by Anton Shilov
08/23/2012 | 05:31 PM
Once started as a spin-off from Asustek Computer that makes inexpensive mainboards, Asrock is evolving into a large motherboard supplier with a top-to-bottom product family. This week the firm has released its first mainboard of the OC Formula series designed specifically for extreme overclockers who demand no-compromise quality in a bid to set new records.
“My vision for the OC Formula brand is to allow overclockers to smash the overclocking limits effortlessly. Asrock Z77 OC Formula is just the one you have always expected. I live for challenges and welcome OC rockers to take my OC crown,” said Nick Shih, a well-known overclocker, who uses Asrock components.
The first mainboard in Asrock OC Formula family is Z77 OC Formula, which is based on Intel Z77 core logic and is designed for the latest Intel Core i-series 3000-family "Ivy Bridge" central processing units (CPUs). The mainboard provides a rich set of overclocking options in the BIOS/UEFI, including NickShih’s OC Profile provides that a taste of Nick’s secret sauce for extreme overclocking. The platform also supports multiple thermal sensors that allow users to track and control the temperature of various parts of the motherboard graphically in both UEFI setup and using an utility for Windows. Asrock Z77 OC Formula comes in server CEB form-factor (so a special case will be required), features design that allows to relatively easily install components for liquid nitrogen (LN2) cooling and has a number of innovative features that make it unique even compared to the most advanced motherboards out there.
Asrock Z77 OC Formula mainboard has a special Formula power kit with 12+4 CPU power phase design that consists of several enhancements that guarantee efficient power supply over the board. The formula power kit is based on CHIL 8328 power chip, a digital PWM, dual-stack MOSFET, multiple filter cap (a combination of highly conductive MLCC, DIP caps and POSCAP, helping the system filter high-frequency, mid-frequency and low-frequency noises from the CPU power input).
Advanced cooling can unleash unexpected overclocking capabilities, so OC Formula platforms feature Formula cooling kit for CPU PWM that includes twin-power cooling, which combines active air cooling with heatsinks compatible with liquid-cooling systems' pipes. The Asrock Z77 OC Formula mainboards are build on 8-layer printed circuit boards with four sets of 2oz copper inner layers, which should further improve stability of operations even when seriously overclocked.
To further improve the design, Asrock added Formula connect kit to the family of mainboards aimed at extreme enthusiasts, which promises to supply power most efficiently and achieve better electric conduction with the help of a special Asrock hi-density power connector as well as 15μ gold mounts for CPU socket and DIMM slots.
Apart from the above-mentioned design advantages, there are also some features designed for hardcore overclockers. Rapid OC allows to manually raise and lower the CPU ratio, BCLK frequency and CPU Vcore voltage. For those who constantly need to remove then insert cards back into the PCI Express slots, there are three PCIe on/off switches to enable or disable the PCIe slots immediately. V-Probe allows overclockers to easily and quickly get the accurate voltage readings via the multi-tester.
Asrock Z77 OC Formula mainboard will be available on the market starting this week. Given the fact that it is oriented on extreme enthusiasts, its cost will be in the range between $300 and $350.