We always enjoy opening new boxes that come from ASRock. They are one of our favorite motherboard suppliers when it comes to delivering high value performance solutions. We were speaking with them just a couple of weeks ago about their BIOS updates for the X58 Supercomputer X58 motherboard that allows 2000+ memory clocking now along with general improvements when running all four x16 (x8 electrical) slots populated with the GTX295 boards.

They mentioned a new X58 motherboard design and asked if we wanted to look at it. We of course obliged and thought nothing else of it until the package arrived a few days ago. We ripped the box open, looked around, and thought to ourselves this is a nice update to the current X58 Deluxe board. That is until we started noticing a cleaner layout, power/reset/CMOS switches, a new 8-phase power delivery system, and an abundance of fan headers. However, the proverbial rock that hit us on the head was the little note with the suggested MSRP of $169.99.

Yes, that’s right, we finally have a full featured ATX X58 based motherboard below the $170 mark without a rebate or reduced feature set. While you could purchase a great AMD 780G board and processor in that price range, this a quite reasonable price for an X58 product. We wanted to provide a full review of the product before it launched, but it showed up for sale earlier than expected. This is good news for bargain hunters looking at upgrading to the X58/i7 combination, bad news for us. As such, we are providing a very quick first look (preview) of the ASRock X58 Extreme today with additional details to follow in the near future.

Board Layout

Taking a quick look around this board, we find the overall layout is excellent. ASRock placed the 24-pin and 8-pin ATX power connectors, IDE/Floppy connector, and the SATA ports along the edge of the motherboard. The board features two PCIe x1 slots, two PCI slots, and three PCIe x16 slots (x16/x16/x4). The CPU area is uncluttered and a push/pull CPU fan/heatsink design like the Vigor Monsoon III will not interfere with memory in the first dimm slot. The back of the board is clean and all of our various air/water coolers that required a back plate worked fine.

ASRock includes the standard array of components like the Realtek ALC890 HD audio codec, Realtek RTL8111D, VIA VT6330 IEEE 1394a/IDE combo chipset, Intel ICH10R for SATA and RAID support on six ports, along with full support for the Core i7 processor series. Five chassis fan headers offer speed but not temperature control along with full hardware monitoring and control via the BIOS or ASRock’s software utility. Last but not least, ASRock implemented a new 8-phase power delivery system along with having the first EuP (Energy using Product, 1W or less power consumption when off) compliant motherboard.

The rear panel features the standard PS/2 mouse and keyboard ports, optical/coaxial SPDIF out ports, seven USB 2.0 ports, powered eSATA/USB port, Gigabit LAN port, IEEE 1394a port, and a handy Clear CMOS switch. ASRock was generous enough at this price point to include Power and Reset switches along with an LED POST display. They also include a very good accessories bundle. You get the standard rear I/O panel cover along with 1 x IDE/Floppy cable, 4 x SATA cables, 2 x SATA power cables, and SLI bridge card. An informative manual and software CD is included that contains their IES, OC Tuner, and Instant Boot applications.

The board also features the new Instant Flash utility that allows the user to flash the BIOS from the POST screen or via a BIOS option setup. Yes, this functionality has been available on other boards for sometime, but it is a first for ASRock.  Speaking of the BIOS, the overall design is geared for the general enthusiast with several auto overclocking options and a decent array of manual timings. ASRock includes enough options so that we did not have any problems maximizing our overclocks with air or water cooling options. We still think VTT voltage options should include finite (about a .05V difference between settings) settings of 0.01V steps. Overall, the AMI based BIOS design is clean and uncluttered.

Let’s take a quick look at the initial performance capabilities of the board.

Setup and Overclocking
Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • SiliconDoc - Sunday, July 5, 2009 - link

    You didn't miss anything because mr sad is sad for his own failed fanning, not for you. Sad for himself, that more people aren't taking bad advice given by the sad crier.
    I mean where do we get these people ?
    You gave the person a fair chance pointing out the plain truth, and there was no rebuttal - not even an attempt.
    What is sad, is we all wind up putting up with sad crybabying like that, then when someone like you kindly makes the neccessary points, the other person isn't man, woman, nor adult enough to take correction. They are so screwed up, they come back with a meaningless emotional claim that is a smart aleck lie.
    Yeah, that's really, really sad, sick behavior.
    I thank you both for the lesson, I now know without a doubt to absolutely avoid the amd board recommendations. That is not sad, I am thankful and happy.
    So, just maybe, the skumbagisms that arise so often, are worthwhile.
  • cube26 - Wednesday, July 8, 2009 - link

    +10000 to SiliconDoc
  • cube26 - Wednesday, July 8, 2009 - link

  • snakeoil - Sunday, July 5, 2009 - link

    wow, you are charged 1000 dollars for a cpu and you seem to enjoy it , well that its not sad, its pathetic.
  • SiliconDoc - Monday, July 6, 2009 - link

    Lying is pathetic, isn't it ?
    core i7 920 2.66 = $280
    top phenom deneb 3.2 = $250
    the core i7 wins - the lowest end one - roflmao
    Now that's SAD FOR YOU, and you are now seen as pathetic.
    better luck next time - try not lying, ok ?
  • snakeoil - Monday, July 6, 2009 - link

    cpu difference between core i7 and phenom ii: 70 dollars
    motherboard difference: 100 dollars
    memory difference: 100 dollars
    also core i7 is ultra overheating so you add 70 dollars more for a good coolermaster v8 cooler
    and you need a case with extragood airflow lets say another 200 dollars.
    is that enough for you?
  • snakeoil - Saturday, July 4, 2009 - link

    im not a troll i'm just sad for you
  • SiliconDoc - Monday, July 6, 2009 - link

    I've moved your lie to the last page. Reverse bump.
  • SiliconDoc - Sunday, July 5, 2009 - link

    Thank you for proving to me the amd boards are crap in comparison, you've done a fine and thorough job of it. Be proud of yourself.
  • A5 - Friday, July 3, 2009 - link

    There's no reason to cross-shop Phenom II and i7.

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now