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X79 Extreme4 Firmware

Six $200-$260 LGA 2011 Motherboards, Reviewed
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ASRock attacks the overclocking market on two fronts, with “CPU EZ OC” profiles up to 5.0 GHz, plus full manual controls. We recommend keeping any of Intel’s 32 nm CPUs below 1.40 V for increased longevity, and we perform our own comparative analysis at 1.35 V.

After suffering through two motherboard round-ups with a CPU bug for which only one of ASRock’s competitors had a workaround, we finally moved on to a new bug-free processor based on Intel's newer C2 stepping. Choosing 47 x 100 MHz gets us to a respectable 4.7 GHz, though the board’s 1 MHz BCLK increments prevented us from seeking a few MHz more (we would have liked to see more granularity there).

Memory data rates up to DDR3-2400 are available at stock base clock, though most Sandy Bridge-E processors require advanced tweaking to reach this data rate.

Voltage controls include CPU core and CSA, the latter assisting primarily in memory controller overclocking. Benchmarked at default settings, our memory gets bumped up to its recommended 1.65 V when overclocked.

Unlike most entry-level boards, the X79 Extreme4 adds secondary and tertiary timings to its manual memory configuration.

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