M.2 vs mSATA case study – Crucial M500 240GB & Plextor M6e 256GB
As I said earlier, ASRock equipped the Z97 Extreme6 with 10 SATA 3 ports – 6 native from the PCH and 4 provided by 3rd party ASMedia controllers. If you have a SATA Express storage device, you are willing to give up 2 regular SATA ports and the M.2 port is not in use then you can use the available SATA Express port.
On the backpanel we can find 6 USB 3.0 ports, one PS/2 for keyboard or mouse, eSATA connectivity, two Gigabit LAN ports (Intel i218v & Realtek RTL8111GR), audio card outputs and inputs and also 3 video outputs (DVI-I, DisplayPort and HDMI). On the left of the eSATA connector we can see a little switch responsible for resetting the BIOS on-the-fly when the motherboard is mounted inside the case.
The CPU VRM on the Z97 Extreme6 is based on an Intersil ISL6379 which controls the 12 phases through ISL6611A phase doublers. The MOSFETs are D87350 made by Texas Instruments and are from the NexFET family, meaning it integrates the high-side and low-side MOSFETs in a single package. The memory VRM has two phases and is also based on TI NexFET technology, but this time they have metallic packaging for better heat dissipation.
All the heatsinks are mounted using spring loaded screws and all the solid caps are certified for at least 12.000 hours of operation. We can say that ASRock put some efforts in designing the power delivery system of this motherboard and also paid attention in choosing the capacitors.