ASRock E3V5 WS (Intel C232) Super Alloy Motherboard Review

by - 4 years ago


Introduction, Specifications, and Packaging

ASRock E3V5 WS (Intel C232) Super Alloy Motherboard Review

Today’s motherboard review lands right in the middle of everything. Not because it’s all over the place, but because it has a lot of usage scenarios and support for pretty much any setup. You could use ASRock’s E5V5 WS motherboard in a gaming system as well as in a server setup as both of those setups are fully supported, but its real area of operation is to act as the base for a powerful workstation.

The ASRock E5V5 WS uses an LGA 1151 socket and the board is compatible with both E3-1200 v5 processors such as the one I’ll be using later on in this review, but it also supports normal 6th Generation Intel Core processors – so basically the entire Skylake and Skylake-S line-up. As backbone behind the CPU that you end up using is the Intel C232 chipset that is perfectly tuned for workstation environments and a motherboard like this. Memory wise you can use normal DDR4 DIMMs as well as ECC UDIMM memory modules with a speed of up to 2133 MHz in the four DIMM slots with 15μ gold contacts for a total of up to 64GB RAM.

ASROCK_E3V5_WS-Photo-angle with cpu

The gold contacts in the memory slots aren’t the only quality feature in this motherboard. The E3V5 WS motherboard is part of ASRock’s Super Alloy series and comes with premium 50A power chokes and is made of a high-density glass fabric PCB. It also features ASRock’s full spike protection that protects from sudden surges, lightning, and electrostatic discharges (ESD).

The network connection isn’t controlled by the average low-performance controller either and we find an Intel PHY i219LM controller on this motherboard. The Gigabit Ethernet controller supports Wake-On-LAN, supports 802.3az energy efficient ethernet and PXE. The Ethernet controller is one of the parts that is protected by the Full Spike Protection. The second part with protection is the USB. The ASRock E35 WS features two USB 2.0 ports and four USB 3.0 ports on the rear panel and you can connect another four USB 2.0 and two USB 3.0 ports via headers. All of these are protected by the ASRock Full Spike Protection. The audio is also protected by this and we find a 7.1 channel HD Audio controller, the Realtek ALC892. It features Blu-ray audio support and uses ELNA solid audio capacitors. Last but not least, you also find legacy PS2 connectors for both your mouse and keyboard.


ASROCK_E3V5_WS-Photo-io area

Internally we find good expansion options too. Since we are dealing with an Intel-based motherboard, we also get IRST for RAID setups across the six SATA3 6 Gb/s connectors. Supported modes include the normal RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 modes.

There are two PCIe Gen3 x16 slots that support both Nvidia Quadro and AMD FirePro workstation graphics cards as well as consumer graphics cards. There is also full support for the use of AMD’s CrossfireX technology for multiple graphics card usage. As I mentioned earlier, you can make a great workstation with this motherboard. There are three more PCIe Gen3 x1 slots available for further expansion and neither of them will be blocked by the use of two-slot graphics cards. Even with a CrossfireX setup, you’ll still have access to the three x1 slots.


Quality hardware and components are just one side of the story, we also need a good BIOS and proper software to have the best experinece. The E3V5 WS comes with both of those features too. The UEFI BIOS has the easy EZ mode dashboard besides the advanced setup pages, which contains multiple readings of the system’s current status. You can check the most crucial information of your system, such as CPU speed, DRAM frequency, SATA information, fan speed, etc.

Even better, you can reach the tech support purely from the systems BIOS, as long as the system has an internet connection. You can also install LAN drivers onto your windows installation directly from the BIOS.

The ASRock OMG (Online Management Guard) technology allows you to establish an internet curfew or restrict internet access at specified times for your kids. Stay in control of their surfing times without yelling. This probably isn’t the most used function in a workstation system, but it could be used to shut down any connection attempts outside of office hours. Another useful feature is the USB Key function that can replace the password question when you log into windows. Do it by plugging a USB drive in instead.


