ASRock Z77 Pro4 (Z77) Motherboard Review
Andy Ruffell / 8 years ago
ASRock boards can sometimes be a bit hit or miss but we can honestly say that the Z77 Pro4 really does hit that sweet spot that I think a lot of consumers are craving.
The Pro4 is aimed at a variety of users with plenty of focus in mind. It appeals to the gamers with room for two graphics cards utilising AMD CrossFireX, while also keeping a keen eye on the overclockers who want to get the very best out of their components, and of course it also has to give a little something to the mainstream user who cares about getting the very best bang for his buck. Without a doubt, the Z77 Pro4 ticks every box going.
The style and design is nothing short of having the wow factor, and I’m always saying this about ASRock boards. For such a simple design, they have gone with the “less is more” approach and it’s paid off with a nice looking board, utilising the top features of the Intel Z77 Express chipset. The fact that three PCI slots are present is something we think they could change, but it’s not a major problem in the slightest. We’re glad to see the ability to CrossFire two graphics cards, though it is a shame to not see SLI support from Nvidia, though this is why the higher-end boards are produced from ASRock, for those wanting features that the lower-end may not possibly have.
Performance on the board was quite impressive, with this board showcasing its true potential, by beating some of the boards that cost up to three times as much, with offerings from Asus and Gigabyte falling behind. The overclock to 4.6GHz really opened up the Ivy Bridge i7 3770k and that shows in the charts on the previous pages. Even with the overclock enabled, we saw that the power draw from the wall didn’t increase by large amounts, showing that ASRock have distributed the power across this board thoughtfully and their development team have really done a good job on this.
In terms of the overclock, we’d normally expect to see a little bit more, though we have to remember that this is a budget board and not one of the higher-end that we’re used to. Hopefully we’ll see a couple of the higher-end Z77 boards grace us from ASRock so we can really push the performance, but for a mainstream board with a good price point hitting 4.7GHz, we can’t see that anyone would really grumble at that. I know that we certainly won’t.
This board may not have all of the features under the sun, but that’s generally what you pay for. Instead we find the board having all of the features that the average user may need, and not including any that you don’t. This helps to lower the price and in this day and age, value can be a key point when making a purchasing decision. Speaking of price, depending on your preference of retailer, you’ll find this board retail for anywhere around the £90/$109 mark, which is great value for money, and something that rivals the lesser boards from Asus, Gigabyte and MSI.
With so many boards tested by us that use the Z77 chipset, this is certainly one that’s stood out by offering performance, overclockability, style, design, features and so much more, while keeping the price to a minimum. With that in mind, we’re happy to award the ASRock Z77 Pro4 with our Editor’s Choice Award.