There are many conflicting points of view with the socket 1366 market.  On one hand, it may be considered too expensive for the mainstream market, or that people suggest to wait for Intel's next enthusiast-level platform.  With the next enthusiast platform potentially being released Q3 2011, those who have already invested in a 1366 have had great value in their investment, and any 1366 platform still purchased today will comfortably run along, awaiting for AMD to develop a more competitive platform.

The ASRock Extreme3 board is an upgrade over ASRock's Extreme board, featuring SATA 6Gb/s and USB3 capability, for an extra $20.  This places the Extreme3 in territory already populated by popular motherboard manufacturers such as Gigabyte, with their EX58-UD3R, and MSI, with the Pro-E and Pro-E USB3 offerings.  As a result, this board is competing on two grounds - if it gets more bang for your buck compared to cheaper ASRock boards, and if it performs well against other boards in the price bracket.

The tight default timings may put off people who want to overclock, but are not sure with what all the settings mean, and as a result cannot push the board and processor to where they want.    If you know what you're doing, it isn't a problem with the ASRock, but they are slightly limiting their overclock market in this regard.

The PCIe lane count could also put off gamers wishing to run an SLI + PhysX setup with three cards.  If the third card is a double slot, will block USB, Firewire, and a fan header - even the Power/Reset buttons, depending on the card.

Overall, the board is rock stable at our overclock settings.  If we had the choice between the Extreme3 and the EX58-UD3R, We'd be happy to part with an extra dollar for SATA 6Gb/s and USB3 support, even if it means having slightly worse 3D performance, and a BIOS which can be frustrating to use at times. We feel ASRock would be wise to spend some time refining their BIOS up to the standard of what we find on similarly priced ASUS and Gigabyte boards. If they can do that, the X58 Extreme3 will go from being a strong contender to a no-brainer purchase at the $190 mark.

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  • Glenn - Wednesday, June 02, 2010 - link

    I believe for $15 more I would go with the Gigabyte X58A-UD3R. I like asrock boards and have had good luck in the past using them, but they need to provide more wow at this pricepoint or be substatially less than the proven enthusiast boards. Reply
  • DigitalFreak - Wednesday, June 02, 2010 - link

    Yep, it makes no sense. The comparison should have been with the X58A-UD3R, even if it is a few dollars more.

    You get 4 PCI-E x16 slots (x16+x16, x16+x8+x8, x8, x8, x8, x8), two PCI-E x1 slots and ONE PCI slot. How many people really need more than 1 PCI slot anymore?
    Reply
  • bobvodka - Thursday, June 03, 2010 - link

    Well, I do for one.. I'm currently using a Creative X-Fi Elite Pro sound card which is PCI. I'm sticking with it because it has an awesome IO console I can sit on my desk so I can swap quickly to headphones and between headphone sets (one set is better for general usage, but when I need to talk to people I've got a headset I use but the sound repro isn't quite as good). So, while it still works I'll stick with it, heck I don't even know if the later PCIe X-Fi cards can even drive the IO Console...

    On my current X58 motherboard my other PCIe slots are either;
    - being used for graphics
    - being used for a PCIe wifi card
    - being used for a GTS-260 physx card
    - blocked
    Reply
  • bobvodka - Thursday, June 03, 2010 - link

    oh, I totally misread the comment I was replying to... disregard the above, I thought it said 'requires one PCI slot'; sorry. Reply
  • Araemo - Thursday, June 03, 2010 - link

    I have to agree. I have only had one ASRock board... it was so extremely picky, with misleading and undocumented BIOS settings that impacted stability and overclocking greatly, and nonexistant support.

    That said, for the price, it gave me a (after months of fiddling) 95% stable, high performance system for 2 years for a fraction of the price I'd have paid for another board. But it only lasted about those 2 years before it started showing random crashes, lock ups, disappearing DVD drives, and other odd issues.
    Reply
  • Araemo - Thursday, June 03, 2010 - link

    Also, since when is a $180 motherboard considered a budget price? Damn. I just built my wife a computer with a (now quad-core) AMD processor of decent performance with a very solid ASUS motherboard.. the motherboard cost $70. I can understand paying $100-$150 for a feature-rich overclocking motherboard, but that isn't what I'd call a 'budget' price at all. :P Reply
  • Taft12 - Thursday, June 03, 2010 - link

    Spoken like someone who has never looked at X58 motherboard pricing. Core i7 is for a different market than your wife. Reply
  • Pessimism - Thursday, June 03, 2010 - link

    What the original poster is trying to say is that intel should immediately drop the core2, i3, and i5 lines, cut the pricing of the i7 line to sub-$100, cut x58 board pricing to $75 and advance computing as a whole while wiping AMD off the map. Reply
  • Araemo - Saturday, June 05, 2010 - link

    I've looked at it - but the performance difference isn't worth the extra $400 you have to spend on an X58 based system Vs. and AMD or Core 2 Duo system. Reply
  • DLeRium - Sunday, June 06, 2010 - link

    Wrong comparison. X58-UDR3 is just outdated. I don't care about price. It's like comparing this year's car against last year's competitor. Okay? But that's not a direct comparison when talking new cars.... sigh. Reply

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