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Thread: Questions about Building a new system with an ASRock Z97 Extreme 6




  1. #1
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    Default Questions about Building a new system with an ASRock Z97 Extreme 6

    Hello all,

    I've finally bit the bullet and pieced a new system together (all the parts should be in by tuesday) but i havnt buit a system in probably 8-10 years so I wanted to make the build as problem free as possible by going ahead and finding out what drivers/BIOS updates I should or should not use, And to find out ahead of time about any issues I may have (and how to fix them) when I do sit down and get the build together. So ill take any advice, tips/tricks others may have!

    The Parts list-


    This will be running under windows 8.1 64bit -

    First off I figured I would hit ASRock and download Bios/driver updates from there but theres quite a list of them, For the parts I've listed above is there a specific Bios and Driver versions I should use? (I would download all the newest versions of everything but due to bad memories from the past of the newest thing crashing everything I would check)

    I plan to use the M2 as the boot drive, Is there anything specific I will need to do to enable this? (have specific things downloaded on a USB stick etc)

    As far as other drivers needed (for the Video card etc) Should I go for the newest from the card manufacturer or a specific version from Nvidia to work best with the board ?

    Im sure I will come up with more questions once i get everything together and running but i figured these would be the most important ones to begin with!

    Thanks again for any help you can give !

  2. #2
    parsec's Avatar
    parsec is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Questions about Building a new system with an ASRock Z97 Extreme 6

    I have the ASRock Z97 Extreme 6 board and have used an M.2 SSD with it, although not your Kingston SSD.

    Since you'll be using Windows 8.1, you should be using the drivers in the Windows 8.1 section. A driver disk is included with the board which you could use, but there are a few updated drivers on the download page.

    You may not want to use all the features and their software/drivers that this board has, such as Intel Rapid Start and Smart Connect. Study those features and decide for yourself. You don't need to install all the ASRock utilities right after you install Windows, you may not need them and they can be installed any time.

    Nothing special is needed to use the M.2 SSD as a boot drive. You have a choice of two M.2 ports, the standard and Ultra. The Ultra M.2 port uses four PCIe 3.0 lanes provided by the CPU, but since there are only 16 PCIe 3.0 lanes available, if you use the Ultra M.2 port for the SSD your video card will be running at x8 instead of x16. Actually, your M.2 SSD cannot operate at PCIe 3.0 speeds (none can currently) so just use the standard M.2 port. That port does not use any PCIe 3.0 lanes.

    Be sure to only connect the M.2 SSD when you install Windows, otherwise Windows will put the boot partition on another drive, an annoying habit of the installation program. If you were to later remove the other drive, the PC will no longer boot. That can be fixed but why not get it right from the start.

    Be sure to use the Intel SATA ports for your standard SATA drives, the ASMedia ports have lower performance and are less stable.

    The default Intel SATA mode is AHCI, do NOT change that to IDE mode. No reason whatsoever to use IDE with any drive, SSD or HDD, and the performance will be better. If you plan on using RAID now or in the future, you must install Windows in RAID mode, since you cannot (easily) change to RAID mode once you install Windows in AHCI or IDE mode.

    If you are installing drivers manually instead of using the board's disk (I prefer manual driver installation), be sure to run these two installation programs first, in this order:

    1. INF driver ver:10.0.13
    2. Intel Management Engine driver ver:10.0.0.1204

    After those two, the order does not matter. For the video driver, I suggest using a driver from EVGA, but avoid any Beta drivers, you want the least amount of things to potentially go wrong. Personally, I don't use the newest video drivers, I prefer to use drivers one or two releases older that tend to be proven in actual use. But that is up to you.

    I see your memory is not listed in this board's memory compatibility list. That does not mean it will not work, but if you have start up problems, that could be the problem. Given Corsair's specs, that memory should work.

