Motherboard Review: ASRock P67 EXTREME4 GEN3

Review Summary:

Great motherboard good price point ($155). Buy it if you need a 1155 socket and like to overclock. No real drawbacks, but a few manageable quirks.

What's in the P67 box (along with some other desk clutter)

I like to prefix a review  with what I was looking for in a motherboard.

From rooting about the internet, the P67 or the Z68 are the motherboard types best suited to my processor (intel i7 2600k). That being said, the Z68 is a slight upgrade to the P67, supporting using a SSD as a cache for a hard-disk, along with other minor improvements that I wasn’t particularly dying to get. The core components are essentially the same, so I decided to save the $30 and go with the respected P67 variety of Intel motherboards. I’ve also heard good things about the overclocking capability of this motherboard, so it seemed like a good fit.

P67 Board


I decided to stick with ASRock as the brand. My old ASRock motherboard endured nearly 6 years of 24/7 use. It endured probably 30 moves, 2 years in a fraternity house with 200 year old shoddy wiring, a house with a chronically broken heater during Michigan winters, and stifling heat in no-AC rooms during the summer, as well as a long UPS journey from Detroit to San Diego. I figured with this track record, I’d give ASRock mobo’s another shot for a job well done on the board I was replacing.

Ports on P67

Let’s get into the pro’s and con’s…

Pros:

The things that stood out to me the most are:

  • Works out-of the box with Ubuntu. Every feature I’ve tested seems to work well.
  • The Dr Debug LED. There’s a 2 digit hex LED on the motherboard that displays various codes that can assist you in debugging the board if you need to. Very handy feature, I doubt I’d ever buy another motherboard with one.
  • The graphical BIOS has pretty much every overclocking feature you can think of. Very configurable CPU configurations.
  • Lots of CPU chasis fan hookup headers
  • Support for DDR3 2100 RAM, USB 3.0, PCI Ex 3.0, all the latest bells and whistles
  • Ton of USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports. The included a front panel usb header that fits in most 3.5′ floppy bays and gives you 2 additional USB 3.0 ports.

Quirks:

There isn’t one glaringly bad thing about this motherboard. I struggled to even come up with this list, and named the section “Quirks” instead of “Cons”, because they’re all just minor things. That being said, there are a few minor things I wish were a bit quirky:

  • The 8 SATA ports are forward-facing, and stacked on top of each other. This makes them a bit difficult to access, compared to a header on the board. This seems to be a common thing on motherboards these days though.
  • I was a bit sad there was no serial port on the back, I’m still a user who uses that from time to time. Its not all bad though, the motherboard has a COM header I can hook up if I find the right parts.
  • If you have PATA/IDE drives, this board does not have support for the old ribbon cables. This could arguably be in the highlights section.
  • Still haven’t learned the ‘trick’ for getting the BIOS to boot the way i want it to every time. You only have a quick second to hit the escape keys to the boot device or the BIOS.
  • PCI Express 3.0 is not supported by Sandy Bridge processors. This is a Sandy Bridge processor limitation, but be forewarned that you won’t be able to use PCI Express x16 3.0 if you don’t use an Ivy Bridge processor (which will come out next year)
  • The eSATA port and one of the 8 onboard SATA ports conflict. (You can’t use both at once, and the eSATA takes precedence).

 

Features and Ports

Finally, I’ll lay out what the board has on board. Its quite a lot of things, and all of them seem to be linux-friendly (as far as I can tell so far….)

Unboxed P67 Mobo

  • Intel 1155 Socket Type
  • 24 Pin motherboard power port / 8 pin CPU power port
  • P67 Chipset (and the stickers on the board assure me the “SATA problem” is “fixed!”
  • Crossfire/SLI support
  • Dual-Channel DDR3 2133(OC) / 1866(OC) / 1600 / 1333 / 1066
  • 2 PCI Express x16 3.0
  • 1 PCI Express x16 2.0
  • 2 PCI Express x1
  • 2 PCI
  • 4 SATA 6GB/s and 4 SATA 3GB/s
  • Ethernet Realtek 8111E (up to 1000Mbps)
  • 2 PS2 ports
  • 2 USB 3.0
  • 6 USB 2.0
  • 8 Channel Audio Realtek ALC892
  • 6 External Audio ports, Optical and coaxial SPDIF ports.
  • 1 Firewire port
  • 1 FDD connector (not sure why these are still around)
  • 1 Dr. Debug and a Debug LED
  • 1 Serial port header
  • CPU/Chassis/Power fan connectors
  • Front panel audio connector

 

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5 Responses to Motherboard Review: ASRock P67 EXTREME4 GEN3

  1. Michael says:

    hey i would like to know if you need somekind of special power supply for this motherboard? (EuP) or if you need to have RAM and/Or the a proccessor in the motherboard befor you can test if it working? because you see im building my new PC atm and just got this motherboard and still waiting for my RAM & Proccesser, so i just wanted to test the motherboard to see if it got power and all that. but cant seem to get it to start. thanks in advance

  2. Pingback: Processor Review: Intel i7 2600k | fossline

  3. Jackson says:

    I am having the same problem as Michael did so if either of you fixed that problem please let me know! This is very frustrating..

  4. Shanon says:

    Great review, I currently use and enjoy this motherboard. I would add another quirk to the list witch is probably the cause of the other commenters problems. That is, everytime I start my PC I have to double-click the power button.

  5. Mitch says:

    Thanks for the review. We are just putting a system together with this MB and having trouble getting any Display response at all.
    unable to access the ASRock P67 Extreme4 GEN3 UEFI BIOS Support module,
    on my new system with a SAPHIRE Radeon HD 7750 1 GB 128bit video card.
    The motherboard Dr Debug LED displays code 36, post memory System Management Mode Initialization.
    The SAPHIRE Radeon video card does not display to the video monitor, using DVI cable connection.

    This is new system just being built and configured, no OS on a Seagate 1 TB Barracuda SATA HDD
    The Power Supply Unit is a RaidMax RX-530SS, 530 Watt power supply.

    I did try another Radeon PCI Video card, and moving DDR Ram modules 2x8GB to slots 1 + 3, also with just 1 DDR in slot 1.
    No Video display, Dr Debug LED displays code 36.

    The system does not boot at all. No post screens. nothing.
    Just re-seated the video card (now have 2 different ATI Radeon cards in: NOT CrossBridge) and now get Dr Debug code: A3 on LED. Still no UEFI GUI for CMOS setup.

    I hope you read this and can advise.
    Thanks.

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