ASRock Prepares Intel Z77 Chipset Motherboards
ASRock is busy preparing its latest round of motherboards based on the Intel Z77 chipset. First up is the ATX form-factor Z77 Extreme6 motherboard, which is targeted at computer enthusiasts. The Z77 Extreme6 features two PCIe 3.0 x16 slots along with a PCIe 2.0 x1, two PCI and one mini PCIe slot, supporting both Quad SLI and Quad Crossfire set-ups. The board supports provides a total of four SATA 6Gbps ports via an ASMedia controller (one is combined with an eSATA connector) and four SATA 3Gbps ports. The Z77 Extreme 6 also includes 7.1 channel audio and DisplayPort, DVI, HDMI and VGA ports. Connectivity is covered by USB 3.0 (four ports on the rear panel), USB 2.0, Firewire (one port) and Gigabit Ethernet support. Four DDR3 DIMM slots provide plenty of space for memory while a clear CMOS button on the rear I/O panel aids overclocking enthusiasts. The board has an 8+4 PWM circuit complete with heatsinks and a heatpipe. The Z77 Extreme 6 is finished in a black and silver colour scheme with gold detailing.
The other boards are both aimed at PC gamers, being marketed under the Fatal1ty brand. The ATX Z77 Fatal1ty Professional is similar to the X77 Extreme6 but seems to have some minor changes, including an extra PCIe x1 slot replacing the mini-PCIe slot, more PWM phases, dual-ethernet ports and less display outputs (DisplayPort and HDMI only). The smaller micro-ATX apparently maintains the same display outputs as the Z77 Extreme6 and also features three PCIe 3.0 slots, one ethernet port and less PWM phases. Both Fatal1ty boards have the distinctive red and black colour design. More details regarding the boards should surface at CeBIT next week.