Personally, I find the ASRock Extreme boards very aesthetically pleasing, the way the blue offsets the black is a look I enjoy very much, even the capacitors and SATA ports just help bring it all together.
Starting off with the top half of the board, in the top left we can see the two heatsinks are connected to each other to help dissipate heat better if one isn’t as warm as the other. The X99 Extreme 6 has support for up to 8 sticks of DDR4 RAM totalling up to 128GB with a frequency of 3000+MHz(OC) and right in the middle of this is where the brains of the operation will go, the LGA 2011-3 socket where users will install their compatible Intel Core i7 or XEON processors.
Having a further look around and we can see some of the unique features the Extreme6 has to offer, in the top right corner is a vertical USB port and down on to the bottom left is a 4-pin Molex input designed to help get that extra bit of power to the PCI-E lanes when using multiple graphics cards. Also, on the right-hand side next to the RAM slots are 2x USB3.0 front header connections.
On down to the bottom half of the board and the fun just keeps on going. Here we can see the 3 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots, 2 x PCI Express 2.0 x1 slots, 1x mini-PCI Express slot and the 1 x Ultra M.2 socket among others. The thing that is impressive here is the upgraded Ultra M.2 slot and the reason is because it gives users more speed over that of a standard M.2 slot. Standard M.2 slots allow for transfer speeds of up to 10GB/s whereas the Ultra M.2 slot on the ASRock boards allows for upto 32GB/s transfer, they do this by utilizing 4 x PCIE 3.0 lanes connected to the CPU over the previous standard of using 2 x PCIE 2.0 lanes.
ASRock have included their Purity Sound 2 technology for users audios needs. Purity Sound 2 is designed to give users the best audio experience possible from an on-board audio solution, it features an EMI shielding cover, PCB isolate shielding, DTS connect and Nichicon audio capacitors just to name a few.
Down to the very bottom of the board where a lot of the headers, ports and connectors are – starting from the left is the front panel HD audio connector, TBT1 port (Thunderbolt), Com1 port, clear CMOS jumper and the BIOS Select switch which will allow users to setup a guaranteed working BIOS then flip the switch and have a play with a new set of BIOS and if anything goes wrong they can flip the switch back to the working BIOS with no problems.
Moving along and we can see 2 x USB 2.0 ports that are normally used as part of the front panel IO but can also be used to monitor some hardware there days such as power supplies and AIO CPU coolers. Lastly but surely not least there are a couple of fan headers, power/reset buttons, HDD saver port and the DeBug LED that will give users a unique code that will inform them if there were any problems during POST.
ASRock have included 10 x SATA3 6.0 Gb/s connectors, with support for RAID (RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 10 and Intel® Rapid Storage 13), NCQ, AHCI, Hot Plug and ASRock HDD Saver Technology.
As previously mentioned the top 2 heatsinks have a nice bar connecting them to each other to help and dissipate heat between them which should ultimately result in better cooling performance.
The rear IO has a good host of connections, including:
1 x PS/2 Mouse/Keyboard Port
1 x Optical SPDIF Out Port
1 x eSATA Connector
2 x USB 2.0 Ports (Supports ESD Protection (ASRock Full Spike Protection))
4 x USB 3.0 Ports (ASMedia ASM1074 hub) (Supports ESD Protection (ASRock Full Spike Protection))
2 x USB 3.0 Ports (ASMedia ASM1042) (Supports ESD Protection (ASRock Full Spike Protection))
2 x RJ-45 LAN Ports with LED (ACT/LINK LED and SPEED LED)
1 x Clear CMOS Switch
HD Audio Jacks: Rear Speaker / Central / Bass / Line in / Front Speaker / Microphone