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  • StevoLincolnite - Monday, September 03, 2012 - link

    Chipset fans.
    WHY!? They're noisy, probably fail quickly when filled up with dust...

    I have the Asus Sabertooth x79 which has 2 small fans on it and the noise they generate drives me bonkers, thankfully the board has a 5 year warranty... Heck most of these chipset fans aren't even a standardized size so replacing them on your own is going to be tough/impossible.
    Reply
  • Grebuloner - Monday, September 03, 2012 - link

    I think you might want to check your board or your case cooling setup then. I can't hear the fans on my Sabertooth unless I stick my ear up to the grill on the I/O plate, and the chipset fan is inaudible over the 580 it sits next to. Reply
  • owan - Tuesday, September 04, 2012 - link

    Its not rocket science, its right there in the review: 35+W underneath a very low-profile heatsink. Passive cooling just wasn't going to cut it. I swear, if people are going to complain about stuff on this motherboard, they could do a lot better than whinging about the fan. Reply
  • Master_shake_ - Tuesday, September 04, 2012 - link

    i have an LSI 9260 add in card and that thing gets super hot, and the fan on this is really loud...

    just check out linus tech tips on youtube and you can hear it.
    Reply
  • mike55 - Monday, September 03, 2012 - link

    What are those little box-shaped components that are in the center of the CPU socket and appear in the dozens on every PCB I've ever seen? Reply
  • Ditiris - Monday, September 03, 2012 - link

    They're capacitors for the CPU, more specifically decoupling capacitors. Reply
  • mike55 - Monday, September 03, 2012 - link

    Ah, thanks! Good to finally know what the heck those things are. Reply
  • LamborghiniBooby43 - Monday, September 03, 2012 - link

    As the X79 chipset does not have USB 3.0 as standard, ASRock have included Texas Instrument USB 3.0 controllers for a total of eight ports (4 on the back panel, 4 via two onboard headers) and a 2-port front USB panel included in the box. http://goo.gl/XbQv9 Reply
  • JMC2000 - Monday, September 03, 2012 - link

    If ASRock says this board is aimed at the workstation user, why in the world did they put those useless decorative metal shields on the heatsinks? Those things just scream out 'Gamer' to me.

    I would like to see someone build a dual-2011 socket board utilizing 4 of the PLX8747 chips.
    Reply
  • Belard - Monday, September 03, 2012 - link

    Yep... A Workstation board is just that... They don't need all the bling. Yes, this board has workstation features - but this looks nothing more than a board for an uber gamer who has money to spend.

    Of course, what game makes use of 4 gaming cards (yeah, the slots are only useful for rendering / compute type work).

    Still, if you want to have EVERYTHING possible... this should be it.
    Reply
  • AssBall - Tuesday, September 04, 2012 - link

    It is like buying an F350 Superduty Harly Davidson Ed. when a Honda Fit would haul all your stuff. But hey, more power to ya! Reply
  • Taristin - Monday, September 03, 2012 - link

    Almost 2013 and the board still says ATi Crossfire X? Hasn't AMD officially retired the ATi brand yet? Reply
  • Grebuloner - Monday, September 03, 2012 - link

    This is bothering me as I started reading: You keep mentioning 70 lanes of PCIe with the two PLX chips+CPU leftover...divided into 64 for the x16's and "the other 8" for the LSI chip. 64+8=70? Why not just write 72 and end the confusion? Reply
  • IanCutress - Monday, September 03, 2012 - link

    Yes, simple math fail. A brain fart. Call it what you will, I made a mistake, and it should now be corrected. Though a simple email would be a lot more polite... :)

    Ian
    Reply
  • Performance Fanboi - Monday, September 03, 2012 - link

    Nope, you made a simple arithmetic or grammar error on the internet, LET THE LASHINGS COMMENCE! Reply
  • Grebuloner - Monday, September 03, 2012 - link

    Fair enough, my apologies, next time I shall email. Being a math teacher I get all riled up at math errors. Reply
  • errorman1 - Monday, September 03, 2012 - link

    Mr math teacher, not to be rude but just thought I'd pass this bit of scientific wisdom along.

