Articles: Mainboards

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Two largest mainboard makers – Asus and Gigabyte – offer entire families of products for almost every new chipset coming out, each product offering diverse features and functionality. Other mainboard makers are also pretty active, but mostly in respect to the low-end and mainstream chipsets. As far as the flagship chipsets are concerned, most of them usually launch one or two, and rarely three or more mainboard models. However, the situation with LGA 2011 mainboards is not quite typical. For example, Gigabyte, introduced only four mainboard models, while ASRock release as many as eight! It looks like Micro-Star let ASRock take over the third position in the largest mainboard makers ranks for a good reason: everything indicates that ASRock has very massive intentions.

We have already reviewed ASRock Fatal1ty X79 Professional mainboard, which made a very good overall impression, so it is natural that we are excited about checking out more of their products. We decided to proceed with a mainboard, which is not among the junior ones, but also isn’t the top-of-the-line. However, it would be completely unfair to call ASRock X79 Extreme6/GB a mainstream product. It is a very feature-rich mainboard that tends to be closer to the flagship models. It boasts a few unique features and has more advanced functionality than the similarly named ASRock X79 Extreme6. All in all, it promises an interesting experience.

Packaging and Accessories

ASRock X79 Extreme6/GB mainboard is shipped in a vertical box with a carry handle. There is a model name a few logotypes on the front of the box. The back bears a mainboard photo, a brief list of technical specifications and illustrations of selected features.

The mainboard is accompanied with the following accessories:

  • Five SATA cables with metal connector locks, some with L-shaped locks and some – with straight ones;
  • A flexible bridge for three-way Nvidia SLI graphics configurations;
  • A bridge for two-way Nvidia SLI graphics configurations;
  • A bracket with two USB 3.0 ports;
  • Back panel bracket and a set of retention screws for it;
  • I/O Shield for the back panel;
  • A brochure about the functionality of mainboard BIOS and accompanying software;
  • User manual in multiple languages;
  • DVD disk with software and drivers.

I would like to once again point out that the mainboard comes with a very convenient universal bracket with two USB 3.0 ports. By default, it is prepared to be installed into the free 3-inch bay in the system case and deliver two USB 3.0 ports to the front of the system case. However, if you have a new case that already comes with USB 3.0 ports on the front panel, or if you do not have an empty 3-inch bay in the front, then you can use an enclosed bracket and screws set to place these ports in the back of the system case.

The previous picture of the accessories included with ASRock X79 Extreme6/GB could be also used to describe the accessories bundled with ASRock X79 Extreme6 mainboard. Both boards are identical, however, ASRock X79 Extreme6/GB also comes with a special small box.

The “GB” letters in the mainboard model name are the abbreviation from “Game Blaster” and you are absolutely right to assume that it is a sound card. This card is built around Creative Sound Core3D, but this isn’t all it can do. It also has an onboard Broadcom BCM57781 Gigabit network controller chip, the same as on the mainboard itself, so you could sue them individually or together in Teaming mode.

I would also like to add that there is a separate page on ASRock’s official web-site dedicated to ASRock Game Blaster card and its features.

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