Five Z87 Motherboards Under $220, Reviewed

Z87 Extreme6 Applications

Using the same ALC1150 high-end audio codec as several other competitors, ASRock is one of only two companies to include DTS Connect mode in today’s round-up. This is a two-part technology consisting of DTS Interactive and DTS Neo:PC, upmixing stereo sources to as many as eight channels, and then encoding the signal in real-time for output through a digital source. Systems that lack this function limit output of more than six channels to analog connections.

Realtek’s sound panel also includes positioning, equalizer, and reverberation controls to synthesize 23 different listening environments.

The Z87 Extreme6 installation DVD also includes several freeware and trial-ware applications, such as Google Chrome, Splashtop Streamer, and Norton Internet Security. Stardock’s Start8 start menu for Windows 8 grabbed my attention because my Windows 8 applications menu is cluttered. Alas, this software is also a trial. It also lacks the “Accessories” folder that I grew fond of in previous Windows versions.