    When people make errors they do so largely unconsciously, human beings DONT live in reality sadly, including you. What you understand or makes it to your conscious awareness is only a fraction of what is going on in your brain which by and large you don't control.

    Just remember the world doesn't operate on our expectations, morality and 'free will' it operates on cause and effect - the laws of nature. Everyone forgets this fact every day and it leads to great comedy!

    The human mind has limited resources with which to attempt to model the world and it's environment so we should expect errors and blunders as just a law of nature that in many instances people not as blesses in terms of well functioning complex of biological processes.

    http://bit.ly/dYaWUc
    Reply
  • Death666Angel - Tuesday, September 04, 2012 - link

    I don't see posting the mistake in the comments as impolite. I have done so on a few occasions (typos, wrong calculations...) and did so because it was the fastest way for me to do that. Expecting me to fire up the email program or go to my online email, log in, copy your email adress, type up a formal email, all to appear polite to you while trying to help you is asking for a lot. :-) Reply
  • mfenn - Monday, September 03, 2012 - link

    The comment in the article, "the LSI controller allows for RAID 0, 1 and 10 only, which is a little odd," struck me as a little odd.

    The LSI SAS 2308 is a lower-end chip based on their Fusion-MPT architecture, which has never had an onboard cache or parity (RAID5 and 6) support. Fusion-MPT chips, suitably rebranded of course, are typically used as the base option for SAS connectivity in enterprise-grade servers, with an option to upgrade to a more featureful RAID controller with onboard cache and parity support.
    Reply
  • FunBunny2 - Monday, September 03, 2012 - link

    Real Men don't use RAID 5/6. Reply
  • sor - Tuesday, September 04, 2012 - link

    Yeah, server guys know that's standard. These chips are nice for external JBODs for things like ZFS, and for simple redundancy levels. Quite often, however, when they're on the motherboard there's a header and module you can purchase/install to enable RAID5. Reply
  • Snuddi - Monday, September 03, 2012 - link

    Please performe some RAID10 benchmarks on this. As I have read acorss forums the RAID10 results are horrible (I have tried this on my own also).

    With 8x 1TB disk's in RAID10 I get simuar speed as a single HDD.

    So it would be great if you could test this in your test system. If numbers are horrible as I belive they will be, then AsRock will have some pressure on fixing that.
    Reply
  • blacksun1234 - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    Please enable "Disk Cache Policy" in LSI MegaRAID utility and test again. It improve a lot. Reply
  • yahodahan - Monday, September 03, 2012 - link

    Anandtech is a great review site, but there really needs to be a properly useful benchmark here.

    We're talking about a board that is built for massive GPU compute, so how about an actual GPU compute benchmark? Otherwise, this review has a massive, massive hole in it.

    Blender is free. Cycles is free. They have benchmark files ready to open and click "run", it's not a big hassle. And it will push every single GPU to 100%, thrash this board in a real test, and give us (people who intend to actually use the board for real GPU work, as it was intended), the data we need most.

    There's so much detailed info in this article, and I appreciate that, but it's honestly missing the most important part, it would be great to see a proper follow-up/etc to fix this.
    Reply
  • cjb110 - Tuesday, September 04, 2012 - link

    Blender might be free, but time isn't! Even if they ran the test, a single number on its own would be useless...esp to the general reader.

    It was mentioned in the review that this product is a little out of the norm for their testing.
    But it is handled consistent with their other reviews, which makes more sense, than running a bunch of tests with no comparison points.

    If you want a specialised review for the boards target market I'm sure they're out there.

    But maybe Blender could be included in the standard test suite, could cut down the number of game tests (these don't seem to differ much between boards).
    Reply
  • yahodahan - Tuesday, September 04, 2012 - link

    Sure, but that's the point: a review like this should take the time to focus directly on what actually matters, and in this case that is GPU compute performance (and RAID, for others).

