ASRock X58 Extreme 3 Motherboard - Game Performance and Final Thoughts

Article Index
ASRock X58 Extreme 3 Motherboard
Closer Look at the X58 Extreme 3
X58 Features and Specifications
BIOS and Overclocking
Test Setup, HDD Testing and More
Synthetic System, CPU and Memory
Real World Application Benchmarks
Game Performance and Final Thoughts

Gaming Performance - Far Cry 2:

As we fire up our actual gaming benchmarks, we thought of several ways to do this.  Ultimately we wanted to use real resolutions and real settings to compare these processors.  Granted if we ran everything at 640x480, we'd see a dramatic improvement on multi-core capable games when running the Core i7 920 with Hyper Threading at high speeds.  The reality is that most gamers that have money for a new CPU don't run at 640x480 and we wanted to see what kind of performance increase you can expect to see with real settings in a game.  We kept all of the settings exactly the same throughout the tests but unfortunately had to swap out the HD4850s (EVGA X58) for a single HD4870 on the ASRock X58 systems.

The original Far Cry games blew us away with its high detailed graphics, incredible field of view as well as amazing water effects.  Far Cry 2 has left me feeling a little disappointed with its overall look as the game has a much grittier look and feel.  That being said, it is still a popular game and it includes a very handy benchmarking tool.  We ran a couple of resolutions with two detail settings to get a feel at how the motherboard affects performance in the game. 

Far Cry 2

 

Gaming Performance - HL2:EP2, UT3 & More:

As we wrap up game testing, we quickly look at Half-Life 2: Episode 2, Unreal Tournament 3 and the Valve Multi-CPU Particle Benchmark.  Once again, please keep in mind that the graphics hardware has changed between the platforms so results can't be compared 100%.

 Gaming Performance

 

Final Thoughts:

The ASRock X58 Extreme 3 motherboard is a high-end solution for those of you looking to build a nice Core i7 system with tons of GPU, Stream Processing, CUDA and PhysX support.  It is a nice refresh to the X58 line from ASRock as it now incorporates USB 3.0, SATA 3.0 (6Gbps) and eSATA 3.0 (6Gbps).  Although ASRock once again fails to include some IO brackets that will help you take advantage of more USB2.0 and Firewire ports it provides enough headers on and off the board to help integrate this board into a nice case with front I/O.  It offers the standard 6 slots for DDR3 and fully supports XMP memory profiles.  Although the overclocking features look pretty robust, the end result is that it doesn't overclock very well - at all.  This is a bit of a disappointment and looking around the web, I see that other reviewers had similar results.  While it may not be geared for the tweaking segment of the enthusiast crowd, those looking for a motherboard with the latest features at a bargain price will have to look hard to find another board that can match the value.  There's no question that it is great value - it's too bad the tweaked performance doesn't match.

Pros:

  • Fully loaded board with SATA & USB 3.0
  • 8-phase power regulation for the CPU
  • Good cooling on Northbridge and CPU Mosfet
  • Supports SLI & CrossfireX
  • 3x PCIe 16x slots for lots of expansion

 

Cons:

  • Poor overclocking capabilities
  • No rear USB/eSATA/Firewire brackets.
  • SATA 3.0 connectors located in an odd place

 

  BCCRating

Silver

 

I'd like to thank ASRock for sending out this board for us to review.  Please post your comments in the forums at the link below.