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Home » Motherboard
ASRock Z77 OC Formula Motherboard
Author: Gabriel Torres
Type: First Look Last Updated: September 4, 2012
Page: 1 of 9
Introduction

The ASRock Z77 OC Formula was specifically designed for overclocking “Ivy Bridge” processors (third-generation Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7 processors). Let’s see what this motherboard has to offer.

The Intel Z77 is an upgraded version of the Z68 chipset with the same basic features (Intel Smart Response Technology and Virtu video switching technology), plus native support to four USB 3.0 ports. It also includes the addition of two new technologies: Smart Connect (allowing the computer to receive emails and refresh webpages while it is in sleep mode) and Rapid Start (faster boot times).

In addition, the ASRock Z77 OC Formula supports the Virtu Universal MVP, which allows you to combine the performance of the integrated graphics processor available in the CPU with the performance of any video card installed. This is similar to what occurs with the Hybrid SLI and ATI Hybrid Graphics technologies, with the notable difference of not being limited to GPUs from a specific manufacturer.

To date, ASRock has launched 14 different motherboard models based on the Intel Z77 chipset. In the tables below, we compare their main specifications. Prices were researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this article. The Z77 Professional, the Z77 Professional-M, and the Z77 Performance are part of the “Fatal1ty” series, coming with a special USB port with a higher polling rate for gaming mice.

Specification

Z77 OC Formula

Z77 Professional

Z77 Performance

Z77 Extreme9

Z77 Extreme6

Z77 Extreme4

Z77 Extreme3

Form Factor

CEB

ATX

ATX

ATX

ATX

ATX

ATX

Memory Sockets

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

PCI Express 3.0 x16

2 (x16/x0 or x8/x8)

2 (x16/x0 or x8/x8)

1 (x16)

5 (x16/x16/
x0/x16/x0
or
x16/x8/
x8/x8/x8)

2 (x16/x0 or x8/x8)

2 (x16/x0 or x8/x8)

2 (x16/x0 or x8/x8)

PCI Express 2.0 x16

1 (x4)

1 (x4)

1 (x4)

1 (x4)

1 (x4)

0

1 (x4)

PCI Express 2.0 x1

2

1

1

1

1

2

1

Mini PCI Express

0

0

0

1

1

0

0

Standard PCI

0

2

2

0

2

2

2

CrossFireX

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

SLI

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

SATA-300

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

SATA-600

6

6

2

6

4

4

2

eSATA-300

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

eSATA-600

0

1

0

1 (shared)

1

1

0

USB 2.0

10

10

10

8

8

8

8

USB 3.0

8

8

6

12

6

6

4

FireWire

0

2

0

2

2

0

0

Bluetooth

No

No

No

4.0

No

No

No

Gigabit Ethernet

1

2

1

2

1

1

1

Wi-Fi

No

No

No

802.11
a/b/g/n

No

No

No

VGA

No

No

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

DVI

No

No

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

HDMI

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

DisplayPort

No

Yes

No

No

Yes

No

No

Audio

ALC898

ALC898

ALC892

ALC898

ALC898

ALC898

ALC892

Voltage Regulator

12+4

16+8

8+4

8+4

8+4

8+4

8+3

Price

USD 240

USD 240

USD 140

USD 340

USD 160

USD 135

NA



Specification

Z77 Pro4

Z77 Pro3

Z77 Professional-M

Z77 Extreme4-M

Z77 Pro4-M

Z77M

Z77E-ITX

Form Factor

ATX

ATX

microATX

microATX

microATX

microATX

Mini-ITX

Memory Sockets

4

4

4

4

4

2

2

PCI Express 3.0 x16

1 (x16)

1 (x16)

2 (x16/x0 or x8/x8)

2 (x16/x0 or x8/x8)

1 (x16)

1 (x16)

1 (x16)

PCI Express 2.0 x16

1 (x4)

1 (x4)

1 (x4)

1 (x4)

2 (x1/x4)

1 (x4)

0

PCI Express 2.0 x1

1

1

1

1

1

0

0

Mini PCI Express

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

Standard PCI

3

2

0

0

0

2

0

CrossFireX

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

SLI

No

No

Yes

Yes

No

No

No

SATA-300

4

4

4

4

4

4

2

SATA-600

4

2

4

4

4

2

2

eSATA-300

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

eSATA-600

0

0

1

1

1 (shared)

0

0

USB 2.0

10

10

8

10

10

10

6

USB 3.0

4

4

6

4

4

4

6

FireWire

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Bluetooth

No

No

No

No

No

No

No

Gigabit Ethernet

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

Wi-Fi

No

No

No

No

No

No

802.11n

VGA

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

DVI

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

HDMI

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

DisplayPort

No

No

Yes

No

No

No

Yes

Audio

ALC892

ALC892

ALC898

ALC898

ALC892

ALC892

ALC898

Voltage Regulator

4+2

4+1

8+3

4+2

4+2

4+2

6+2

Price

USD 110

USD 95

USD 155

USD 140

USD 110

USD 95

USD 150

In Figure 1, you see the ASRock Z77 OC Formula motherboard. It is based on the CEB form factor (12 x 10.5 inches or 305 x 257 mm), which is a little bit deeper than the ATX form factor (12 x 9.6 inches or 305 x 244 mm).

ASRock Z77oc Formula
click to enlarge
Figure 1: ASRock Z77 OC Formula motherboard

The portrayed motherboard uses an eight-layer printed circuit board, with 2 oz. (56 g) of copper, which is double the amount of copper that regular motherboards use. One clever feature present on this product is a small “window” through which you can see the eight layers of the printed circuit board; the manufacturer numbered each one of them. See Figure 2.

ASRock Z77oc Formula
click to enlarge
Figure 2: Display of the eight-layer printed circuit board

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