The well-known ASRock XFast RAM and XFast LAN are also built into this motherboard. The XFast RAM feature allows you to fully utilize the memory space that otherwise can’t be accessed in 32-bit systems, among others. XFast LAN is a quality of service protocol that prioritizes the important traffic so you don’t have to wait for loading times. ASRock Live Update and APP Shop also help to make the maintenance easier.


The specifications are taken directly from the manufacturers product page and can as such be subject to changes in future revisions of the product.


Key Features:

  • ASRock Super Alloy
  • Server-Grade LAN chip support
  • Supports the Intel Xeon E3-1200 v5 Processor & 6th Generation Intel Core Processors (Socket 1151)
  • Supports DDR4 2133 & ECC UDIMM memory modules
  • 2 PCIe 3.0 x16 and 3 PCIe 3.0 x1
  • Supports AMD Quad CrossFireX
  • 7.1 CH HD Audio (Realtek ALC892 Audio Codec), ELNA Audio Caps
  • 6 SATA3 and 6 USB 3.0 (2 Front, 4 Rear)
  • Supports Full Spike Protection, ASRock Live Update & APP Shop
  • Microsoft Windows 10 64-bit, 8.1 64-bit, 7 32-bit, 7 64-bit, Server 2012 R2 64-bit, Server 2012 64-bit, and Server 2008 R2 64-bit support

Packaging and Accessories

A quality motherboard also deserves a great look package, and the E3V5 WS got that. The front makes no secret about the boards power.

ASROCK_E3V5_WS-Photo-box top

On the rear of the box, you will find a detailed photo of the motherboard itself as well as feature highlights and specifications.

ASROCK_E3V5_WS-Photo-box rear

Inside the box is a user manual, a driver disk, two SATA cables, and an IO shield besides the motherboard itself.

ASROCK_E3V5_WS-Photo-box content


A Closer Look & Layout Analysis

It is time to take a closer look at the E3V5 WS motherboard and its features. In the top left corner we find the 8-pin power connector and we can also spot quite a few of the solid capacitors used across the board. We also see the 50A power chokes that is one of the Super Alloy features. To the left in the photo you can spot the 4-pin CPU fan header.

ASROCK_E3V5_WS-Photo-closeup vrm

Moving onto the top right corner and we see the four DIMM slots with gold pins as well as the 24-pin power connector.

ASROCK_E3V5_WS-Photo-closeup ram

The bottom right corner is where you’ll find the systeem headers and SATA ports. Right next to it are the two USB 2.0 headers and above them the BIOS battery and clear jumper.

ASROCK_E3V5_WS-Photo-closeup sata

The bottom left corner has the audio header that is needed for front audio and/or 7.1 channel setups.

ASROCK_E3V5_WS-Photo-closeup headers

The PCI-Express slots are spaced out in a way that you easily can access them all and use them at the same time. The second PCIe x16 slot, that runs at x4 speed, is also usable for a PCIe-based NVMe SSD as a boot drive option.

ASROCK_E3V5_WS-Photo-closeup pcie

The final header, the USB 3.0 front panel header, is located between the top PCI-Express 1 slot and the memory slots.

ASROCK_E3V5_WS-Photo-closeup usb3

The LGA 1151 CPU socket doesn’t hold any suprises, it is what it is.

ASROCK_E3V5_WS-Photo-closeup socket

The addition of an Intel i219LM network controller is a great choice over many consumer boards that only feature consumer chips such as the i210.

ASROCK_E3V5_WS-Photo-chip intel lan

The onboard sound is handled by a Realtek ALC892 7.1 HD Audio codec chip, but as previously mentioned, you need to use the front-panel header to unlock the 7.1 surround sound abilities. There are only 3 stereo jacks on the IO panel which naturally limites the output to 5.1 without the use of the frontpanel header.

