The ASRock Z77 Extreme11 mainboard has turned out to be an amazing and exceptionally feature-rich product. There are not so many mainboards with two USB 3.0 controllers that add eight more ports to the four existing ones. And there are not so many mainboards with two network controllers, both from Intel, which support teaming. The preinstalled mini-PCIe card offers Bluetooth 4.0 Class II and dual-band Wi-Fi at speeds up to 300 Mbps. The three graphics slots allow building multi-GPU configurations up to Nvidia Quad-SLI and AMD Quad CrossFireX (you can even use a fourth graphics slot for CrossFireX). The mainboard also offers three PCI Express 2.0 x1 slots, supports FireWire and has a COM port. On top of all that, it features a digital power system with high-quality components, a large number of fan connectors, Power, Reset and Clear CMOS buttons, a POST indicator, a vertical USB 2.0 header (Type A), and thick copper interconnects in the PCB.
The extensive functionality already makes this model special, but we’ve seen each of these features in other products, too. So it is the SAS2/SATA3 (6 Gbit/s) LSI SAS2308 PCIe 3.0 controller that makes it truly unique. The controller adds as many as eight SATA 6 Gbit/s ports to the chipset’s two SATA 6 Gbit/s and four SATA 3 Gbit/s ports. The ASRock Z77 Extreme11 is currently the only ready-made solution for users who need a large array of high-speed drives. On the other hand, its high power consumption serves as a warning that it is not a product for all. It wouldn’t be wise to purchase it unless you really plan to use a lot of drives.
The long list of advantages also includes user-friendly BIOS and excellent overclocking capabilities, high-quality packaging and rich accessories, a cleverly designed back panel, and the multifunctional ASRock Wi-SB Box which is installed into a 5.25-inch bay.
That said, we are proud to award ASRock Z77 Extreme11 mainboard our Ultimate Innovation title:
As we all know, there is always room for improvement with any product out there. ASRock Z77 Extreme11 is no exception. We believe it would be highly beneficial if ASRock replaced the small and unhandy latches on the graphics card slots which are now used on almost all of ASRock products. We also weren’t too thrilled that the power-saving technologies did not work well in the nominal mode, though this could be easily fixed by manually enabling them in the mainboard BIOS. But these are the little things. The more serious concern was the failure with the BIOS update system which we experienced during our test session, which makes us question the safety and reliability of the BIOS updating procedures on ASRock mainboard using the built-in tools. Hopefully, this problem will be corrected quickly and won’t become a long-term issue.