    Your memory will most likely run at first at a default, lower speed with default BIOS settings. That is normal and probably best to use when installing Windows. You'll need to enable the XMP profile to get the memory to run at 2400, or set the memory speed manually.

    Note that Windows 8 has a native USB 3.0 driver for the Intel USB 3.0 ports that will be installed automatically, you don't need to install a specific driver.

    One problem I had with this board before Windows is installed is caused by the lack of any USB 2.0 ports on the board's IO panel. I had problems getting a mouse and keyboard recognized when in the UEFI/BIOS. If you have an old PS2 keyboard, that will work in the PS2 connector on the IO panel. If your PC case has any USB 2.0 ports, I suggest you connect them to the mother board and use them for any USB keyboard and mouse you may have. Or a USB 2.0 adapter that fits in a PCI slot on the case and connects to the board will help if you have mouse or keyboard problems. Once Windows is installed, you won't have those problems.

    You can check the UEFI version your board has by finding the stickers on the two CMOS chips. The one questionable UEFI version (1.33) was removed. You could update to 1.40 before installing Windows, I use it and it's fine. Always use the Instant Flash method for UEFI updates, that is the best method, period. Since you have a DC processor, full support for over clocking will likely only be provided by version 1.40. The processor compatibility list shows version 1.30 as needed for your CPU.

    Finally, your board's manual is your friend, I strongly suggest reading it and use it for a reference during the build process. Things have changed a lot since 8 - 10 years ago, assume nothing! Haswell processors have some things that are different than even the previous generation of Intel processors, so don't think a semi-current guide about Intel processors will be 100% applicable. If you want to OC your CPU, forget almost everything that applied 10 years ago, it won't be valid.

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    Default Re: Questions about Building a new system with an ASRock Z97 Extreme 6

    Thank you for that amazing write up that will help out a ton (especially with installing only the M2 SSD until windows is installed) as fa as overclocking, I wont be doing any of that until I get an aftermarket cooler, and probably not even then (as long as the computer doesnt have any problems why invite more by tinkering =) on down the line once this build is aging I may try to boost it to get even more use out of the system.

    Thanks again !!

    P.S. If that quality of response is the norm, Im certainly glad I came to these boards first !!

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    rclark is offline Member
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    Default Re: Questions about Building a new system with an ASRock Z97 Extreme 6

    Very nice post and answers---thank-you Wirewrapper and parsec
    I am upgrading and trying out the ASRock Z97 Killer board with a i5-4690k. I have been reviewing some things as I am waiting for all the stuff to arrive and in looking at the download section for this motherboard , I was trying to figure out what the VGA ( V 15.33.22.64.3621 ) driver is for. I am using my old GTX 760 and of course use the Nvidia drivers, wasn't sure if this was needed for something else. I think you answered my question parsec --thanks !
    thanks again--rclark

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    Default Re: Questions about Building a new system with an ASRock Z97 Extreme 6

    rclark, Just in case, that VGA driver is for the Intel onboard graphics on your i5-4690K. That installer also installs an audio driver for the Intel audio included in the Z97 chipset. Not that you need either of those with your '760 and the board's audio chip, but they exist if you need them.

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    rclark is offline Member
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    Default Re: Questions about Building a new system with an ASRock Z97 Extreme 6

    Thanks for that info parsec. I did not think of the vga driver including audio drivers also. The less stuff in device manager the more comfortable I am--ha !! I am looking forward to trying out this board and apologize if it appears I hijacked this post ( definitely not my intention ), I tend to go go off on tangents in the excitement of trying out some new stuff. I am going to try out the onboard sound initially rather than my Asus DG sound card to see how it fairs. I understand the sound from the newer motherboards is about on par with sound cards now a days. Also this was one of the reasons for this board,it has a pci slot that this sound card can use ( in case I need it ) and also a few more usb 2 hubs, ( some of my flight sim stuff does not work as well with usb 3 for some reason ) oops--more tangents--sorry !!!
    Thanks again parsec !! --rc--

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