ASROCK_E3V5_WS-Photo-chip realtec sound


The Test System and Test Software

Testing workstation and server components require a different setup than a consumer motherboard test. Benchmarks such as games and 3D performance aren’t the ones we’re looking for here. We rather want to know how a motherboard like this can handle its memory and processor and we also want to know how well the built-in features such as network, audio, and storage features work.

While our benchmarks naturally will show the performance coming from the components that are attached, using the same components on all tested boards allows us to draw a comparison and see which board performs best and can get the most out of the hardware it has available.

We’re stressing every component as much as possible in order to check both stability and performance. We also test such parts as the built-in audio features and especially their latency as that’s something that can have a serious impact on the overall performance of the system by creating micro-hickups.

As mentioned, we need a lot of extra hardware to test a motherboard and you can find a complete list of those parts below.

System components


For some of our tests such as those involving the network capabilities, we also require a secondary system.

Secondary system

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Photo-storage and network test setup

Network components


Storage Drives

We use a wide variety of applications to gain a broad spectrum of results for comparing diverse aspects of the system performance.


  • Windows Server 2012 R2
  • AIDA64 Engineer Edition
  • Cinebench R11.5
  • Cinebench R15.0
  • Geekbench 3
  • PCMark PerformanceTest 8.0
  • SPECwpc
  • SiSoftware Sandra
  • SuperPi Mod 1.9 WP
  • wPrime 2.10


We’ve already seen that the ASRock E3V5 WS motherboard comes with some awesome features and the BIOS is no different. With this motherboard, we get a 128Mb AMI UEFI Legal BIOS with multilingual GUI support.

The EZ Mode, or easy mode, provides a dashboard-like page with all the relevant information and functions collected in a single place.


Flash your BIOS from USB or the Internet with just a few buttons, change the fan settings or boot order, or as seen here, have a view at your installed components through the System Browser.


Switching to the advanced mode will provide access to the full BIOS with a normal looking UEFI interface.


The motherboard supports overclocking of both the CPU and Memory, if the installed components also support it.


Besides overclocking, you can also tweak the different function as you’d expect.


The BIOS detected my Crucial Ballistix DDR4 modules with the right settings right away and I’ll leave them at default for comparison reasons between motherboards.


DRAM, CPU, PCH, VCC, GT, and VCCSA voltages can all be tweaked too.


Within the Advanced tab, we find most of the settings that I’m normally looking for when configuring a system, from storage and chipset configurations to USB, Power, and CPU.







ASRock added quite a few useful tools directly to the BIOS and they’re all found in the Tool menu. The Easy RAID and Drive Installers will take care of necessary drivers for your operating system by installing them for you.


We got the System Browser that highlights the ports and connectors on the motherboard that are in use.


There’s the Online Management Guard (OMG) that can be used to restrict the internet access at given times. This is equally useful to keep kids out of the internet at night when they should be sleeping as it is at keeping the system disconnected from the internet while the office is closed and nobody is close to check up on possible malicious attacks from the internet.


It can be troublesome to contact support when your system doesn’t work, and that’s really the time where you need them. ASRock added a tech service function directly into the BIOS that allows you to contact the tech team without a working OS install.


There’s also an 8-point boot manager tool.


For the firmware update functions, you can set the internet connection and download server to use.


There’s a basic hardware monitoring tool built in from where you also have access to the fan settings.


Security is pretty much as we see it on most boards. It also includes the Intel Platform Trust Technology.


You also got all the boot options you’d expect.


And we find one-time boot override functions too on the exit page, just as it should be.


Overall, a solid BIOS with some really cool extra functions for support and update.


CPU Performance

AIDA64 Engineer

AIDA64 Engineer provides several methods to measure system performance. These benchmarks are synthetic, ie. the results show only the theoretical (maximum) performance of the system. In contrast to application tests, synthetic benchmarks do not tend to reflect the “real world” performance of the computer. These benchmarks provide a quick and easy comparison between computer states, e.g. when certain parameters (CPU clock speed, memory timings, etc) change in system configuration.

