As almost all motherboards today – with a few exceptions – ASRock 880G Extreme3 is build up around an ATX layout. This has interesting enough a very characteristic blue and white design.
The upper part of ASRock 880G Extreme3 looks like most other AMD motherboards. You still have the big black mounting socket in plastic for the CPU cooler. ASRock 880G Extreme3 is equipped with 4 RAM sockets for dual—channel DDR3 RAM. The RAM-modules should be placed in pairs of the same color (Blue+blue and White+white) to get dual-channel speed and up to 16GB is supported. There is a nice amount of fan headers, two close to the CPU socket and one next to the RAM sockets – a total of 3.
The ATX-plug is placed next to the storage connectors and up higher to the right is the CPU fan header. In the bottom-right of the board are the SATA-plugs where all six are supported directly from the southbrigde – which means they are 6GB/s.
The bottom part of the motherboard is where the 3 PCIe x16 sockets are placed. They are of course not able to run x16 on the same time all three. The two blue sockets can individually run x16 and if they are used together, then they each run at x8. The white socket is only a x4. If you look at the second blue socket, the one in the middle, it has an interesting hold-down mechanism for your GPU. It slides back and forth to lock in the card – or to release it, this makes it a little easier to access the GFX.
You will find a couple of buttons in the lower right corner. POWER, RESET, CLRCMOS, jumpers along with a diagnostic LED.
The I/O panel is nicely filled with connections. There are both VGA, DVI and HDMI which is really nice. You’ll also have access to 4x USB 2.0 (2xblack + 2xred) and 2x USB3.0(the blue) connections. There are additional 8xUSB2.0 supported with some blue connectors at the bottom of the motherboard besides all those on the I/O panel. Besides this comes eSATA, gigabit Ethernet, firewire and 8.1 channel sound plus a S/P-dif optic out. There was also room for a CLRCMOS button so you don’t have to take of your PC case side of to reset your BIOS.
The backside does not hide anything interesting, besides the usual backplate for the AM3 socket.