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ASRock Unveils its Intel-based 8-Series Motherboards

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 41 comments

The company's upcoming range of motherboards will be based on Intel's H87 and Z87 chipsets.

ASRock has revealed that its upcoming 8-series line-up of motherboards will feature at least 3 models for Intel Core CPUs: the H87 Pro4, Z87 Extreme6 and the Z87 Pro4-M. All three motherboards come with an impressive range of features including support for fourth generation Intel Core processors, 4 DDR3 1600 MHz DIMMs with support for a maximum of 32 GB of RAM and 7.1 Audio provided by the on-board Realtek ALC892. Also included with the motherboards is a front and rear USB 3.0 bracket, presumably for use in cases that do not have built-in USB 3.0 support.

The H87 Pro4 is an ATX sized motherboard that features a 100 percent "All Solid Capacitor Design", a single PCIe 3.0 x16 slot, 3 PCIe 2.0 x1 slots and 2 legacy 2 PCI slots. With regards to connectivity, the motherboard has 6 USB 3.0 ports (2 front, 4 back), 6 USB 2.0 ports, 6 SATA 3 connectors, Dual-VGA output (D-Sub and HDMI) and support for Realtek PCI-E Gigabit LAN.



The Z87 Extreme6 is also an ATX motherboard, but features "Premium Gold Capacitors" and support for Quad-SLI and 3 Way CrossfireX courtesy of the 2 PCIe 3.0 x16 and 1 PCIe 2.0x16 ports. The board also includes 1 PCIe 2.0 x1 slots, 2 PCI connectors, 6 USB 3.0 ports (2 front, 4 back), 8 USB 2.0 ports and 6 SATA 3 connectors. Finally, the Z87 Extreme6 has support for Broadcom PCI-E Gigabit LAN and comes with a Digi Power 12 Power Phase Design.


Last but not least, the Z87 Pro4-M is a Micro ATX-sized motherboard that has 1 PCIe 3.0 x 16 and 1 PCIe 2.0 x4 slot, 2 PCIe 2.0 x1 slots and multi-VGA outputs over D-Sub, DVI-D and HDMI. The board also includes 100% "All Solid Capacitors", 6 USB 3.0 ports (2 front, 4 back), 6 USB 2.0 ports and 6 SATA 3 connectors.

Though no information on pricing or availability has been released, it's a safe assumption that all 3 boards are targeted at the mid to high end of the market.


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  • 8 Hide
    rebel1280 , March 7, 2013 1:06 PM
    looks very... 90's
  • 8 Hide
    Sakkura , March 7, 2013 1:13 PM
    They've cut down the number of power phases compared to their Z77 boards. The Z77 Extreme3 has 8 + 3 power phases, the Z77 Extreme6 (and Extreme4) has 8 + 4; but the Z87 Extreme 6 only 8 + 2.

    Wonder if they'll put different heatsinks on the VRMs. Looks like a heatsink-less prototype since the chipset is exposed too.

    Oh, and it's nice to see that all of them have 6 native SATA3 ports. Now we just need a new SATA revision so consumer SSD performance can progress unhindered. It sucks that just as SATA3 is really becoming ubiquitous, SSDs are already bumping up against its bandwidth limit.
  • 9 Hide
    Onus , March 7, 2013 1:17 PM
    The Z87 Extreme6 also appears to have a mSATA slot on it. Very cool.
    I'm a little leery of the un-sinked VRMs that Sakkura pointed out. Hopefully the final release versions will have heatsinks on them.
  • Display all 41 comments.
  • 6 Hide
    rebel1280 , March 7, 2013 1:31 PM
    OnusThe Z87 Extreme6 also appears to have a mSATA slot on it. Very cool.I'm a little leery of the un-sinked VRMs that Sakkura pointed out. Hopefully the final release versions will have heatsinks on them.

    Dude, good catch on the mSATA port!
  • -1 Hide
    Junoh315 , March 7, 2013 1:39 PM
    OnusThe Z87 Extreme6 also appears to have a mSATA slot on it. Very cool.I'm a little leery of the un-sinked VRMs that Sakkura pointed out. Hopefully the final release versions will have heatsinks on them.



    The final version will definitely have heatsinks on them. You can see the outline for one of the heatsinks in the Extreme6's picture. That white outline shows where the heatsink goes. There is one for the CPU and it looks like there's one for the GPU. I'm not sure if it will have multiple heatsinks though. I don't really like the design of these motherboards. None of them look like they'd be good to use compared to my Gigabyte Z77X-UD3H.
  • -4 Hide
    warezme , March 7, 2013 1:51 PM
    How is 4 DIMM slots and support for only 32GB of RAM, an "impressive" feature? Impressive would be 6 or 8 DIMM slots with support for 64GB of memory or more. My laptop has 4 slots and 32GB of RAM.
  • 4 Hide
    blackscreen , March 7, 2013 1:56 PM
    OnusThe Z87 Extreme6 also appears to have a mSATA slot on it. Very cool.I'm a little leery of the un-sinked VRMs that Sakkura pointed out. Hopefully the final release versions will have heatsinks on them.


    Judging by the position of the screw standoff, that's an mPCI-e port, not mSATA.
  • 5 Hide
    ubercake , March 7, 2013 2:10 PM
    Sweet! I'd use the hell out of those legacy PCI slots!