    This board is a specialty case, and should be treated as such. Drop in 4 GPU's at x16 each, then 6 at x8, and do a render to see if there is a difference.

    Then, test on a board with two "real" (non PLEX) x16 slots, and see if there is a difference vs 2 x16 on this boards "multiplied" channels.

    This would give some numbers that are really, truly meaningful. Yes, it would take time, but why was time taken to benchmark it on games/etc, when it's been shown time and again that those numbers simply don't change and mean practically nothing?

    What I'm trying to say is, this board is for a niche market- so please, test it for that niche market, not for the general masses that will never, ever use it.
    Reply
  • ggathagan - Wednesday, September 05, 2012 - link

    There's the very real possibility that Ian doesn't have 4 GPU's to test with. Reply
  • error451 - Wednesday, September 05, 2012 - link

    Then whats the point of testing the board if your not going to benchmark its main selling points and features? This is a specialized motherboard that should have had a specialized review. Just running their standard game and video encoding benchmarks is a waste.

    This issue pops up every time Anandtech does a review of a non gamer/mass market product. They tell you about all the cool features and then run their standard review suite.
    Reply
  • MadMan007 - Monday, September 03, 2012 - link

    Know what makes this motherboard so great? It goes to 11! Reply
  • gkatz - Monday, September 03, 2012 - link

    Can someone explain to me under what circumstances you might need 22 USB ports? Reply
  • puppies - Monday, September 03, 2012 - link

    22 USB drinks coolers for the crate of redbull you consume while doing an all night rendering session? Reply
  • 08solsticegxp - Sunday, June 09, 2013 - link

    You can also use all those ports for USB rocket launchers to be warlord of the office. Reply
  • bobsmith1492 - Monday, September 03, 2012 - link

    I regularly use up all my USB ports at work and have to use a hub. I'd love to have 22.

    Mouse
    Keyboard
    Software key dongle
    Flash drive
    External hard drive
    Multiple USB-to-serial converters
    Dev kit
    Programmer
    Reply
  • martyrant - Tuesday, September 04, 2012 - link

    Why are you using a software key dongle?

    Your IT team should be able to produce a software license server, removing the need for USB keys.

    Multiple USB-to-serial converters? Are you serious? They have dongles for at least 4 of these from one USB slot, I've got at least 4 x2 slots lying around.
    Reply
  • jigglywiggly - Monday, September 03, 2012 - link

    ppl here whine too much
    gr8 review
    :D
    Reply
  • Performance Fanboi - Monday, September 03, 2012 - link

    ...but a $600 board should include Intel nics over Broadcom. Reply
  • Iketh - Monday, September 03, 2012 - link

    It is very hard for me to read an article that refers to a company as plural. I have to pause every time i come to "ASRock have..." because it's so unnatural to read since it should be "ASRock has..."

    While I'm on the subject, I don't know which is correct... "an SAS" or "a SAS" ? I read "SAS" as a word so "an" is incorrect, but if you read it saying each letter, then "a" is right...
    Reply
  • Iketh - Monday, September 03, 2012 - link

    -- , then "a" is right... --

    should be

    -- , then "an" is right... --
    Reply
  • ggathagan - Monday, September 03, 2012 - link

    The British writing convention is to refer to companies in the plural. Reply
  • Sufo - Tuesday, September 04, 2012 - link

    Well, a company is a group of people is it not? Rather than one single hive-mind. "ASRock" as a singular entity is simply a brand, and I don't like the idea that an abstract concept can make human decisions - technically, because it is impossible, but mainly because it is creepy... :/ Reply
  • Azethoth - Monday, September 03, 2012 - link

    "a SAS". "an" is for words starting with vowels like "an error", "a" is for words starting with consonants like "a Serial Attached SCSI" or "a Storage Area Network" or "a SAS"*. It rolls off the tongue better when you don't have adjacent vowels.

    *Your particular English implementation may have different rules, these were the ones I grew up with. I find them simple and easy to apply.
    Reply
  • lukarak - Tuesday, September 04, 2012 - link

    That's not entirely true.

