ASRock FM2A88X EXTREME6+
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.