Thought you've seen it all about ASRock's X79 lineup with the X79 Extreme7? Think again, it seems ASRock has another, more feature-rich socket LGA2011 motherboard in the works, which will top off the first wave of ASRock's motherboards compatible with Core i7 "Sandy Bridge-E" LGA2011 processors, the ASrock X79 Extreme9. This board is packed to the brim with connectivity options, a meatier VRM, and better memory expansion compared to the Extreme7.
The ASRock X79 Extreme9 uses strong digital PWM power circuitry that draws power from two 8-pin EPS connectors. The CPU is wired to eight DDR3 DIMM slots, unlike six on the Extreme7. This ensures that each of the four DDR3 memory channels can seat up to two DIMMs. PCI-Express expansion includes five PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots, and an x1 slot. On one of these slots the bundled ASRock "Game Blaster" (if we're reading it right) daughterboard is to be installed. The "Game Blaster" daughterboard holds high-grade Sound Core 7.1 channel audio, and a gaming-grade network controller. We're not entirely sure if the NIC and audio controllers are made by Killer and Creative, respectively, like on the ASUS ROG Thunderbolt.
There is plenty of SATA connectivity thanks to the use of as many as three Marvell-made 2-port SATA 6 Gb/s controllers to supplement the X79 PCH. The X79 itself gives out two SATA 6 Gb/s and four SATA 3 Gb/s ports. There are as many as four USB 3.0 controllers, giving out eight ports (four on the rear panel, four by headers). Apart from the network connection on the Game Blaster card, there is one network connection local to this board, apart from Firewire, USB 2.0, and eSATA 6 Gbps.
Expect the ASRock X79 Extreme9 to be counted among the costliest socket LGA2011 motherboards.