ASROCK_E3V5_WS-Bench-CPU aida




Cinebench R11.5 & R15.0

Cinebench is a real-world cross-platform test suite that evaluates your computer’s performance capabilities. Cinebench is a perfect tool to compare CPU and graphics performance across various systems and platforms, and best of all: It’s completely free.

ASROCK_E3V5_WS-Bench-CPU cinebench

ASROCK_E3V5_WS-Chart-CPU Cinebench 115

ASROCK_E3V5_WS-Chart-CPU Cinebench 150


wPrime is a leading multithreaded benchmark for x86 processors that tests your processor performance by calculating square roots with a recursive call of Newton’s method for estimating functions, with f(x)=x2-k, where k is the number we’re sqrting, until Sgn(f(x)/f'(x)) does not equal that of the previous iteration, starting with an estimation of k/2. It then uses an iterative calling of the estimation method a set amount of times to increase the accuracy of the results. It then confirms that n(k)2=k to ensure the calculation was correct. It repeats this for all numbers from 1 to the requested maximum.

ASROCK_E3V5_WS-Bench-CPU wPrime

ASROCK_E3V5_WS-Chart-CPU wPrime


Super PI is a computer program that calculates pi to a specified number of digits after the decimal point—up to a maximum of 32 million. It uses Gauss–Legendre algorithm and is a Windows port of the program used by Yasumasa Kanada in 1995 to compute pi to 232 digits.

ASROCK_E3V5_WS-Bench-CPU superpi

ASROCK_E3V5_WS-Chart-CPU SuperPi


Memory Performance

For our memory tests we use the built-in memory benchmarks in AIDA64 Engineer, Geekbench 3, PerformanceTest, and SiSoftware Sandra. A wider array of tests will give us a wider array of results.

AIDA64 Engineer

AIDA64 Engineer provides several methods to measure system performance. These benchmarks are synthetic, ie. the results show only the theoretical (maximum) performance of the system. In contrast to application tests, synthetic benchmarks do not tend to reflect the “real world” performance of the computer. These benchmarks provide a quick and easy comparison between computer states, e.g. when certain parameters (CPU clock speed, memory timings, etc) change in system configuration.



PerformanceTest 8.0

PerformanceTest is a fast, easy to use software benchmarking tool that allows everybody to quickly assess the performance of their PC and compare it to a number of standard ‘baseline’ computer systems.

PerformanceTest allows you to compare the performance of your machine, measure the effect of configuration changes and upgrades, and make objective independent measurements on which to base your purchasing decision.

ASROCK_E3V5_WS-Bench-RAM PerformanceTest

ASROCK_E3V5_WS-Chart-RAM PerformanceTest

Geekbench 3

Geekbench 3 is Primate Labs’ cross-platform processor benchmark. It has a multi-scoring system for both single-core and multicore performance and workloads that simulate real-world scenarios. It is however the STREAM based memory tests that we will be using here.

ASROCK_E3V5_WS-Bench-RAM GeekBench

ASROCK_E3V5_WS-Chart-RAM GeekBench Single

ASROCK_E3V5_WS-Chart-RAM GeekBench Multi

SiSoftware Sandra

ASROCK_E3V5_WS-Chart-RAM Sandra Single

ASROCK_E3V5_WS-Chart-RAM Sandra Multi

Memory Latency

ASROCK_E3V5_WS-Chart-RAM Latency


Storage Performance

To test the storage performance in our motherboard reviews I use AIDA’s Disk Benchmark utility built into their AIDA64 Engineer Edition software package and run linear read and write tests.

We run the benchmark tests on the SATA III and USB 3.0 as well as any other storage options available. For SATA III testing, I’ll use a Toshiba HG6 512GB workstation SSD and for USB 3.0 an Angelbird SSD2go Pocket 512GB portable SSD. The PCIe capabilities are being tested by one of Intel’s amazing 750 series SSD 1.2TB PCIe drives.

