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This review is from: ASRock Z97 Extreme4 LGA 1150 Intel Z97 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
Pros: Z97, it's got everything! Great overclocking board, I'm very expierienced and it's brought my 4690K to 4.7ghz, same as another very high end board. Comes with a year of Orbweb pro which has some features that are generally not easily available for home users such as remote desktop, wake on wan, remote file explorer (meaning access your files on your computer from somewhere else).
Intel i218v gigabit nic, you can't beat Intel for compatability and reliability!
All solid caps except for a few vented in the Audio section, these are also high quality capacitors.
Good heatsinking, looks great IMO, 6x USB3 ports, DVI/VGA/HDMI and Display Port...
Switchable bios control on board with 2 bios chips.
Really this board is loaded!
3yr warranty, not seen on many of their boards.
Cons: When installing the drivers from the disc you can select "Drivers Only", warning it does not install "Drivers Only" it will include Google Chrome, Google Tool Bar and ASRock APP Charger (which is helpful if you charge your I-Pad/Pod/Phone) on your computer. Not a big deal but an annoyance.
Other Thoughts: I've been a fair fan of ASRock for awhile but not until fairly recently have I been a common customer. In my few seen failures I've always had ease dealing with the RMA process.
I've owned a few of the previous Extreme 4 boards, they have been good to me!
I really like the way their new boards look!
This review is from: ASRock Z97 Pro4 LGA 1150 Intel Z97 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
Pros: Full featured, good overclocking, comes with a year of Orbweb pro which gives you all sorts of extra features that are generally not easily available for home users such as remote desktop, wake on wan, remote file explorer (meaning access your files on your computer from somewhere else).
I thought the UEFI Tech and UEFI Driver Install were a nice set of bonus features!
Intel i218-v gigabit nic, can't beat an intel nic for compatibility and reliability.
Mostly solid capacitors (see notes in Other Thoughts)
Option to download newest drivers vs installing the ones from disc.
Cons: Not full size ATX, which can make it a little scary initially plugging in your 24pin psu connector, I generally recommend doing so carefully and bracing the back of the board to minimize flex where possible.
When installing via the installation disc if you click (Drivers Only), I would expect it to be so, it's not, it attempts to install Google Chrome, Google Toolbar and the ASRock App Charger (helpful if you charge your Apple device with your computer). This has become common place but I find it no less annoying as I prefer very clean installs with minimal extra nonsense.
Other Thoughts: There are 4 vented capacitors on the board, they appear to be for the onboard audio, they are high end audio capacitors and it's not very often you find high end solid audio capacitors.
Overall I've started to become a fan of ASRock boards, I've had a lot of luck with them in the recent and for a budget minded high powered machine it's become my go to choice. The board also handles overclocking quite well, took my 4770k to 4.6ghz without a problem. This chip has been clocked before in another board, I knew what settings I was after, I wanted to make sure the board would hold it at the best speed I've run it at stable.
Pros: Dual band 2.4/5ghz, this is very helpful in situations with high levels of wireless saturation. The web interface is great and loaded with more options than you get from most other routers available, it's also fairly quick. Dual USB shares can be used with a flash drive or usb hard drive, printer, media server, and it also allows direct FTP access with it's own user list. Some other great wireless features include guest networks and the ability to disable WPS completely! I find the ability to disable WPS is extremely important as it is a security vulnerability on most networking equipment as it can be easily hacked. Wireless ranges seem to be inline with most other routers available. The unit also has a direct wireless on/off switch which can be handy in a number of situation. You can disable the 2.4 or 5ghz wireless independently. Direct MAC address parental controls, this will allow the user to configure parental controls on specified devices. Bandwidth control, per connected device which can be helpful in making sure important systems or services stay connected and transferring data as required.
Cons: Didn't include a Ethernet cable.
Very minimal top venting.
Other Thoughts: This is a nice unit filled with features, it could easily be setup and used at home by a novice or setup for a small business by a tech and utilize it's more advanced features.
2.4ghz vs 5ghz : 2.4ghz is known to have better range naturally, however with 5ghz not being used as often you can easily get better signals with it depending on network saturation and surrounding construction materials.
The most features I have seen in a router outside of a small business oriented unit.