    Seriously though, why are they still putting these things on new motherboards? Just have them laying around or something?
  • -2 Hide
    NightLight , March 7, 2013 2:23 PM
    rebel1280looks very... 90's

    exactly what i was thinking.
  • -2 Hide
    chriz78 , March 7, 2013 2:23 PM
    ubercakeSweet! I'd use the hell out of those legacy PCI slots!Seriously though, why are they still putting these things on new motherboards? Just have them laying around or something?


    I agree, ASRock seems to put more legacy stuff on their boards than other manufacturers. I don't think they should be putting VGA outputs on them either, I wish VGA would die. Even sound cards have been available in PCI express for quite a while now.
  • 7 Hide
    goodguy713 , March 7, 2013 2:33 PM
    warezmeHow is 4 DIMM slots and support for only 32GB of RAM, an "impressive" feature? Impressive would be 6 or 8 DIMM slots with support for 64GB of memory or more. My laptop has 4 slots and 32GB of RAM.


    ehh your laptop ram also costs an arm and a leg @ 32GB .. but you have a point you would think 64GB would be warranted but im sure the higher end boards will support that much .. even with 16 GB my system never used more then 8GB worth of ram.. so its a mute point unless your trying to run a ram disk.
  • -2 Hide
    goodguy713 , March 7, 2013 2:38 PM
    Quote:
    Sweet! I'd use the hell out of those legacy PCI slots!

    Seriously though, why are they still putting these things on new motherboards? Just have them laying around or something?


    Much agreed .. why do they still have them? old school pci 1x slots haha only thing i can think of is the pci modem cards you know for like dial up or something .. or possibly older audio cards. Usb / firewire port cards.. you get used to living in the city with access to dsl or fiber and there are still a lot of small towns places with only dial up connections.
  • 1 Hide
    ubercake , March 7, 2013 2:53 PM
    Quote:
    I agree, ASRock seems to put more legacy stuff on their boards than other manufacturers. I don't think they should be putting VGA outputs on them either, I wish VGA would die. Even sound cards have been available in PCI express for quite a while now.

    I agree. I wish they'd force everyone to digital just like cable in the U.S.

    I guess the argument for the VGA connection is there are many lower-cost, but good monitors being sold with VGA cables included and DVI cables excluded (even when there is a DVI connection on the monitor). This is good for people that don't keep extra cables around.

  • -1 Hide
    edlivian , March 7, 2013 2:58 PM
    I dont understand why intel is changing the socket type when z87 has same specifications as z77. If they supported ddr4 or ddr5 I would say its worth a socket change.

    But this socket change is hardly bringing anything new to the table.
  • 2 Hide
    azraa , March 7, 2013 3:23 PM
    edlivianI dont understand why intel is changing the socket type when z87 has same specifications as z77. If they supported ddr4 or ddr5 I would say its worth a socket change.But this socket change is hardly bringing anything new to the table.

    Connectivity seems to have changed a lot, that has been a huge issue since freaking always with Intel platforms.
  • 4 Hide
    InvalidError , March 7, 2013 3:39 PM
    SakkuraThey've cut down the number of power phases compared to their Z77 boards. The Z77 Extreme3 has 8 + 3 power phases, the Z77 Extreme6 (and Extreme4) has 8 + 4; but the Z87 Extreme 6 only 8 + 2.Wonder if they'll put different heatsinks on the VRMs.

    Haswell CPUs are supposed to have a 320 phases on-package VRM for Vcore, which takes the single largest VRM load off the motherboard manufacturers' hands.

    So I would expect Haswell motherboards to feature much simpler VRMs since they only need to supply DIMM and miscellaneous other low-load voltages.

    edlivianI dont understand why intel is changing the socket type when z87 has same specifications as z77. If they supported ddr4 or ddr5 I would say its worth a socket change.But this socket change is hardly bringing anything new to the table.

    It is supposed to bring on-package VRM so a socket change would be required to bring 12V on-package to feed that.
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , March 7, 2013 4:12 PM
    I have a question. If they are having 320 integrated voltage regulators, then why is there still so many phases around the sockets? Are they not going forward with the regulators or they allowing the mobo companies to augment the the internal regulators? /confused
  • -1 Hide
    enewmen , March 7, 2013 4:55 PM
    No Thunderbolt or Displayport?
    Doesn't look much different than panther point 7-series.
    If these boards are the high-end, then I'm sure the low-mid mITX boards won't have Thunderbolt or Displayport.
    What about 4k HDMI ?
  • 1 Hide
    InvalidError , March 7, 2013 5:30 PM
    c4fusionI have a question. If they are having 320 integrated voltage regulators, then why is there still so many phases around the sockets? Are they not going forward with the regulators or they allowing the mobo companies to augment the the internal regulators? /confused

    While VCCcore may have moved on-package, you still need VCCio for the PCIe lanes, DMI bus and all the other TMDS links and since the CPU is the biggest load on most of those, it would make sense to put those VRMs around the CPU too. You also need the RAM's VRM and the CPU is the biggest IO load on that voltage rail too.

    Some of the extra VRMs around the CPU may simply have been relocated from elsewhere to fill the space that got freed up around the socket.
  • 1 Hide
    InvalidError , March 7, 2013 6:05 PM
    enewmenWhat about 4k HDMI ?

    How much does the most affordable 4k screen on the market cost?

    If you are going to rely on the GT3 IGP for graphics because you cannot afford a discrete card, I doubt you can afford a 4k display. Performance-wise, I doubt the GT3 will be able to handle anything beyond 1080p reasonably well.
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