ASRock 939SLI32-eSATA2 Preview
The motherboard in front of us today packs in dual PCI Express x16 slots for NVIDIA's Scalable Link Interface (SLI) at full bandwidth, as well as a PCI Express 4 slot. Furthermore, it also has the capabilities to run an AMD Socket AM2 processor or current generation Socket 939 CPU. To top that off, there is an integrated IEEE-1394 Firewire controller as well as external SATA 2.0 capabilities! The frosting comes down to the Gigabit network interface. The jaw dropping part, however, is the manufacturer of this motherboard. Any guesses? This motherboard comes from one of the most unlikely contenders when it comes to a maxed out solution with all of the bells and whistles that enthusiasts could look for in choosing their next system. The motherboard in our hands today is the 939SLI32-eSATA2 from ASRock and is powered by the ULI M1697 + M1695 Chipset. Other features include the use of Hybrid Booster, SATA 2.0 RAID, 5.1 channel high-definition audio, and is Microsoft Windows Vista hardware ready. Has this once "budget" manufacturer now gone mainstream to target enthusiasts with various high-end features? Simply having SLI on ASRock budget motherboard is quite appalling in and of itself, but after recently testing the ATI CrossFire supportive ASRock 775XFire-eSATA2, we knew in our minds that it would be only a matter of time before these imaginative engineers would strike the scene with yet another prominent solution. Some of ASRock's other recent solutions have been the 939Dual-SATA2, 939NF4G-SATA2, and 775Dual-880Pro. Today at Phoronix, we have a preview of the ASRock 939SLI32-eSATA2 in preparation for the SLI results we will be delivering as NVIDIA is preparing its new display drivers for release.
While ASRock has certainly improved the integrated features with the 939SLI32-eSATA2 motherboard, the assortment of accessories continues to remain minimal. On the outside of the packaging is ASRock's traditional green color theme as well as being branded with all sorts of plaques for various features supported by this AMD motherboard. Opening up the packaging, a cardboard partition separates the motherboard from the rest of the contents. The included parts with the ASRock 939SLI32-eSATA2 are one quick installation guide, one support CD, one Ultra ATA IDE ribbon cable, one FDD ribbon cable, four Serial ATA data cables, two Serial ATA molex power adapters, one supportive I/O shield, and an ASRock SLI bridge; this is all in addition to the ATX motherboard itself. ASRock has never been a big contributor of motherboard accessories while included with the 939SLI32-eSATA2 motherboard were many of the same components bundled with the 775XFire-eSATA2.
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