    It would be an 'a' if you read it as 'a sas'. But with SAS, we usually pronounce it as S A S, and then it goes with 'an'.
    Reply
  • ahar - Tuesday, September 04, 2012 - link

    Who's "we"? It doesn't include me. Why use three syllables when one will do?
    Do you also talk about R A M, or R A I D arrays, or an L A N?
    Reply
  • Death666Angel - Tuesday, September 04, 2012 - link

    Like lukarak said, that is not true. The English language uses "an", when the word following it starts with a vowel sound. That doesn't necessarily mean it has a vowel as the first character (see hour).

    As for abbreviations, there is no rule for it. Some people pronounce them like a single word, others don't. I use LAN, RAM, RAID as a word, but pronounce SAS as S.A.S. and SATA as S.ATA for example and SNES as S.NES. You can't appease both groups. So I think the writer of the article should go with whatever he feels most comfortable with, so that he avoids flipping between things unconsciously.
    Reply
  • Death666Angel - Monday, September 03, 2012 - link

    "If you believe the leaks/news online about an upcoming single slot GTX670, or want to purchase several single slot FirePro cards, then the ASRock will give you all that bandwidth as long as the user handles the heat."
    I'd probably slap some water coolers on there. Insane setup :D.
    Reply
  • tynopik - Monday, September 03, 2012 - link

    Is it even confirmed that this Ivy Bridge-E is coming out? Reply
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  • ypsylon - Tuesday, September 04, 2012 - link

    But little is delivered.

    1. Primitive RAID option. Without even small cache it is as useful as Intel Storage Matrix RAID. Of course for R 1/10 parity calculations are not required so lack of XOR chip isn't an issue, but believe me even 128 MB of cache would improve performance greatly.
    2. They bolted 8 SATA/SAS ports to the board instead using standard server oriented SFF-8087 connector. You get one cable running 4 drives not 4 separate cables for each separate drive. Very clumsy solution. And very, very cheap. Exactly what I expect of ASR.
    3. If someone wants RAID buy a proper hardware controller, even for simple setups of R1/10 - plenty of choice on the market. When you change the board in the future you just unplug controller from old board and plug it into new one. No configuration is needed, all arrays remain the same. Idea of running RAID off the motherboard is truly hilarious, especially if somebody change boards every year or two.
    4. Fan on south bridge (or the only bridge as north bridge is in the CPU now? ;) ). Have mercy!
    5. They pretend it is WS oriented board yet they equip it with lame Broadcom NICs. Completely clueless, that kind of inept reasoning is really typical of ASRock.
    6.And finally why persist with ATX. At least E-ATX would be better choice. Spacing some elements wouldn't hurt. Especially with 7 full PCI-Ex slots. Impossible to replace RAM when top slot is occupied, and with really big VGAs it really is tight squeeze between CPU, RAM and VGA. Why not drop top slot to allow air to circulate. Without proper cooling in the case there will be a pocket of hot air which will never move.

    To sum up. Bloody expensive, dumb implementation of certain things, and cheaply made. Like 99% of ASRock products. Cheap Chinese fake dressed like Rolls-Royce. In short:stay away.
    Reply
  • dgingeri - Tuesday, September 04, 2012 - link

    1. Many server manufacturers equip their small business servers with a low end chip like that because of cost. Small businesses, like those who would build their own workstation class machines, have to deal with a limited budget. This works for this market space.

    2. I don't see any sign of a SFF-8087 port or cable. I see only SATA ports. Honestly, I would have preferred a SFF-8087 port/cable, as my Dell H200 in my Poweredge T110 II uses. It would take up less real estate on the board and be more manageable. I know this from experience.

    3. Yeah, the Dell H200 (or it's replacement H310) has plenty of ports (8) and runs <$200 yet any hardware raid controller with a cache would run $400 for 4 ports or about $600 for 8. (I have a 3ware 9750 in my main machine that ran me $600.) Depending on your target market, cost could matter. They get what they can with the budget they have.

