ASRock Z97 Extreme6 In The Box

The Z97 Extreme6 is currently the least expensive motherboard we have tested from the 9-series range at $170. At this price point, for P67, we had ASRock motherboards with cables and USB 3.0 front panel devices. However the modern motherboards boards are actually more expensive to make, and with computer cases now supplying four USB 3.0 ports at the front, there is no need for the front panel extras unless they integrate some form of WiFi. Also because the Z97 Extreme6 uses two M.2 and SATAe, the cost of integrating those into the platform might also affect the depth of the bundle.

In the Z97 Extreme6 box, we get:

Driver DVD
Manual
Rear IO Shield
Four SATA Cables
HDD Saver Cable
SLI Bridge

Aside from the HDD Saver cable, which has to be present for the HDD Saver feature, this package is very light. Due to the 10 SATA ports on board, four SATA cables amounts to half should the M.2 x2 be in use, and there is no specific extras to the package that might make the product stand out.

ASRock Z97 Extreme6 Overclocking

Experience with ASRock Z97 Extreme6

I am pleased with ASRock’s persistence with all the automatic overclock options. It allows users to experiment with the lower overclocks and move up to the more stringent challenges for their expensive silicon. Typically automatic overclock options are also aggressive on voltages, so when a user hits a temperature limit they can manually go in and reduce the voltage as required.

The Power Saving option in A-Tuning is a good idea for extreme power conscious individuals. In general, a lot of what most users do is very brief and takes less than a second to implement on a modern system. By bringing the MHz down and moving the CPU into a more power efficient range, the overall power consumption is lower saving a few cents here and there.

For our manual overclocking we used the BIOS as usual, moving the load line calibration up to Level 1, similar to the extreme auto overclocking, and started from there. We hit 4.6 GHz at 1.3 volts, although this gave a rather toasty 95ºC peak during OCCT in our open test bed.

Methodology:

Our standard overclocking methodology is as follows. We select the automatic overclock options and test for stability with PovRay and OCCT to simulate high-end workloads. These stability tests aim to catch any immediate causes for memory or CPU errors.

For manual overclocks, based on the information gathered from previous testing, starts off at a nominal voltage and CPU multiplier, and the multiplier is increased until the stability tests are failed. The CPU voltage is increased gradually until the stability tests are passed, and the process repeated until the motherboard reduces the multiplier automatically (due to safety protocol) or the CPU temperature reaches a stupidly high level (100ºC+). Our test bed is not in a case, which should push overclocks higher with fresher (cooler) air.

Overclock Results:

ASRock Z97 Extreme6 Software 2014 Test Setup, Power Consumption, POST Time
POST A COMMENT

43 Comments

View All Comments

  • Haravikk - Sunday, May 25, 2014 - link

    Once again I can't understand this over-subscription that results in complex balancing of which SATA ports are used. I mean really, how many people buying these types of motherboards actually need more than four SATA ports? How many actually need a full seven PCIe slots? Just compromise on one or both, and reallocate the bandwidth; juggling ports that work and don't isn't something a builder should have to worry about, it should just be a case of plugging stuff in anywhere that fits and then starting it up. Reply
  • R3MF - Sunday, May 25, 2014 - link

    Reducing GPU access to 8x PCIe 3.0 lanes wouldn't be a problem on Kaveri/FM2+ as they have 24x PCIe 3.0 from the APU.

    If only they'd release an X6 refresh of Kaveri...
    Reply
  • TelstarTOS - Sunday, May 25, 2014 - link

    "GIGABYTE originally had that issue with their Z87 1080p BIOS, but it is fixed for Z97."

    Gigabyte? ;)
    Reply
  • Ian Cutress - Sunday, May 25, 2014 - link

    Yup, GIGABYTE had the issue of having a full HD mode but it wasn't initiated by default, and they fixed it for Z97 such that I can boot into full HD mode directly. ASRock still required me to select the full HD mode from the 720p mode. Reply
  • isa - Sunday, May 25, 2014 - link

    I'm pretty sure the z97 chipset supports m.2 with 4 channels of PCIe 2.0, but this article states most or all upcoming m.2 implementations will be limited to just 2 channels of PCIe 2.0. Do I have my facts straight, and if so, why the 2 channel limit? I can speculate as well as anyone and thus I'm not interested in speculation, but please comment if you actually know. thanks! Reply
  • isa - Sunday, May 25, 2014 - link

    To be clearer, I'd hope m.2 cards and sockets for any laptop to have 4 channels, since overall bandwidth issues with lots of ports that affect desktops just isn't an issue. Reply
  • SirKnobsworth - Sunday, May 25, 2014 - link

    I believe that the Z97 chipset only supports SSD caching on two lanes. Not that this matters all, or perhaps even most of the time, but maybe it was done just to avoid confusion. Reply
  • isa - Tuesday, May 27, 2014 - link

    OK, I looked up the z97 chipset specs in Intel's site, and I believe the answer is that the chipset provides 8 total PCIe 2.0 channels, and these can be assigned in any combo of 1x, 2x or 4x channel bundles as long as the total is 8 or less. So the chipset supports assigning 4 channels to the M.2 slot, and doing so leave 4 PCIe channels for other uses. I just hope laptop motherboard and firmware makers and M.2 PCIe card makers don't automatically limit themselves to M.2 2x implementations. I saw nothing in the Intel specs that required a RST (aka SSD caching) channel for each M.2 PCIe channel, nor do I know if Intel's use of RST effectively allows but cripples the performance of any M.2 PCIe channels over 2. I also don't know if one can disable RST and thus get the full benefit of 4 M.2 channels, motherboard and firmware permitting. It would be great if there was an Anandtech article going into this a bit more. Reply
  • heywoodmi - Sunday, May 25, 2014 - link

    Ian,
    You mentioned that default POST time was slow @ 20 seconds. Do you recall which controllers you had to disable to bring the POT times down to 7 seconds? I'm wondering if you also had to disable the M2 Ultra interface, because that seems to negate the unique characteristics of this motherboard. I'm looking to actually pair this up with a samsung XP941.
    Thanks
    Reply
  • 457R4LDR34DKN07 - Sunday, May 25, 2014 - link

    That seems unlikely as it does not use a controller and is directly connected to CPU. The only delay caused would be the UEFI firmware on the XP941 and motherboard Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now