Fu­ture-Proof Moth­er­board

HWM (Malaysia) - - LAB TEST - TexT // az­izUl rah­Man is­Mail

De­signed to be com­pat­i­ble with the FM2+ APUs, the ASRock FM2A88X EXTREME6+ is a fu­ture-proof moth­er­board that has the ba­sics that the chipset has to of­fer, which is more than enough for the av­er­age users, but it also has that ex­tra touch that would be wel­comed by over­clock­ers and en­thu­si­asts.

One thing that you should take note of, is that even though this moth­er­board has two PCI-E 3.0 x16 slots, in­stalling two graph­ics cards on th­ese slots will cause them to run at x8. As for CrossFireX com­pat­i­bil­ity, the board can sup­port up to three graph­ics cards, with the max­i­mum be­ing two dual-GPU cards. Another thing you should know is that when a FM2 APU is in­stalled, the band­width of the PCI-E slots will be re­duced to PCI-E 2.0 speeds.

The FM2A88X EXTREME6+ also supports DDR3 mem­ory up to 2600MHz, and ac­cord­ing to ASRock, could han­dle up to 64GB of mem­ory. As AMD CPUs con­tain an em­bed­ded mem­ory con­troller, the mem­ory lim­i­ta­tions is set by the CPU and not by the chipset.

If you are look­ing for a moth­er­board with am­ple SATA-600 ports, the FM2A88X EXTREME6+ of­fers eight, with one set as an eSATA-600 port, leav­ing seven ports avail­able. It is more than enough for the av­er­age user, yet at the same time ful­fils gamer’s needs.

Au­dio-wise, this moth­er­board supports 7.1+2 au­dio for­mat. The au­dio is han­dled by the Real­tek ALC1150 codec, which is an ex­cel­lent au­dio codec, pro­vid­ing 115dB sig­nal-to-noise ra­tio for the ana­log out­puts, 104dB sig­nal-tonoise ra­tio for the ana­log in­puts, and up to 192kHz sam­pling rate for both in­puts and out­puts, at 24-bit res­o­lu­tion. Th­ese spec­i­fi­ca­tions are great, es­pe­cially for those who want to pro­fes­sion­ally cap­ture and edit ana­log au­dio.

In terms of ef­fi­ciency, the ASRock FM2A88X EXTREME6+ uses pre­mium gold Ja­panese elec­trolytic ca­pac­i­tors and high­end fer­rite core coils.

One of the most unique and in­ter­est­ing fea­tures of the moth­er­board is its abil­ity to ac­cept HDMI in­put. With a pro­gram­mable hotkey, the CPU video switches to an ex­ter­nal HDMI source – be it a note­book or a gam­ing con­sole – with­out the need to swap ca­bles, thus giv­ing any con­nected de­vice easy ac­cess to a dis­play that is con­nected to the moth­er­board.

For the en­thu­si­ast, ASRock has in­cluded a dig­i­tal read­out on the moth­er­board for trou­bleshoot­ing, a tog­gle switch to choose be­tween two BIOS, and a suite of over­clock­ing op­tions. They in­clude the abil­ity to in­crease the base clock speed, the in­te­grated GPU clock speed, CPU volt­age, in­te­grated video volt­age, mem­ory volt­age, chipset volt­age, CPU PCI Ex­press volt­age, and more.

In our real-world test, we found the ASRock FM2A88X EXTREME6+ easy and has­sle-free to set up. Dur­ing our bench­mark, the moth­er­board de­liv­ers a com­mend­able 4,216 in the PCMark 7 com­pu­ta­tional score.

If you want to build a PC that is FM2+ ready, not clut­tered by con­nec­tions, but packed with per­for­mance and fea­tures, give the ASRock FM2A88X EXTREME6+ moth­er­board a go. It is also an ideal as the base for a min­i­mal­ist PC, as its built-in au­dio and video ca­pa­bil­i­ties are suit­ably im­pres­sive.

A plethora of ports awaits any­one look­ing to build a PC us­ing this moth­er­board.

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