ASRock Extreme11 Becomes Reality for LGA 2011 Intel Xeon E5

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Today the ASRock Extreme11 appeared on the company’s website. This is the same X79 Extreme11 that we previewed on this site months ago. This looks, on paper, to be the top LGA2011 workstation motherboard for Intel Xeon E5-1600 and Intel Xeon E5-2600 CPUs. The motherboard looks packed full with chips, sockets and heatsinks. So much so that I’ve not seen a single CPU motherboard this big packed so full of stuff. The Extreme11 is so packet that it is hard to see the actual motherboard PCB itself.

Let’s look at some of the key features around CPU and memory support:

  • Single socket Intel Xeon E5 LGA2011 CPUs. This should mean support for Intel Xeon E5-1600, E5-2600, E5-4600,as well as mainstream Intel Core i7 desktop CPUs
  • The support for Xeon CPUs also means ECC is supported, but 64GB of maximum RAM support will mean that top end workstation users may look at more dedicated solutions with registered ECC DDR3 RAM support.
  • 2500+Mhz overclocked DDR3 DIMMs are supported, much faster than standard workstation server motherboards allow and can help feed multi-core server chips
  • Non-ECC unbuffered RAM is only RAM supported by Core i7 CPUs
ASRock Extreme11
ASRock Extreme11

The chipset used on the Extreme11 is Intels X79, their top of the range for single socket LGA 2011 CPU motherboards. The LGA2011 CPU’s do allow for a maximum of 40 PCIe Gen3.0 lanes per CPU, but ASRock have gone better and  added not one but 2x PLX PEX 8747 bridging chips. Normally an Intel Xeon E5 or Core i7 LGA 2011 CPU can address 2 PCIe 16x slots and have 8 lanes spare, this motherboard can address 4 PCIe 16x slots for a total of 64 lanes. This allows for 4 fully fledged video cards in SLi or CrossFire, an Extreme gamer or CAD/Movie editing suite delight. With 4x PCIe 16x cards, the remaining three slots are switched off, with an alternatete configuration becoming one 16x slot and all the rest 8x (6), again 64 lanes total.

The other main feature is the inclusion of a LSI SAS2308 bases SAS/SATA controller. This is the latest HBA controller from LSI, and offers the greatest speed for passthrough and simple RAID 0 and RAID 1 support. ASRock has included 8x SATA3 (6Gbps) ports from the SAS2308, 2x SATA3 and 4x SATA2 from the Intel PCH
I think the delay in the board release might be the wait to have the LSI SAS2308 supplied with full PCIe Gen3 support, which LSI has just upgraded their SAS2308 based range to. The LSI2308 also presumably also takes 8 PCIe ports and I can only hope the remaining 8x PCIe Gen3.0 that the CPU has to offer (after the 32 going to the PLX Bridges.)

The dual PLX PEX 8747 bridges and SAS2308 gets a massive heatsink with fan, as PLX bridges are renowned for generating heat. So in total this board looks to offer 72 lanes of PCIE Gen3.0 lanes, quite astounding for a single CPU configuration, most dual socket LGA 2011 do not expose as many. Power to run all this comes from a hefty 24+2 power phase design, this is serious stuff, looking the components used on the motherboard they are all top quality.

LAN is supplied by dual Broadcom Gigabit chipset, with teaming enabled doubling theoretical throughput for a single connection. Generally speaking, Broadcom is less widely used than Intel network controllers, but many vendors still utilize Broadcom solutions so they are well supported.

The motherboard comes in workstation/server format, SSI-CEB means it’s 12.0-in x 10.5-in, 30.5 cm x 26.7 cm, this is slightly larger than a standard ATX format motherboard, but should still fit most enclosures. With the fourteen included SATA ports, this motherboard will no doubt be going in a large case.

