Peeking into the BIOS for the 939SLI32-eSATA2, it was the work of American Megatrends. The ASRock BIOS that shipped was version M0.17 Revision A. As of writing, only the initial BIOS release is available for download from ASRock, however, we have already received a new BIOS from ASRock with the notable mention being improved video card compatibility. As usual, the BIOS pages include main, advanced, hardware monitor, boot, security, and exit. Jumping directly to the CPU configuration area (under advanced), the CPU frequency can be adjusted from 150MHz to 400MHz. The 939SLI32-eSATA2 does boast ASRock's Untied Overclocking Technology, which is their official name for offering fixed PCI Express/PCI buses. The processor multiplier can also be manipulated from x4 to x19. One area that had initially appalled us was that ASRock has finally ditched the "auto", "low", and "high" voltage options for their processor selection and have finally gone to proper measurements. The BIOS can be adjusted from 0.800V to 1.450V, in 0.025V steps. Although the voltage selection is not as widespread as other "overclocker friendly" motherboards, it is certainly a step in the right direction for this budget manufacturer. For the memory timings, the following items were adjustable through the BIOS: CAS (2T, 2.5T, 3T), TRAS (5T, 6T... 15T), TRP (2T, 3T... 6T), TRCD (2T, 3T... 6T), TRRD (2T, 3T, 4T), TRC (7T, 8T... 22T), and MA Timing (1T, 2T). Available from the Chipset settings page is the VCCM voltage (auto, low, normal, high, Ultra High) and Chipset core voltage (auto, normal, and high). On the hardware monitoring page is the CPU and motherboard temperature as well as the CPU and chassis fan speed. The voltages listed are Vcore, +3.30V, +5.00V, and +12.00V.
Today is just a preview of the ASRock 939SLI32-eSATA2; however, we will be delivering our overclocking and Linux performance results in the very near future. Our results are being postponed until the public availability of the new NVIDIA display drivers, which should offer new Scalable Link Interface improvements as well as other notable highlight for Linux users. These new drivers for Microsoft Windows and Linux should be available in early March, and at that time we will publish our findings as well as concluding remarks. So far, the ASRock 939SLI32-eSATA2 appears to an excellent competitor on paper with its PCI Express x16 SLI, AMD AM2 CPU support, Gigabit LAN, IEEE-1394 Firewire, and a wealth of other innovations. However, in order for it to be an excellent budget solution its performance will need to remain competitive, which we will shortly find out with the new drivers and Fedora Core 5. We will say at that this time, our overclocking experience with the ASRock 939SLI32-eSATA2 has been quite surprising when it comes to maximizing the system's performance.
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