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ASRock X99 Extreme3 Review

Our Verdict

ASRock’s X99 Extreme3 offers high-value for new Core i7-5820K-based builds, but leaves little room for moderately-priced component upgrades (such as additional DIMMs).

For

  • Efficiency • Moderate overclocking • Price • Ultra M.2

Against

  • Less-desirable when paired with a high-end processor • One-per-channel DIMM limit • Slot limitations (2-card SLI) • Voltage regulator

Introduction

Value-minded performance enthusiasts have expressed great interest in the bottom of Intel’s high-end LGA 2011-v3 platform, including the Core i7-5820K seen in our recent SBM Alternative PC. But factoring economics into high-end configurations always leaves a catch (or three). Half of the problem is total cost. Buyers on a budget generally don’t want to pay more than $200 for a motherboard or DRAM. Memory manufacturers are attacking this conundrum with 16GB DDR4-2400 kits priced under $200 for at least a month, and ASRock has been right beside them with its X99 Extreme3 motherboard.

We don’t expect a bunch of added features from a low-cost board, and ASRock doesn’t provide them in its X99 Extreme3. The primary up-market interface is a four-lane PCIe 3.0 M.2 slot, and even that kicks down to a single-lane link when it's forced into SATA mode. ASRock still fits the board with the chipset’s full complement of USB 3.0 connections, including four at the I/O panel and two through a front-panel header. It even adds an I/O panel-accessible CLR_CMOS button to aid overclockers. Here’s how the board’s full specs compare to several mid-priced models:

  • chenw
    In the 3D games benchmarks, you have CPU labeled as i7-4790k.

    Unless I completely missed something, that is a typo, 4790k cannot be paired with a X99 motherboard.
    Reply
  • chenw
    In the 3D games benchmarks, you have CPU labeled as i7-4790k.

    Unless I completely missed something, that is a typo, 4790k cannot be paired with a X99 motherboard.
    Reply
  • Crashman
    15763410 said:
    In the 3D games benchmarks, you have CPU labeled as i7-4790k.

    Unless I completely missed something, that is a typo, 4790k cannot be paired with a X99 motherboard.

    Recycled charts, it could take a while to replace the typo version with the corrected version. Thanks for pointing this out.

    15763411 said:
    In the 3D games benchmarks, you have CPU labeled as i7-4790k.

    Unless I completely missed something, that is a typo, 4790k cannot be paired with a X99 motherboard.

    Recycled charts, it could take a while to replace the typo version with the corrected version. Thanks for pointing this out.

    Reply
  • PaulBags
    As I understand most current single graphics cards run fine at pcie3 8x, so staying sans switches and running perminantly at 8x/8x/8x +M.2 4x would have been an interesting option. Ah well.
    Reply
  • Larry Litmanen
    As we all know some (if not all) Apple laptops come without a CD drive, some do not have a Ethernet jack (WiFi only), obviously everyone heard about the new laptop with USB 3.1 being the only jack on the laptop.

    I am not saying Intel and motherboard manufacturers need to go to that extreme, but we have reached a point where removing some of these old ports will allow manufacturers to save money and pass them to the buyer.

    Is there really a need for a PS/2 port on a performance motherboard? Why not remove all the USB 2.0 ports and maybe add 2 more USB 3.0 ports.

    I recently purchased a MSI motherboards called GAMING 5, it is a gaming motherboard (duhh), marketed towards people on the gaming/performance side. Obviously anyone buying this board in the retail store is buying it with an intent to play games, and almost no one who games in 2015 uses a VGA or DVI ports, it also has PS/2 port.

    I am paying for these useless features that regular people almost no longer use, let alone gamers or people who are into PC building. You can include a HDMI to VGA or DVI adapter just in case someone out there still needs them.

    I think they need to start removing some of the legacy ports and chips and make boards cleaner, cheaper and more affordable to manufacture and buy.

    Reply
  • firefoxx04
    Sigh.. I know that in order to make things cheaper you need to compromise but only 4 ram slots for an X99 platform? To me, a big reason to go X99 is the idea that I can run LOTS of ram. What is the point of going X99 if you only want the lower end 6 core with less PCIe lanes and only 4 ram slots?

    Call me crazy or missing the point but I would almost rather save even more and just stick with Z97.
    Reply
  • ShermOR
    It's not time to be buying. We need X99 & Z97 motherboards with NVMe enabled EUFI BIOS, USB 3.1 Type A & C front and rear & bootable NVMe M.2 3.0 4X . No MB's or cases support all these specs now.
    Reply
  • mapesdhs
    Hmm, not keen on a top-end board without a debug post LED.

    Btw, Filippo's SLI article implies 3-way SLI at x8/x4/x4 would likely work,
    since his tests showed no limitations with 2-way at x8/x8, but of course
    NV doesn't support it. See the section entitled, "How Many PCIe Lanes
    Do You Need?".

    Ian.

    Reply
  • logainofhades
    This board, to me, would only be useful for a non overclocking workstation rig, that doesn't need more than 32gb of ram. Otherwise, spend a little more and get at least the extreme 4.

    Edit* After looking at the prices on PCpartpicker, this board is pointless, unless it becomes much cheaper.

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant
    Motherboard: ASRock X99 Extreme3 ATX LGA2011-3 Motherboard ($174.99 @ SuperBiiz)
    Total: $174.99
    Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when availableGenerated by PCPartPicker 2015-04-28 13:52 EDT-0400

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant
    Motherboard: ASRock X99 Extreme4 ATX LGA2011-3 Motherboard ($192.98 @ Newegg)
    Total: $192.98
    Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when availableGenerated by PCPartPicker 2015-04-28 13:53 EDT-0400
    I really hope the MSI X99S SLI Plus gets reviewed soon. It looks to be a promising budget board for X99.
    Reply
  • Larry Litmanen
    It's not time to be buying. We need X99 & Z97 motherboards with NVMe enabled EUFI BIOS, USB 3.1 Type A & C front and rear & bootable NVMe M.2 3.0 4X . No MB's or cases support all these specs now.

    That will be a very expensive system, life is too short to wait until all that hits the market and becomes somewhat affordable.
    Reply