There are a ton of other features in this fully packed to brim motherboard, full specs below:

Product Specifications

 General
CPU – Supports Intel® Core™ i7 processor family for the LGA 2011 Socket
– Digi Power Design
– 24 + 2 Power Phase Design
– Dual-Stack MOSFET (DSM)
– Supports Intel® Turbo Boost 2.0 Technology
– Supports Hyper-Threading Technology
– Supports Untied Overclocking Technology
Chipset – Intel® X79
Memory – Quad Channel DDR3 memory technology
– 8 x DDR3 DIMM slots
– Supports DDR3 2500+(OC)/2133(OC)/1866(OC)/1600/1333/1066 non-ECC, un-buffered memory
– Supports DDR3 ECC, un-buffered memory with Intel® Workstation 1S Xeon processors E5 16xx/26xx/46xx series in socket LGA 2011
– Max. capacity of system memory: 64GB*
– Supports Intel® Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) 1.3 / 1.2

*Due to the operating system limitation, the actual memory size may be less than 4GB for the reservation for system usage under Windows® 32-bit OS. For Windows® 64-bit OS with 64-bit CPU, there is no such limitation.
BIOS – 64Mb AMI UEFI Legal BIOS with GUI support
– Supports “Plug and Play”
– ACPI 1.1 Compliance Wake Up Events
– Supports jumperfree
– SMBIOS 2.3.1 Support
– CPU, VCCSA, DRAM, VTT, CPU PLL, PCH1.1V, PCH1.5V Voltage Multi-adjustment
 Audio, Video and Networking
Graphics – n/a
Audio – 7.1 CH HD Audio
– Creative Sound Core3D quad-core sound and voice processor
– Supports THX TruStudio™ PRO
– Supports CrystalVoice
– Supports Scout Mode
– Supports EAX1.0 to EAX5.0
– Premium Headset Amplifier (PHA)
LAN – PCIE x1 Gigabit LAN 10/100/1000 Mb/s
– Broadcom BCM57781
– Supports Wake-On-LAN
– Supports Energy Efficient Ethernet 802.3az
– Supports Dual LAN with Teaming function
– Supports PXE
 Expansion / Connectivity
Slots – 7 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots (PCIE1/PCIE2/PCIE3/PCIE4/PCIE5/PCIE6/PCIE7: x16/0/16/0/16/0/16 mode or x16/8/8/8/8/8/8 mode)
– Supports AMD Quad CrossFireX™, 4-Way CrossFireX™, 3-Way CrossFireX™ and CrossFireX™
– Supports NVIDIA® Quad SLI™, 4-Way SLI™, 3-Way SLI™ and SLI™
USB 3.0 – 4 x Rear USB 3.0 ports by TI, support USB 1.0/2.0/3.0 up to 5Gb/s
– 2 x Front USB 3.0 headers (support 4 USB 3.0 ports) by TI, support USB 1.0/2.0/3.0 up to 5Gb/s
Connector – 4 x SATA2 3.0 Gb/s connectors, support RAID (RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 10 and Intel® Rapid Storage 3.0), NCQ, AHCI and Hot Plug functions
– 2 x SATA3 6.0 Gb/s connectors
– 8 x SAS/SATA3 6.0 Gb/s connectors
– 1 x IR header
– 1 x CIR header
– 1 x HDMI_SPDIF header
– 1 x IEEE 1394 header
– 1 x Power LED header
– 2 x CPU Fan connectors (1 x 4-pin, 1 x 3-pin)
– 3 x Chassis Fan connectors (1 x 4-pin, 2 x 3-pin)
– 1 x Power Fan connector (3-pin)
– 1 x SB Fan connector (3-pin)
– 24 pin ATX power connector
– 2 x 8 pin 12V power connectors
– 2 x SLI/XFire power connectors
– Front panel audio connector
– 3 x USB 2.0 headers (support 6 USB 2.0 ports)
– 2 x USB 3.0 headers (support 4 USB 3.0 ports)
– 1 x Dr. Debug with LED
– 1 x Power Switch with LED
– 1 x Reset Switch with LED
– 1 x Clear CMOS Switch with LED
Rear Panel I/O I/O Panel
– 1 x PS/2 Keyboard Port
– 1 x Optical SPDIF Out Port
