After months of speculations, on the morning of May 23, 2006 AMD had officially announced their AM2 socket. With AMD's launch, NVIDIA had unleashed their nForce 500 Chipset series, while other manufacturers began offering up their various AM2 products. With that Tuesday launch, Advanced Micro Devices had offered a complete line of AM2 processors from the budget AMD Sempron 3000+ all the way to the Athlon 64 FX-62 processor, though the key change in this socket move was simply the integration of a DDR2 memory controller over DDR1. Of the first AM2 motherboards to have entered our labs was the ASRock AM2NF4G-SATA2.
While ASRock has been slow with some of the past socket migrations for both Intel and AMD, their move to Socket AM2 products has been surprisingly fast. For some time now ASRock has been advertising its "Future CPU Port" for motherboards that are both compatible with AMD Socket 939 processors and the new AM2 CPUs through purchasing an upgrade card, which will be made available soon. Of the motherboards to boast this dual socket compliance is the 939SLI32-eSATA2 and 939Dual-SATA2. However, their first dedicated Socket AM2 product comes in form of the AM2NF4G-SATA2. The AM2NF4G-SATA2 is a near replica of the previously reviewed 939NF4G-SATA2, but instead it uses an AM2 CPU interface and 240-pin DDR2 slots. This motherboard design is possible while depending upon the already prevalent nForce 410 + GeForce 6100 due to the memory controller being integrated on the CPU rather than the Chipset.
Having already covered the physical examination of the motherboard as well as some of our in-house comments, today we are finishing off our look at the AM2NF4G-SATA2 by looking at its BIOS, overclocking performance, and finally Linux performance numbers.