    4. I'd have to agree with you on the fan, but there's also the little matter of keeping clearance for the video cards top populate the slots. Take off the decorative plate and make the heatsink bigger, and they could probably do without the fan. Unfortunately, there are lots of stupid people out there who buy things on looks rather than capability.

    5. Broadcom NICs are vastly superior to the Realtek or Atheros NICs we usually see on DIY boards. I would be happier to see Intel NICs, but Broadcom is still the second best on the market. I have 2 dual port Broadcom NICs in my Dell T110 II machine (which I use as a VMWare ESXI box to train up for certification and my home server.)They work quite well, as long as you don't use link aggregation.

    6. Many people wouldn't be able to afford a case that would handle E-ATX, especially the target market for this board.

    For the target market, DIY part time IT guy for a small business trying to make a decent CAD station or graphics workstation, it would work fairly well. I'm just not sure about the reliability factor, which would cost a small business big time. I'd say stay away just on that factor. Do with a little less speed and more reliability if you want to stay in business. Dell makes some nice IB workstations that would be perfectly reliable, but wouldn't be as speedy as a SB-E machine.
    Reply
  • 08solsticegxp - Sunday, June 09, 2013 - link

    You have to realize, this board is not a server board. If it was designed for that, I'm sure they would have two sockets. Also, it is much cheaper to add the LSI chip to the board than have it as an add-on card. If it was an add-on card... where do you expect it to go when using 4 Video cards?
    I think the board is designed very well for what it was intended for. You may want to consider looking at design as it relates to the intended purpose... Not, some other purpose.

    I will agree to say I would have liked to see a Raid 5 option on the RAID controller. However, looking at the price of an LSI (who are noted for being a high quality RAID controller) it is pretty pricey when you start getting to the controllers that have RAID 5 as an option.
    Reply
  • cjs150 - Tuesday, September 04, 2012 - link

    All those right angled, stacked SATA connectors and the 24 pin ATX connector is still sticking straight up!

    Come on, it costs little to make this a right angled connector and makes for much better cable management (especially if you are also using all the SATA connectors)

    Has anyone checked the accuracy of the ASRock Hardware monitor for temperatures? There are reports that on other ASRock board these are significantly inaccurate.

    Ultimately other than M/B p#rn not really sure what market this board is aimed at. For a workstation I would prefer dual CPUs and 48 PCI lanes
    Reply
  • dgingeri - Tuesday, September 04, 2012 - link

    I think that LSI 2308 chip is the same as the chip used in Dell's PERC H310 controller, with slightly different firmware/bios. (Dell customizes theirs to call it a PERC and label it as a Dell controller, but it is still labeled as a LSI copyright.) If so, that's a very good controller, from my experience. Reply
  • ComputerGuy2006 - Tuesday, September 04, 2012 - link

    I want Ivy Bridge-E, not going to go from 1336 setup to x79 setup without knowing if ivy-e is even coming out (much less if it will work on the same mobo) Reply
  • dgingeri - Tuesday, September 04, 2012 - link

    With AMD providing absolutely no competition in this space, I would say it is unlikely they'll come out with any updates worthy of spending money. Think of the time with the P4 while AMD wasn't providing competition. Intel put out processors from 2.8 to 3.8GHz over the course of 2 years which cost more and gobbled up more electricity, yet provided minimal performance enhancement. (iirc, the 3.8GHz chip was only about 10% faster than the 2.8GHz chip because of memory bandwidth limitations and thermal throttling, yet Intel charged more than double the intro price than the 2.8GHz for the 3.8GHz chip.) Intel without competition is just a money hog, gobbling up more and more money with little to show for it. I doubt Haswell with be anything special, either. IB certainly isn't.

    Oh, yeah, they say Haswell will be 10% faster than IB at the same clock rate. While AMD was providing competition, they were putting out things that ran 50-60% faster per clock, and had faster clock rates to boot. So, at the price point, we'd get a 75-100% boost per generation. (Core 2 had a drop in clock rate, sure, but it was WAY faster than the P4, giving us a 80%+ performance boost at the same clock rate. Coppermine was a huge boost in both clock rate and efficiency. Katmai was a huge boost in clock rate and efficiency. Same with Klamath and Deschutes. Yet, the P4 generation was a huge stall point, and also the point where most of Intel competitors got out of the race and AMD was way behind.)

