ASRock Z77 Extreme3 LGA 1155 Mainboard - Simple, Reasonable And Extraordinary (Part 6)

4/17/2013 2:52:18 PM

We performed our power consumption measurements by an Extech Power Analyzer 380803. This device is pre-connected the PSU and measures the power of the entire system (without the screen), including the power loss that occurs in the PSU itself. In the idle mode we start the system up and wait until it stops accessing the hard disk. Then we use LinX to load the CPU. Because of compatibility issues we haven’t found out in Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP4 TH and Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP5 TH motherboards with our first Cooler Master Real Power M850 power supply unit, we had to replace it with Enermax NAXN ENM850EW. Both of these PSUs have very similar technical features, but Enermax NAXN ENM850EWT saves about 1-3 W more than the Cooler Master unit. In order to be able to use the previously obtained results, we decided to make up for this performance difference by adding 2 W to all new power readings, so that we can still compare their results to the power consumption of all previously tested products.

To have a more illustrative picture, there are graphs that show how the computer power consumption steps up depending on the number of active-executing threads in LinX. The results of ASRock Z77 Extreme3 are marked with darker color for your convenient viewing.



1 thread

1 thread

100% load

100% load

As you can see, ASRock Z77 Extreme3 is pretty power-saving in all modes when working at nominal settings. However, we have already mentioned that there is a way to slightly lower the idle power consumption even more by manually enabling all power-saving settings or by using the exclusive “Power Saving Mode” parameter.

During overclocking process the motherboard’s power consumption in idle is a slightly lower than the average level, its power consumption under small operational loads is pretty low, and only reaches the average level under maximum load. I have to remind you that this motherboard managed to overclock our microprocessor to the maximum frequency of 4.6 GHz, unlike many other motherboards reviewed before, so the slightly higher power consumption under heavy load is pretty normal.



1 thread

1 thread

100% load

100% load


I have to say that it made a very good overall impression. It has a long list of indisputable advantages, such as considerate design, high-quality electronic components, good functions with a number of exclusive techs, user-friendly BIOS and unique software included with the board. With so many great advantages, there are very few weaknesses, so we can easily remember them. They are not convenient lock latches on the graphics card slots and the rotation speed adjustment for the processor cooling fan. However, these are the comments that could be applied to quite a few ASRock motherboards, and not the concerns of this specific model. Today this is the junior motherboard model in the Z77 Extreme line, its price is pretty low, but we do not see any signs of a cheap or sloppily made product. On the contrary, the board looks more expensive than its actually price, it is made as thoroughly and neatly as the flagship ASRock motherboards with a much higher price tag.

We had promised to tell you what the differences were between ASRock Z77 Extreme3 and ASRock Z77 Extreme4. First, let’s remember what is missing on the Extreme3 motherboard. There are no additional SATA port and USB 3.0 controllers, no buttons, no POST code indicator, no eSATA port, no decorative plate on the chip heatsink. And now let’s list all the differences. Instead of the high-grade “golden” capacitors it uses high-quality Japanese solid capacitors. The processor voltage regulator circuit is designed as 8+3, not 8+4. Instead of the Broadcom network controller, they used Realtek RTL8111E, and Realtek ALC898 codec was replaced with ALC892 model. The PS/2 port is no longer general and can only support keyboard. There are also a few additions: instead of one PCI Express 2.0 x1 slot, they provide a PCI Express 2.0 x16 slot operating at x4 maximum speed and expanding the mainboard functionality in terms of supported AMD CrossFireX multi-card graphics configurations. That’s all.

Therefore, it seems like we didn’t ask the right questions in the beginning of the review. We wondered what stand-outs had been sacrificed and removed compared with Extreme4 model. We have already described all the differences, but in fact ASRock Z77 Extreme3 is actually not a simplified variant of the ASRock Z77 Extreme4. ASRock Z77 Extreme3 is a fully functional model that uses to the most complete functions of the Intel Z77 Express chip used in it. It hasn’t been limited or restricted in any way, it has a lot of advantages, just like other ASRock motherboards. However, its unique ace is that it doesn’t have any unneeded or excessive features: no unnecessary additional controllers, no buttons, no decorative plates, but it has everything a user needs for optimal efficiency. If at some point you need IEEE1394 (FireWire), a second network card, eSATA port or something else, you won’t need to replace the motherboard, but just go and buy the necessary additional things. This motherboard has very impressive expansion capabilities including two PCI Express 3.0/2.0 x16 slots, one PCI Express 2.0 x16 (x4) slot, one PCI Express 2.0 x1 and two PCIs, not to mention many USB ports. But you are not paying for the stand-outs and functions you don’t use, because there are none of that in this motherboard. At the same time, this motherboard doesn’t have any particular problems: this is a high-quality product, efficient work, user-friendly, power-saving, fast, overclocks microprocessor and good memory. Its functions will be more than essential for the majority of users out there, so we have no concerns about its success on the market. Moreover, it will be our sincere pleasure to award ASRock Z77 Extreme3 the title of Recommended Buy and stress that this good, inexpensive and simple product can become an excellent choice for many of you.

CPU supports

·         Type of CPU socket: LGA 1155

·         CPU type: Core i7 / i5 / i3 (LGA1155)

·         CPU-supporting tech : Intel Turbo Boost 2.0 Technology, Intel K-Series CPU unlocked, Hyper-Threading Technology


·         North Bridge Intel Z77


·         Number of memory slots: 4×240 pin

·         Memory standard:DDR3 2800+(OC)/2400(OC)/2133(OC)/1866(OC)/1600/1333/1066

·         Max memory support: 32GB

·         Multi-channel support

Expansion slots

·         PCI Express 3.0 x16: 2 (x16/x8 or x8/x8)

·         PCI Express 2.0 x16: 1 (@x4)

·         PCI Express x1:1

·         PCI Slots: 2

Storage device

·         SATA 3Gb/s: 4

·         SATA 6Gb/s: 2 x SATA 6Gb/s

·         SATA RAID: 4 x SATA2 3.0 Gb/s and 2 x SATA3 6.0 Gb/s by Intel Z77, support RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 10


·         Onboard Video chip supported only by CPU with integrated graphics


·         Audio Realtek ALC892 chip

·         Audio channel: 8 channels


·         LAN Chipset Realtek 8111E

·         Max LAN speed 10/100/1000Mbps

Rear panel ports

·         PS/2: 1

·         Video port: D-Sub + DVI

·         HDMI: 1 x HDMI

·         USB 1.1/2.0: 4 x USB 2.0

·         USB 3.0: 2 x USB 3.0

·         S/PDIF Out: 1 x Optical

·         Audio port: 5 ports

Internal I/O connections

·         Onboard USB:2 x USB 3.0 + 4 x USB 2.0

·         Other connections: 1 x IR header,1 x CIR header,1 x COM port header,1 x HDMI_SPDIF,1 x Power LED header, 2 x CPU fan connector (1 x 4-pin, 1 x 3-pin), 3 x Chassis fan connector(1 x 4-pin, 2 x 3-pin), 1 x Power connector(3-pin), 24-pin ATX power connector, 8-pin 12V connector

·         Front panel audio connector


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