SATA Performance

SATA is the somewhat traditional interface used by most drives. The Toshiba HG6 drive might not be the fastest, but it is a workstation drive and as such a good solution for a system build with a motherboard like this.

ASROCK_E3V5_WS-Chart-Storage SATA read

ASROCK_E3V5_WS-Chart-Storage SATA write

USB 3.0 Performance

The USB 3.0 platform is great for quick storage expansion as well as portable drives. It comes closer to an internal drive’s performance than the previous versions and is as such a viable option for backup too. I will be using the durable and highly portable Angelbird SSD2go Pocket for these tests.

ASROCK_E3V5_WS-Chart-Storage USB read

ASROCK_E3V5_WS-Chart-Storage USB write

NVMe PCIe Performance

NVMe is the next generation of drives and they eliminate the bottlenecks created by the by now old SATA standard. These drives are the future for now and I’ll be testing those capabilities with the Intel 750 SSD with 1.2GB capacity.

ASROCK_E3V5_WS-Chart-Storage NVMe read

ASROCK_E3V5_WS-Chart-Storage NVMe write


Network Performance

Passmark Performance Test 8

The PassMark Advanced Network Test, a part of PerformanceTest, is designed to test the data transfer rate between two computers both of which must be running PerformanceTest. One of the computers acts as the server and will wait for a connection while the other computer acts as a client.

ASROCK_E3V5_WS-Bench-LAN tcp graph

ASROCK_E3V5_WS-Bench-LAN udp graph



Audio Performance

RightMark Audio Analyser (RMAA)

RMAA suite is designed for testing quality of analog and digital paths of any audio device. The results are obtained by playing and recording test signals passed through the tested audio path by means of frequency analysis algorithms. A more common mark is also provided for those unfamiliar with measured technical parameters.

We run the RMAA test using a 3.5mm to 3.5mm cable connecting the line out to the line in to test the quality of the motherboard audio codec. We run the complete playback and recording test at default settings and then get RMAA to interpret the results giving the below outputs.

16 Bit, 44KHz (DVD Quality)

ASROCK_E3V5_WS-Bench-AUDIO 16 44

16 Bit, 96KHz (Studio Quality)

ASROCK_E3V5_WS-Bench-AUDIO 16 96

24 Bit, 96KHz (Studio Quality)

ASROCK_E3V5_WS-Bench-AUDIO 24 96

PC Latency Analyser

Thesycon’s DPC Latency Checker is a Windows tool that analyses the capabilities of a computer system to handle real-time data streams properly. It may help to find the cause for interruptions in real-time audio and video streams, also known as drop-outs. The result below is the maximum value observed during our testing.

ASROCK_E3V5_WS-Chart-Audio Latency


System Performance

I Initially started to test enterprise-grade motherboards without a graphics card and relied solely on the built-in features. This was based on the fact that we want to test the motherboard itself and less the connected parts. With the C612 chipset boards, it wasn’t a problem as they all had onboard GPU, but these C230-series boards don’t have that and I’m using a Xeon CPU without iGPU.

As this screws up the comparison with previously tested boards, the charts below are lacking some of the comparison figures from previous tests. Those will be added and updated as I retest them with the same setup as used in this review.

The graphics card used is still a low-powered one because we still want to test the motherboard itself and see what it can perform. Having a dedicated GPU in the system also allows more tests to be run.


ASROCK_E3V5_WS-Bench-System geekbench

ASROCK_E3V5_WS-Chart-System GeekBench

PassMark PerformanceTest 8.0

ASROCK_E3V5_WS-Bench-System PerformanceTest

ASROCK_E3V5_WS-Chart-System PerformanceTest

SPECwpc 1.2

SPECwpc is the first benchmark to measure all key aspects of workstation performance based on diverse professional applications. The latest version is SPECwpc V1.2 (introduced on June 3, 2015), which extends performance measurement from physical to virtualized workstations. Results from SPECwpc V1.2 are comparable to those from SPEC V1.0.4, but not to any version before that.