    I wish someone would come into the market and provide an little incentive to get Intel to move their butts forward, but we're not going to see that for probably another decade.
    Reply
  • Master_shake_ - Tuesday, September 04, 2012 - link

    problem is Intel won't allow any more companies to get the x86 license to make desktop/notebook cpus.

    i want Nvidia to make one just to have a 3rd choice.
    Reply
  • fteoath64 - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    "i want Nvidia to make one just to have a 3rd choice.".

    Yeah, then Nvidia buys VIA and starts making NV-nano as the Tegra3 of x86 for the super tablets that would be weight compatible with current 10.1 Android/iOS tablet ..... {pipe dream ...}

    Nvidia doing a x86 and ARM hybrid processor would be really cool for a new generation of UltraBooks that does Win8 and Android together. Imagine when docked you have both Win8 (external monitor) and ICS/JB on tablet with touch. Win8 tablets being much thicker plas plenty of space for 2 SDcard slots and 2 MicroSD slots.
    Reply
  • fteoath64 - Saturday, July 12, 2014 - link

    When the discrete gpu market for high-end notebooks dries up, then Nvidia might make a VIA play. For now, they cannot afford such an investment especially when they had sunk millions on Denver (Arm V8) 64-bit arm with the K1. IF they produce a great Arm 64bit core, then they might have a great chance on the tablet and high-end mobile market. Also, left over for the low-end and microserver market. Reply
  • Frallan - Wednesday, September 05, 2012 - link

    I was complaining the other day about AT becoming an iSite talking more about iWare than anything else.

    My honesty compels me to write in after the last few days and apologize. There has been a number of good interesting computer and component articles the last week that proved me wrong.

    Thank you AT and keep the good work up.
    Reply
  • BlueReason - Wednesday, September 05, 2012 - link

    "ASRock have potentially missed a trick here"

    It's becoming trendy for American-based tech blogs to use the British standard for subject/verb agreement when it comes to businesses. You could debate what it ought to be all day, but American professional writing standards dictate that companies be referred to as a singular entity. You can do whatever you like, of course, but just an fyi in case you submit a piece to a major American publication. They won't see your usage as fancy.
    Reply
  • Razorbak86 - Monday, September 24, 2012 - link

    "Lighten up, Francis." -- Sergeant Hulka, Stripes (1981).

    Although you may view Ian Cutress' prose as "fancy", he was hardly being pretentious. He lives in London, and he was educated at the University of Oxford. That might not mean much to you, but feel free to Google a map or two and educate yourself about world geography.

    I lived and worked in the United Kingdom for 5 years as an American expatriate. My daughter was born in Aberdeen, Scotland, and my kids grew up with British accents. I can assure you that it is standard practice in the United Kingdom to refer to companies in the plural. Fortunately for me, the British people were very gracious hosts. Despite the subtle differences between my American dialect and the Queen's English, they always treated me and my family with great respect throughout our stay.

    So please be a little more polite when referring to one of the Senior Editors of AnandTech. You are, after all, communicating in HIS native tongue, not yours. ;-p
    Reply
  • MySchizoBuddy - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    where is the CUDA/OpenCL benchmark with 7 GPUs? Reply
  • alan brimble - Tuesday, May 28, 2013 - link

    Good Afternoon guys,pardon my ignorance, but i have the rampage 4 extreme and can already take advantage of the quad sli features as i am using 2 gtx690's in the pcie x 16 lanes.I like the idea of all those sata 6gb ports as i think they could come in handy.The rampage has 2 asmedia at 6gb and 2 normal 6gb ports which i have taken use off. Would it be worth upgrading to this board or wait for Asus to no doubtably match this board with another release maybe soon. Reply

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