I agree. Both make good hardware but to me Asrock goes into the same group as Biostar and Foxconn, second tier motherboard manufactures. As you said the Asrock is average but not something that will blow you away.
I was looking at the same thing but went with Gigabyte because I didn't like the idea that they were second tier to Gigabyte, MSI and Asus.
How the rankings go:
ASRock was originally spun off from Asus in 2002 in order to compete with companies like Foxconn for the commodity OEM market. Since then, ASRock has also gained momentum in the DIY sector and plans for moving the company upstream began in 2007 following a successful IPO on the Taiwan Stock Exchange.
ASRock has garnered a reputation for good value (cost/performance) from tech websites, including awards and recommendations for an array of products.
ASRock sold eight million motherboards in 2011, compared with ECS and MSI who sold seven million apiece.The figures, which are quoted over on DigiTimes, put ASRock in third place behind Asustek and Gigabyte. This is a significant improvement over the company's showing in 2009, with 2010's figures pushing ASRock ahead of both MSI and ECS. This has recently placed ASRock as a top tier motherboard manufacture.
ASRock is currently owned by Pegatron Corporation.
Well change of plans get the Gigabyte i just remembered there are certain Asrock boards made flawed and that is one of them The only negative I have for this motherboard is that it slips outside of typical ATX specifications. It’s 3cm thinner than a standard ATX motherboard and as a result may lack secure mounting on the far side since this isn’t a common size, which also means you should be very careful when plugging in the 24-pin ATX motherboard power – as the motherboard may flex. here my legit source read last page http://www.vortez.net/articles_pages/asrock_z77_extreme... P.S.On a side note IMO it's still a very solid mobo but because of that flaw i wouldn't buy it but i have quite a few friends that have that mobo and none regret buying it but they confirmed to me they had that problem when installing the board i would label the mobo as a buyer beware but still all around best bang for buck mobo.