[section_title title=”Closer Look”]Closer Look

Taking a look at the board as a whole I think ASRock have done a very good job in making sure the blue accenting is not overdone and compliments the black PCB nicely.  I would have liked to see a couple of the PCI lanes done in blue as well to offset the RAM slots but this is just me being picky.

ASRock Z97 Extreme4 full board


Starting off with the top half of the board we have the mosfet heatsinks, LGA 1150 CPU Socket, RAM slots, 24 and 8 pin PSU power connectors, 4 pin molex power connector that will allow us to get some extra power to our PCIE lanes for better multi GPU performance and can you can see some of the rear IO panel that we will cover more in depth shortly. There are also a number of fan headers and a front IO USB connector.

ASRock Z97 Extreme4 top half


Here we notice the, in my opinion, very nicely coloured blue and black RAM slots which support dual channel 3200+GHz (OC) DDR3 RAM.

ASRock Z97 Extreme4 RAM


Taking a better look to the left of the CPU socket we see the mosfet heatsinks, these continue the blue theme of the board and are made of aluminium alloy to help keep things cool. We can also notice the 12 phase power design and a few of the Nichicon 12k platinum caps.

ASRock Z97 Extreme4 mosfet heatsink


On to the bottom half of the board we have 3x PCI Express 2.0 x1 slots and 3x PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots that run at, single x16, dual x8/x8, triple x8/x4/x4.

ASRock Z97 Extreme4 PCIE


Purity Sound 2 includes 7.1CH HD audio with Realtek ALC1150 audio codec, EMI shielding cover, PCB isolate shielding which is meant to help reduce static and DTS connect. To help further make sure audiophiles are covered ASRock have included Nichicon audio caps and a TI Ne5532 headset amplifier.

ASRock Z97 Extreme4 Purity Sound 2


A closer look at our M.2 slot which supports supports M.2 SATA3 6.0 Gb/s module and M.2 PCI Express module up to Gen2 x2 (10 GBs)

ASRock Z97 Extreme4 m2


Starting left to right on the very bottom of the board we have our normal lineup of ports and connectors in the form of, COM1, power fan, clear cmos, 2x usb 2.0 connectors and a sport for a post speaker.

ASRock Z97 Extreme4 bottom ports 1


Continuing on we have the front panel power/reset connectors, power LED connector, Debug LEDs, clear cmos button, reset/power buttons and the bios A/B chips and switch.

ASRock Z97 Extreme4 bottom ports 2


Here we have the SATA ports. There are 8 in total, 6 controlled by the Intel Z97 chipset supporting raid in 0, 1, 5 and 10 arrays, Intel Rapid Storage Technology 13 and Smart Response Technology, NCQ, ACHI, Hot Plug and ASRock HDD Saver technology. The remaining 2 SATA3 6.0GBs ports are controlled by the ASMedia ASM1061 and offer support for NCQ, ACHI, Hot Plug and ASRock HDD Saver technology. There is also a SATAE port that when paired with the SATA3 ports 4/5 becomes the SATA Express connector allowing for transfer speeds of up to 10GBs.

ASRock Z97 Extreme4 SATA

Last but not least we have a good selection of connectors on the back IO which include:

1x PS/2 Mouse/Keyboard Port
1x D-Sub Port
1x DVI-D Port
1x HDMI Port
1x DisplayPort 1.2
1x Optical SPDIF Out Port
2x USB 2.0 Ports (Supports ESD Protection (ASRock Full Spike Protection))
2x USB 3.0 Ports (ASMedia ASM1042AE) (Supports ESD Protection (ASRock Full Spike Protection))
4x USB 3.0 Ports (Intel® Z97) (Supports ESD Protection (ASRock Full Spike Protection))
1x RJ-45 LAN Port with LED (ACT/LINK LED and SPEED LED)
HD Audio Jacks: Rear Speaker / Central / Bass / Line in / Front Speaker / Microphone

ASRock Z97 Extreme4 Rear IO

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