ASRock X79 Extreme11 In The Box

For the price tag, we expect a lot of extras in the box for what is ASRock’s high end model.  Previously we have seen additional Front USB panels and/or WiFi connectors available in ASRock’s packages.  With the X79 Extreme11, we get the following:

Rear IO Panel
Manual
Driver DVD
Six SATA cables
Two SATA to Molex Connectors
Two Short SLI Fingers
One Long SLI Finger
One Rigid 3-Way SLI Finger
Front USB 3.0 Panel

 

Personally, with the inclusion of the PLX and the LSI chips, I would have expected either a full compliment of SATA cables or a four-way SLI connector.  There would have also been scope to increase the Front USB panels to either two, or a larger 5 1/4" bay with four ports and two connectors (depending on if workstation type cases came with USB 3.0).  With boards like this, it might be worthwhile motherboard companies allying with a case manufacturer as a suggested build scenario.

Voltage Readings

After my first publication of OCCT voltage readings, a few readers responded with a more in-depth reasoning behind some of the results we were seeing.  With this in mind, I would like to re-describe what we are doing with this test, and how it comes about.

Much of what an enthusiast overclocker does is monitor CPU temperature and voltage.  Whatever settings a user places in the BIOS or OS is at the mercy of the motherboard - in terms of actually setting the values and reporting the values back.   As an enthusiast, we have to rely on what readings we get back, and hope that motherboard manufacturers are being honest with their readings.

Take CPU voltage.  What we as a user see in CPU-Z or OCCT is a time-averaged value that hides voltage ripple (if any) for power delivery.  It is very easy for a motherboard manufacturer to hide this value, or to disregard slight deviations and report a constant value to the user.  The CPU voltage reading can be taken at a variety of places on the power plane, which can vary between motherboards and manufacturers, meaning that each reading is essentially not comparable with the other.  Nevertheless, as an enthusiast, we will constantly compare value A with value B. 

Whether or not I can achieve 4.7 GHz with 1.175 volts on a particular board is inconsequential - your motherboard may perhaps produce the same result with a reading at 1.200 volts.  The only way to test the actual value is with consistent methodology is via an oscilloscope connected to similar points on each board.  This may sound like taking an OCCT reading is therefore redundant.

However, motherboards have settings relating to load line calibration.  As load is applied to the CPU, the voltage across the processor decreases (VDroop).  Load Line calibration essentially attempts to control this level of droop, by increasing voltage when voltage drops are detected away from a fixed value.  Manufacturers have different ideas on how to modify LLC with respect to load, or whether the level of modification should be controlled by the user.  Some manufacturers offer the option at a variety of levels, such that overclockers can be sure of the applied setting (even if it increases peak voltage, as explained by AnandTech in 2007).

By doing a full load OCCT test, we are essentially determining both how aggressive the motherboard is reporting the CPU voltage under load and how aggressive load line calibration is performing (from the point of view of the user without an oscilloscope or DVM).  If someone has one of the motherboards we have tested and you have a different one, variations in load voltage should describe the offset you may require for overclock comparisons.

Like most ASRock boards, we see a small variation in the voltage reading under OCCT.  Note that as OCCT is itself a time-smoothed reading of the ripple, perhaps the ASRock solution is not be as smooth as it could be.  Nevertheless, I had no voltage issues on the board itself, and the X79 Extreme11 does a good job keeping around the 1.160 volt region during load at stock settings.

ASRock X79 Extreme11 Software ASRock X79 Extreme11 Overclocking
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  • StevoLincolnite - Monday, September 03, 2012 - link

    Chipset fans.
    WHY!? They're noisy, probably fail quickly when filled up with dust...

    I have the Asus Sabertooth x79 which has 2 small fans on it and the noise they generate drives me bonkers, thankfully the board has a 5 year warranty... Heck most of these chipset fans aren't even a standardized size so replacing them on your own is going to be tough/impossible.
    Reply
  • Grebuloner - Monday, September 03, 2012 - link

    I think you might want to check your board or your case cooling setup then. I can't hear the fans on my Sabertooth unless I stick my ear up to the grill on the I/O plate, and the chipset fan is inaudible over the 580 it sits next to. Reply
  • owan - Tuesday, September 04, 2012 - link

    Its not rocket science, its right there in the review: 35+W underneath a very low-profile heatsink. Passive cooling just wasn't going to cut it. I swear, if people are going to complain about stuff on this motherboard, they could do a lot better than whinging about the fan. Reply
  • Master_shake_ - Tuesday, September 04, 2012 - link

    i have an LSI 9260 add in card and that thing gets super hot, and the fan on this is really loud...

    just check out linus tech tips on youtube and you can hear it.
    Reply
  • mike55 - Monday, September 03, 2012 - link

    What are those little box-shaped components that are in the center of the CPU socket and appear in the dozens on every PCB I've ever seen? Reply
  • Ditiris - Monday, September 03, 2012 - link

    They're capacitors for the CPU, more specifically decoupling capacitors. Reply
  • mike55 - Monday, September 03, 2012 - link

    Ah, thanks! Good to finally know what the heck those things are. Reply
  • LamborghiniBooby43 - Monday, September 03, 2012 - link

    As the X79 chipset does not have USB 3.0 as standard, ASRock have included Texas Instrument USB 3.0 controllers for a total of eight ports (4 on the back panel, 4 via two onboard headers) and a 2-port front USB panel included in the box. http://goo.gl/XbQv9 Reply
  • JMC2000 - Monday, September 03, 2012 - link

    If ASRock says this board is aimed at the workstation user, why in the world did they put those useless decorative metal shields on the heatsinks? Those things just scream out 'Gamer' to me.

    I would like to see someone build a dual-2011 socket board utilizing 4 of the PLX8747 chips.
    Reply
  • Belard - Monday, September 03, 2012 - link

    Yep... A Workstation board is just that... They don't need all the bling. Yes, this board has workstation features - but this looks nothing more than a board for an uber gamer who has money to spend.

    Of course, what game makes use of 4 gaming cards (yeah, the slots are only useful for rendering / compute type work).

    Still, if you want to have EVERYTHING possible... this should be it.
    Reply

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