– 8 x Ready-to-Use USB 2.0 Ports
– 2 x eSATA Connectors
– 4 x Ready-to-Use USB 3.0 Ports
– 2 x RJ-45 LAN Ports with LED (ACT/LINK LED and SPEED LED)
– 1 x IEEE 1394 Port
– 1 x Clear CMOS Switch with LED
– HD Audio Jack: Rear Speaker / Central / Bass / Line in / Front Speaker / Microphone
 Other Features / Miscellaneous
Unique Feature – ASRock Extreme Tuning Utility (AXTU)
– ASRock Instant Boot
– ASRock Instant Flash
– ASRock APP Charger
– ASRock SmartView
– ASRock XFast USB
– ASRock XFast LAN
– ASRock XFast RAM
– ASRock X-FAN
– ASRock Crashless BIOS
– ASRock OMG (Online Management Guard)
– ASRock Internet Flash
– ASRock UEFI System Browser
– ASRock Easy RAID Installer
– ASRock Interactive UEFI
– Hybrid Booster:
– CPU Frequency Stepless Control
– ASRock U-COP
– Boot Failure Guard (B.F.G.)
– Good Night LED
Smart Switch – 1 x Power Switch with LED
– 1 x Reset Switch with LED
– 1 x Clear CMOS Switch with LED
Support CD – Drivers, Utilities, AntiVirus Software (Trial Version), CyberLink MediaEspresso 6.5 Trial, ASRock MAGIX Multimedia Suite – OEM
Accessories – 2 x ASRock SLI_Bridge Cards
– 1 x ASRock SLI_Bridge_3S Card
– 1 x ASRock 3-Way SLI Bridge Card
– Quick Installation Guide, Support CD, I/O Shield
– 6 x SATA Data Cables
– 2 x SATA 1 to 1 Power Cables
– 1 x Front USB 3.0 Panel
– 4 x HDD Screws
– 6 x Chassis Screws
– 1 x Rear USB 3.0 Bracket
Hardware Monitor – CPU Temperature Sensing
– Chassis Temperature Sensing
– CPU/Chassis/Power/SB Fan Tachometer
– CPU Quiet Fan (Allow Chassis Fan Speed Auto-Adjust by CPU Temperature)
– CPU/Chassis Fan Multi-Speed Control
– Voltage Monitoring: +12V, +5V, +3.3V, CPU Vcore
Form Factor – CEB Form Factor: 12.0-in x 10.5-in, 30.5 cm x 26.7 cm
– Premium Gold Capacitor design (100% Japan-made high-quality Conductive Polymer Capacitors)

This would make a great motherboard for a gamer who demands the absolute best and fastest gaming rig around, this board cuts no corners and no doubt costs eiter.
Workstation users would be hard pressed to find a better board with overall specs put on a board, add 4x Quadro/Firepro video cards in quad SLi/CrossFire and a very powerful rendering machine is unleased, the RAM limitation might be an offput for those needing very large amounts, then a dual LGA2011 solution might be better.
I for one would love to take this board for a spin just to see what it would be like to have pretty well the best  fully featured board out at this point in time, a lot for other Manufacturers to take in.
Welcome ASRock to the top end, lets hope the price remains within grasp of mainstream users.
its going to be very interesting to see how this performs.

7 COMMENTS

  1. I hear those PLX chips are not cheap.

    But, IMHO, if I was in the market for that many lanes to power quad SLI or the likes, I would be looking at a dually WS board to drive so many cards. I know there are people for which this board setup will appeal to and for them, the price is likely not going to prevent them from the purchase.

  2. What ECC memory modules are supported in this motherboard. The QVL memory list just seems to list non-ECC memory.

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