are physically the same slot size, they are electrically different. Both the specs at the end of the first page, and on the ASRock website state that this is a mini PCIe slot and there is no mention of it being an mSATA slot on any of the official documentation.

    Was this a mistake during the review, or are the ASRock specs wrong?


  • Mike89 - Friday, January 11, 2013 - link

    The settings I've tried give voltage readings way different than this review. For example the review stated the automatic overclock of 4.4 gigs at 1.096 volts at load but when I used that same setting I got a voltage of 1.22 at load. That's quite a bit of difference. Other oc settings I tried that were in the review were also a lot different than the view being they were all higher voltages than the review stated. Can't quite figure out why that is. Reply

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