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ASRock Z97 Extreme6 LGA 1150 Intel Z97 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

4 out of 5 eggs Happy with this choice so far 03/24/2015

This review is from: ASRock Z97 Extreme6 LGA 1150 Intel Z97 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

Pros: Price
Well reviewed
Free Shipping
Rebate (If it comes)
Full Featured
10 SATA Ports
Thunderbolt ready
Fancy BIOS
XMP success with my memory (on QVL)
EZ Overclocking !

Cons: Thin PCB

All SATA ports are the same color. They are all 6.0 Gb/s true but 6 are Intel and 4 are ASMedia
Color differentiation would be nice

While testing the Z97 I installed a TP-LINK Archer T8E AC1750 Dual Band Wireless PCI Express Adapter. The board and card
did not get along at all. There were random reboots and boot failures. I moved the T8E to an alternate slot and the same
problems occurred. I installed a PCIe soundcard to both Z97 slots and had no issues. That's BIG. A guy might think his board is
no good when it's an add in card.

Really dislike the orientation of the SATA connectors Why dey do dat?

The M.2 slots share PCI-E lanes. Pay attention to your hookups

A-Tuning Software update gets confused. It didn't remember what had already been installed by it.

No ASRock sponsored or mediated forums

Short, information lacking 13 language manual
that ASRock terms "Quick Installation Guide"
There is a separate one language Software Setup Guide
explaining BIOS

Other Thoughts: I wanted to move to 1150. Of course there are many boards out there. Newegg list about 350 options. Narrowing it down wasn't that hard. The famous hardware sites usually list what they think
are the best of, or give kudos too. I didn't find one negative "Pro" review they were all unfailingly positive.

I have never owned an ASRock product before but the positive "Pro" reviews led me to read many user reviews
and they were for the most part very confident in their purchase. The price was in the range I am willing to spend on a mobo. Not more then $175.

One attempts to cover all the bases before making a purchase but there are always trade-offs and things the buyer simply forgets to look into.

I game so that was the primary prerequisite
This is a midpriced overclocking board. I rarely overclock but wanted that option.

My case in a Phanteks “ Enthoo Pro Series “ PH-ES614P which has a PWM fan hub. I failed to check if the Z97 had a 4 pin connector on the board. Fortunately it has a 4 pin chassis fan connector which is compatible for controlling several fans in BIOS. Phew!

After having built so many systems I am no longer surprised when a new build starts up the first time. The Z97 presented no build issues whatsoever. I particularly liked the memory mount system. I moved from a famous board maker whose name also begins with A and their memory mounts had a single movable holdfast. The Z97 has two (one at top and one at bottom) that makes it easier for me to install memory.

I have the Hyper 212 CPU cooler and two sticks of fairly hi-rise memory. My research has found 16GB is all the mem needed for gaming. ASRock recommends populating slots 2 and 4 when using two sticks. Doing this leaves plenty of room for those larger CPU coolers.

Overclocking this board can be as easy as picking any of five BIOS presets. I tried the 4.0 ghz preset. It worked fine and
there were no stability issues I could detect. There is some software ASRock terms A-Tuning which also allows for overclocking from Windows if that is your bent.

The feature that really caught my eye and was the deciding factor in this purchase was the inclusion of Ultra M.2_SSD (NGFF) support. There is nothing I like as much as a fast boot drive and when I have saved some mean green I am going to get one of those drives.

The Z97 has what ASRock terms "Vertical Type A USB" header on the mobo. I found this curious and wondered why a header would be so placed. Reading reviews revealed...leave a flash drive in there which could contain a bootable linux distro. I tried Zorin..pretty nifty! I also tried a wireless dongle. That worked too. Inside the case the device is protected which is a good idea. I have ruined flash drive cause I was careless with my knees and/or feet.

System: ASRock Z97 Exteme 6
i5-4690K Devil's Canyon
ADATA XPG V2 16GB (2 x 8GB)

I can see no reason not to recommend this board. The price is right and has a rebate

ECS B85H3-M3(1.0) LGA 1150 Intel B85 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

4 out of 5 eggs Feature Laden Budget Board with a Couple Big Goofs 03/22/2015

This review is from: ECS B85H3-M3(1.0) LGA 1150 Intel B85 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard

Pros: Sale Price
Free Shipping
Modern, Full Featured UEFI Bios
Intel B85 supports 4th-Gen Intel CPU's
Four SATA 6 ports
Helpful 72 page manual

Cons: Only one internal USB 2 header on board. WHAT ?
There is no RAID.
PCB is thin
PCI Express x1 slot covered and unusable when using double size videocard
No forum at ECS site
Unhelpful 312 language quick start guide.
Fingerprint smudges on board battery
Resetting BIOS causes date and time loss..WHAT?

Other Thoughts: I wanted a micro ATX board to stick in my ATX case and I did not want to spend much money. The computer this board went in is my back-up system running Windows 8.1 that I use to test new
programs. I had an ECS board in the past and it never gave me any problems. This board is well reviewed by guys that own them.

This is not a gaming board but rather a business board. Intel Small Business Advantage offers six applications
that backup and restore data, a PC Health Center, Software Monitor, USB Blocker, Energy Saver and Wireless Display. Just make sure your Intel CPU is on the list.

In business I would think data critical so at a minimum offer RAID 1

Setup was easy and the system booted right up. Always a plus.

I looked through the BIOS and found under Boot Menu the option:
"Operation SYstem Select" with sub menu options
1) Windows 7 or other OS
2) Windows 8.x
3) Manual

Since I am running 8.1 on the system I selected that and saved.
On reboot there was no display to the monitor.
This occurred whether I used the on board or a discrete video card. The only way to get the system to boot with video output was to clear CMOS. Clearing CMOS also caused date and time to be lost. Since when is that normal? 1990?
Fingerprint smudges on board battery ? Hmmmmm?
I replaced battery but it didn't make a difference.

There are a pantload of options on that BIOS page and some manual adjustment may need doing. I put in a support ticket at ECS and promptly received an automated e-mail..."We got your support request" reply. I would like to hear from them.

System Specs:

ECS B85H3-M3
Celeron G1820 Haswell Dual-Core
8 gig GSkill PC 12800

This is almost a 3 Egg board. The PCIe placement is worth a whole egg off and the BIOS issues are significant enough to almost warrant a loss of another egg but not quite.

Looking back I might have spent a few more bucks but after all I just needed a basic board.

Recommended if you want a no frills mobo at a good price.

ADATA XPG V2 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2400 (PC3 19200) Desktop Memory Model AX3U2400W4G11-DGV
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: Free Shipping
Sale Price

Cons: None

Other Thoughts: Review is on (8GBx2) Kit

I wanted fast, quality memory. The user reviews on this product were very positive. I have the ASRock Z97 Extreme6 mobo and these were listed on the QVL. The color looks nice against the black board. In BIOS I selected the XMP profile and they run at advertised speed with no runs, drips or errors. When I bought them the price was exceptional. Recommended


jan p.'s Profile

Display Name: jan p.

Date Joined: 01/11/04


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  • First Review: 11/25/05
  • Last Review: 03/12/15
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