ASRock Z77 Extreme4-M Motherboard

Introduction

The ASRock Extreme4-M is a microATX motherboard based on the Z77 chipset and targeted to current Intel processors. Let’s check it out.

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 Extreme4-M 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 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 220 USD 140 USD 300 USD 180 USD 135 USD 120
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 95 USD 95 USD 155 USD 140 USD 110 USD 90 USD 150

In Figure 1, you see the ASRock Z77 Extreme4-M motherboard. It is based on the microATX form factor (9.6 x 9.6 inches or 244 x 244 mm).

ASRock Z77 Extreme4-M MotherboardFigure 1: ASRock Z77 Extreme4-M motherboard

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Author: Gabriel Torres

Gabriel Torres is a Brazilian best-selling ICT expert, with 24 books published. He started his online career in 1996, when he launched Clube do Hardware, which is one of the oldest and largest websites about technology in Brazil. He created Hardware Secrets in 1999 to expand his knowledge outside his home country.

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