ASRock X58 Extreme 3 Motherboard - Closer Look at the X58 Extreme 3

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

Closer Look:

Those of you that are looking for a completely silent board thanks to a passive cooling solution should look elsewhere as the Extreme 3 from ASRock has a fan over the CPU power mosfet that also cools the northbridge chipset thanks to a single heatpipe.  The northbridge has its own fins as well so the fan probably isn't required for normal operation.  That being said, the fan seems to be very quiet and should add better overclocking potential to this board.  Although the mosfet cooling is located away from the CPU area, some large heatsinks may have mounting issues due to this design.  Make sure you check your clearances before you install a large aircooler.

VRM Cooling
Mosfet Cooling


The rear I/O of the ASRock X58 Extreme 3 isn't really that interesting.  It is a pretty standard rear I/O - other than the USB 3.0 ports and CMOS reset button.  There are 5 other USB 2.0 connectors, 8-channel audio in addition to digital coaxial SPIDF and optical audio outputs as well.  There are both PS/2 keyboard and mouse connectors.

Rear IO
Rear IO


As we move to the memory slots, we find that they have a slight spacing that should allow a little room for airflow between the modules - even when all slots are populated with heatspreader-laden modules.  The memory sits back from the CPU area and shouldn't interfere with large CPU cooling solutions - unless you are using memory with very tall heatspreaders.  The PCIe slots on the board are double-spaced which allows large cards with large cooling solutions to be used without issues.  This is nice to see.  If you still need a standard PCI slot - you'll have to sacrifice one of your PCIe slots.


RAM Slots
RAM Slots
PCI Slots
PCI(e) Slots


The main SATA connectors remain out of the way of the tail-end of the graphics cards due to the main block being mounted at a 90° angle and pointing toward the back of the board/front of the case.  This is a great idea on any motherboard and I'm pretty happy about that for sure.   In order to separate the SATA 3.0 connectors, they moved them up to the middle of the board and they could end up in the way.  If you are using a fast SSD that supports SATA 6Gbps speeds, you'll have to make sure to route things properly to keep everything running smooth.  Really, it's not that big of a deal where they are located, it just seems a little outdated.  The last couple of things worth mentioning before we jump into the specs and features of this board are the power and reset buttons on the board as well as the diagnostic LED.  I've had the diagnostic LED save my bacon on other boards and it's nice to see it included on the Extreme 3.  The power and reset buttons make this board wonderful for a test-bench setup as well as any serious enthusiast.

Buttons And LED
Buttons and LED
SATA3 Ports
SATA 3.0 Ports


On the next page we'll take a look at the chipset features as well as the motherboard specifications before we jump into testing.