Our review of the ASRock FM2A85X Extreme6 mainboard has come to an end. We started it with a short panegyric on the company’s success and have no intention of taking our words back. ASRock mainboards based on Intel Z77 Express and designed for LGA 1155 processors are excellent. They can successfully compete against the products from other mainboard manufacturers. They have definitely outperformed their competition in quite a few aspects, and they are working really hard to continue improving. However, unfortunately, the same doesn’t apply to ASRock FM2A85X Extreme6 mainboard. And this isn’t because the board is not so good at all or has a lot of shortcomings. No, this isn’t the fact, its technical specifications are the same as by the previously reviewed Asus F2A85-V PRO and Gigabyte GA-F2A85X-UP4. Moreover, ASRock mainboard can boast a number of unique advantages, which its competitors do not have. However, there are still a few areas that could use some improvement and we are going to point out below what they are.
Let’s recall all the advantages of the ASRock FM2A85X Extreme6, which we pointed out throughout the review. We will not dwell on the accessories bundle, PCB layout, manufacturing quality and technical specifications here, because all three competing products are very similar to one another in all these aspects. First of all, we were truly amazed that ASRock managed to eliminate a common issue with AMD Turbo Core technology, which made Socket FM2 processors drop their clock frequency even below the nominal value under heavy operational loads. The processor clock frequency multiplier will not drop under heavy load not only during overclocking by using “ASRock X-Boost” technology, but also when you are simply applying the preset overclocking profiles offered by EZ OC Mode parameter. We were very pleased that we could access the memory modules SPD in the same section where we adjust memory timings. Other manufacturers’ mainboards also provide you with memory timings information. But only ASRock FM2A85X Extreme6 mainboard makes this information really handy and usable right there and then. Overall, we appreciated the attention to user needs, when the start-up image is in fact a complete list of all hot keys, when each parameter in the mainboard BIOS is accompanied by sufficient comments and details thus eliminating the need to consult the manual, go to forums or wait for responses from tech-support. The small and straight-forward Restart to UEFI utility turned out exceptionally handy allowing to reboot the system and enter the BIOS automatically. We wish other mainboard makers took note of it and introduced something similar in their products, too.
We only mentioned the new features, but in reality we should also mention other ASRock mainboards’ advantages, which we are already very well familiar with. For example, quick and easy BIOS updating process by using a USB flash drive and even quicker and easier BIOS updating via Internet. The board boasts very user-friendly BIOS and comes bundled with MAGIX Multimedia Suite software. Now let us list the uncovered drawbacks. We didn’t like the inconvenient sliding locks on the graphics card slots and the non-operational fan rotation speed adjustment feature, which negates the benefits from having two processor fan connectors, which otherwise would have been a great advantage. Despite the fact that processor cooling fans were at their maximum speed during overclocking, the heatsinks on processor voltage regulator components heated up quite substantially. We didn’t expect Cool’n’Quiet technology to turn off during overclocking and didn’t enjoy the inconvenience of the memory timings adjustment process. At the same time, I have to point out that the board allowed us to overclock our test CPU to the same exact level as all other tested products, it performed well, and of the three mainboards we have reviewed so far, ASRock FM2A85X Extreme6 is the least expensive, but it is up to you to decide if its advantage really outweigh its shortcomings.