ASROCK_E3V5_WS-Bench-System SpecWPC

More than 30 workloads are included in SPECwpc V1.2 to test CPU, graphics, I/O and memory bandwidth. The tests are divided into the application categories listed below. Individual scores are generated for each test and a composite score for each category is generated based on a reference machine, yielding a “bigger is better” result. The reference machine has the following configuration: x3430 processor, 8GB (4x2GB) memory, V4800 graphics, and SATA 7.2k rpm hard disk drive.

Summary Scores

-Chart-System SpecWPC 10 summary

IOmeter Scores

-Chart-System SpecWPC 11 Iometer scores

Group Scores

-Chart-System SpecWPC 01 media

-Chart-System SpecWPC 02 product

-Chart-System SpecWPC 03 Life

-Chart-System SpecWPC 04 Finance

-Chart-System SpecWPC 05 Energy

-Chart-System SpecWPC 06 General


Power Consumption

The power consumption is measured at the power outlet and is as such the power draw from the entire system. Idle and off figures speak for themselves and for the load figures I stress the CPU to 90% and memory to 90% load with OCCT.



Final Thoughts & Pricing


At the time of writing, the ASROCK E3V5 WS super alloy motherboard can be yours for $109.99 at NewEgg, £95.08 at Scan Computers, or €111.01 through Geizhals. Some places you also get a bundled Assassin’s Creed game included for a limited time.


ASRock’s E3V5 WS motherboard is a quality piece of hardware from one end to the other. It is a simple board in many ways, but that isn’t a bad thing. Instead of adding all sorts of fancy features that aren’t necessary, we get a quality motherboard built with great components at a very competitive price. The black PCB with white markings will also make it look great in setups with side panel window and open bench systems.

The board uses ASRock’s Super Alloy formula with improved power chokes and high-density glass fabric PCB which both increase the stability and reliability of the board. The graphics card PCI slot and the DIMM slots are built with gold contacts and it features ELNA audio caps too. All this put together is what makes this board as stable and fast as it is. It comes with a great BIOS too with direct support and update functionality.

One of the benefits over consumer based Skylake boards is the full support for Windows Server and Xeon CPUs. ECC memory support is another vital feature for workstations and we also find a quality LAN chip onboard. There aren’t any fancy RAID controllers, graphics solutions, or high-end audio on the board that rarely would be used on such a board anyway. There are plenty of expansion ports to add those features, which a serious worker would do anyway. A graphics card or two, a sound card, and storage controller or PCIe storage drive at the same time isn’t a problem.

The motherboard performed very well in all our tests, from sound over memory to CPU, and storage. The network performance was excellent too, and all that for a fair price. I would highly recommend this board at any time for a workstation setup.


  • Cheap asking price
  • Great performance in all areas
  • Super Alloy: Solid caps, Solid Audio caps, 50A Power Chokes
  • Xeon CPU and ECC RAM Support
  • AMD Quad CrossFireX Support


  • No next-gen USB 3.1 or M.2 slot

“The ASRock E3V5 WS workstation motherboard is a quality-built piece, that performs extremely well, and one that is very budget friendly.”


ASRock E3V5 WS (Intel C232) Super Alloy Motherboard Review

Thank You ASRock for providing us with this review sample

Article Index

  1. Introduction, Specifications, and Packaging
  2. A Closer Look & Layout Analysis
  3. The Test System and Test Software
  4. BIOS
  5. CPU Performance
  6. Memory Performance
  7. Storage Performance
  8. Network Performance
  9. Audio Performance
  10. System Performance
  11. Power Consumption
  12. Final Thoughts & Pricing
  13. View All

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