Thursday, June 5, 2014

Asrock Z97 Extreme6

The Extreme6 model has long represented the upper echelons of the Asrock Extreme Series which is now pushed out in pure flat black PCB aka Sapphire Black PCB as termed by Asrock. Yes, you can finally say goodbye to the chocolate brown PCB colour of the past.

In addition, Asrock have creatively engineered their Z97 Series with a most unique x4 M.2 feature (aka Ultra M.2, PCIe Gen3 x4) which is more than double the bus width of the usual x2 M.2  path from all other Z97 makers. As a result of the Ultra M.2 treatment, it nets a bandwidth boost of up to an impressive looking 32Gb/s compared to 10Gb/s (other Z97 plain reference Gen 2.0 x2 M.2) and 6Gb/s (earlier PCIe Gen 2.0 x1 M.2)

Asrock is clearly proud of their Z97 Series Ultra M.2 accomplishment as evidently seen in their promotion blurbs...

And check out the crazy load of new Asrock LGA1150 models just listed...

Official Page

The Z97 Extreme6 other highlights are as follows

  • ASRock Super Alloy
  • - XXL Aluminum Alloy Heatsink
  • - Premium Alloy Choke (Reduces 70% core loss compared to iron powder choke)
  • - Dual-Stack MOSFET (DSM)
  • - NexFET™ MOSFET
  • - 12K Platinum Caps (100% Japan made high quality conductive polymer capacitors)
  • - Sapphire Black PCB
  • ASRock Ultra M.2 (PCIe Gen3 x4)
  • ASRock HDD Saver Technology
  • ASRock Full Spike Protection
  • ASRock Cloud
  • ASRock APP Shop


The Asrock Z97 Extreme6 comes in a large attractive box with a front black background and a most colourful back cover listing its features.


Top View

Note the flat black PCB

Back View

Note the use of proper anchoring screws ie. no push pins for all heatsinks and the DisplayPort 1.2, dual GLAN ports at the I/O area


All round use of hefty hunks of metal heatsinks (in electric blue shades, no less) surrounding the premium alloy chokes

Onboard Power

Time to play Flip The Sink and test the macro capability of your eyes with watermarked lossy resized jpeg images... lol

  • Dual-Stack MOSFET for CPU Power 
  • NexFET MOSFET for Memory Power
  • Nichicon 12K Platinum Caps 

NB: those who want the original untouched full size jpeg of these photos to read off chip markings, , just PM me :)

CPU Socket

Generously embellished with capacitors

Purity Sound 2

Featuring audio isolation; Realtek ALC1150, Nichicon Gold caps and TI® NE5532 Premium Headset Amplifier (Supports up to 600 ohm headsets)

Busy Corner

Beautiful onboard Power & Reset buttons, debug LED, dual BIOS chips/switch, USB3 port, system headers, HDD Saver Connector along with a generous bucketload of SATA3/SATA Express ports... all close neighbours in the same little Kowloon corner, phew!


Featuring Asrock's new Ultra M.2 and HDD Saver Technology features

SATA3, SATA Express & USB3 Ports
remember the eSATA port located at the back panel in earlier shots

M.2,  Ultra M.2
and with the mini-PCIe slot too!

Here's giving credit to Anandtech which did a nicely detailed investigation into the workings of the Ultra M.2 feature - check out the enlightening findings & implications here
Anandtech - Ultra M.2 x4 Tested With XP941

UEFI Screenshot Samples

The programmed overclocked profiles are a good starting point to begin with eg. Turbo 4.4GHz is chosen here as can be seen in the second screenshot.

Test Rig Setup

Asrock Z97 Extreme6 | i5-4670K@4.5GHz | NiCu HK 3.0-GTX360 | AMD R9 290 | Thermaltake Smart SE 630W ★

Vcore/uncore setting done in Adaptive Mode at 1.183V,  RAM sticks used are 2 x 4GB ValueRAM KVR1333@1866@1.55V. These sticks happen to have a nice matching blue PCB rather congruous with the Asrock blue heatsinks as can be seen here.

HyperPi 32M




Cinebench 15


HWBot Prime

Initial Impressions

  • Features the very innovative Ultra M.2 slot, in addition to the regular M.2 slot ie. total of two M.2 slots
  • Premium true black PCB, finally
  • Hefty oversized heatsinks
  • Innovative HDD Saver feature
  • Usual Asrock ease of overclocking for all aspects of K processors viz. CPU, Uncore, iGPU as well as for budget RAM
  • Fantastic cost performance - given the very rich set of hardware and overclocking features

Can be improved...

  • Colour of heatsinks subjectively less attractive than previous Z87 model
  • Ultra M.2 SSD availability still uncommon at present, admittedly a non-Asrock issue


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