Six $200-$260 LGA 2011 Motherboards, Reviewed

TPower X79 Firmware

Biostar copies over its familiar O.N.E. menu from earlier BIOS implementations to its UEFI with a few modifications, such as moving the menu bar to the bottom of the GUI.

Unfortunately, this particular board was uncharacteristically difficult to overclock compared to the firm’s other recent efforts, with nonfunctional boot failure recovery and a lack of overclocking profile storage that forced us to continuously clear all settings and then reset everything to known-good values in our overclocking attempts. We finally reached a stable (but frankly pretty weak) 4455 MHz overclock using a below-stock 99 MHz base clock with a 45x multiplier.

We also had to set a 1.37 V Vcore to achieve something close to 1.35 V.

Primary and secondary memory timings are also available from the main O.N.E. menu.

Though voltage settings are few, core, DRAM, and CSA voltage are all available. Unlike the CPU voltage found further up its menu, this CPU core voltage setting is an offset that complements the baseline figure.

Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.
  • I like Asrock boards. I have an 880GM-LE mATX and a Z68 Pro3 Gen3 ATX and both are good performance and price-performance wise.
  • hellfire24
    Asrock is dominating both high end and mid range market.extreme3/gen3 1155 is awesome and cheapest pci-e 3.0 sli capable mobo.Asrock FTW!!!
  • Achoo22
    Quite simply, the costs associated with Sandy Bridge-E are higher, in part because of Intel's prices and also because the boards are more difficult to design.

    Since the boards all have vastly superior profit margins, your statement is misleading. Why is everyone too afraid to reveal the truth about motherboard pricing?
  • bartholomew
    ASRock has come a long way!
  • AlexIsAlex
    Would it be possible, in future motherboard reviews, to include a measure of the cold boot (POST) time? This is something that different bioses can be differentiated on, and UFEI offers the potential for very fast boots if manufacturers take advantage of it properly.

    A comparison of the time between the power button being pressed and the installed bootloader starting would be very interesting to me. I was thinking it might be easiest to measure this by having no OS on the boot media and measuring the time to the "please insert boot media" message, but I'm sure you can think of other ways of doing it.

    I'm also informed that on some boards the boot time varies dramatically dependent on whether any Overclocking is enabled, as compared to the stock settings - that would also be worth knowing.
  • americanbrian
    your feature table says the asrock extreme 4 comes with an 8 phase voltage regulator, but the text of article says 10 phase...which is it ?
  • crisan_tiberiu
    ASRock = ASUS :)
    crisan_tiberiuASRock = ASUS
    not anymore, asrock is no longer affiliated with Asus and is owned by Pegatron Corp.
  • memadmax
    I wish tom's would do a "best motherboards for the money" or something close to that.
  • Pegatron sounds like a merger between PegASUS + Megatron (or something like that).