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ASRock FM2A88X Extreme6+ Motherboard Review

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ASRock FM2A88X Extreme6+ Detailed Features

The key to selling motherboards is in the details. There are dozens of A88X motherboards that come in a variety of price ranges. What really sets each motherboard apart are the manufacturer specific features embedded in each board. ASRock sets itself apart from other manufacturers through a set of specific features that can really appeal to certain  users. ASRock_FM2A88X_Ex6+_Angle1The ASRock FM2A88X Extreme6+ is home to ASRock’s A-Style features. A-Style is a series of lifestyle features that includes a lot of interesting functionalities. To start with, A-Style includes Home Cloud, which supports remote desktop and wake-on internet. You can control your PC from a smartphone, tablet, or computer from anywhere with an internet connection, even if your home computer is turned off. With wake-on internet, you can turn your computer on from anywhere. Home Cloud gives you complete access to your computer and all the files on it. You can view pictures or videos from your system, or stream music. I like this idea, especially for my wife. She is constantly complaining because her iPhone only has 8GB of storage. With all the apps, music, videos, and pictures on it, she doesn’t have any room to take more pictures! She doesn’t want to move them off the device, however. She wants to be able to show them to friends and family whenever she gets the chance; much to their chagrin, I am sure. Home Cloud could allow her to keep all those items at her fingertips while lightening the load on her smartphone. I’m more interested in Home Cloud for the document sharing, but there is plenty more you can do as well. You can monitor cameras hooked up to computer, or watch TV if your PC is connected. There are a lot of possibilities. ASRock and other manufacturers have really been improving the onboard sound quality of their motherboards. I remember a time when onboard sound wasn’t very good at all. That’s not the case as much anymore, but audiophiles might still be a little put off by a lot of onboard sound options. A new audio codec, built in amplifiers, component isolation, and the like are a few ways that motherboard manufacturers can really make their devices stand out from the rest without increasing the cost of the motherboard by too much. The ASRock FM2A88X Extreme6+ is home to Purity Sound, a combination of hardware and software audio solutions and technologies. The ASRock FM2A88X Extreme6+ uses the Realtek ALC1150 audio codec for 7.1 channel HD audio. The ALC1150 includes a 115dB signal to noise ratio Digital to Analog Converter (SNR DAC) with a differential amplifier. Purity Sound adds to that the Texas Instruments NE5532 premium headset amplifier with support for headphones up to 600 ohms to replace traditional audio capacitors. Rounding out Purity Sound is an EMI shielding cover for the codec and PCB isolated shielding  to block noise from onboard components.ASRock_FM2A88X_Ex6+_PuritySoundAnother of the features that ASRock uses to set the ASRock FM2A88X Extreme6+ apart from the competition is a high density glass fabric PCB designed to help with humidity and moisture issues. I really don’t have much of a problem with humidity shorting out any of my components because I live in Southern Arizona. If you happen to be from a more tropical environment, the high density glass fabric PCB on the ASRock FM2A88X Extreme6+ could extend the life of your motherboard. Along with a lot of other manufacturers, ASRock has moved to using gold capacitors for some of their higher-end products. The gold capacitors obviously cost more, but they are touted as being ultra-stable and extremely long-lasting. Interestingly enough, I’ve repaired a lot of motherboards over the last few years by replacing leaking capacitors, including solid caps. While the use of gold caps is relatively recent, I haven’t seen any leaking gold caps.ASRock_FM2A88X_Ex6+_CPUThe ASRock FM2A88X Extreme6+ uses a digital PWM design rather than a traditional analog design. This isn’t really unusual, but it is a very nice touch that should draw any potential overclockers. A digital VRM design allows overclockers to be much more precise in their voltage regulation. The ASRock FM2A88X Extreme6+ uses an 8+2 phase power design. In terms of voltage control, the Extreme6+ should be an excellent overclocker. In fact, back in October 2013, the ASRock FM2A88X Extreme6+ set a new FM2 record for overclocking, at 8.5GHz I might add. ASRock prides itself on their XFast555 technology, which is part of the A-Tuning software suite. XFast555 stands for 5x faster speeds in three categories; RAM, LAN, and USB. ASRock measures the 5x faster RAM speeds by creating a virtual disk from system memory and using Photoshop tests. XFast LAN testing was done by testing latency in WoW: Cataclysm after setting online gaming priority. Finally, ASRock used ATTO Disk Benchmark 4K read tests to show a 5x increase in read speeds. The A-Tuning suite also features another ASRock technology known as XBoost. By holding down X during starting, the ASRock FM2A88X Extreme6+ will automatically overclock your system components in order to get a 15.77% performance increase. You can also use Smart XBoost to set up a different single-button overclock profile. Alternatively, you can use other A-Tuning features such as EZ OC or OC Tweaker to overclock your system.


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1 comment

  1. Caring1

    You state the SATA3 7th port is adjacent to the BIOS chips, but in the pictures it shows it labelled as #5
    and the other ports are number,1/2, 3/4, 7/8, that must mean the number 6 port is utilised for onboard duties.
    Can you explain exactly what, is it a port on the rear of the board?

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