ASRock P43R1600Twins-WiFi & P45R2000-WiFi
While the Intel Chipset is different between the two ASRock products we are looking at, both are standard ATX motherboards and for the most part have a similar set of features. In the upper right hand corner of the P43R1600Twins-WiFi is the system memory slots. Going back to ASRock products from years ago, they have always tried to make a smooth upgrade process for their customers as they transition to new standards. ASRock has made motherboards that have both DDR1 and DDR2 slots as well as AGP and PCI Express, so that if the user has a limited budget and slowly upgrades their system over time, these motherboards turn out to be perfect and are quite future-proofed. With both the P43R1600Twins-WiFi and P45R2000-WiFi there are both DDR2 and DDR3 memory slots. There are a total of four DDR2 memory slots on each motherboard and two DDR3 memory slots. The DDR2 and DDR3 DIMM slots cannot be both occupied at the same time, but this eases the upgrade process if you have a lot of DDR2 lying around. Next to the memory slots is the single IDE connector.
Cooling the Intel ICH10R on both motherboards is a small passive heatsink that is secured to the PCB via pushpins in opposing corners. This heatsink is very low-profile, but should be sufficient for cooling this Intel Southbridge. The ICH10R provides up to 12 USB 2.0 ports, 6 PCI Express x1 lanes, Intel Gigabit Ethernet, Intel High Definition Audio, and 6 Serial ATA 2.0 ports with capabilities for Intel Matrix Storage Technology. Also in this area of the motherboard are the CMOS battery, six Serial ATA 2.0 ports, two USB 2.0 headers, one IEEE-1394a Firewire header, and front panel header. The Firewire support on this motherboard is provided by a VIA Fire IIM VT6308S controller.
The expansion slots on the ASRock P43R1600Twins-WiFi include three PCI Express x1, one PCI Express x16, and three PCI slots. Some of the ASICs located in this area of the motherboard is the Realtek RTL8111B/RTL8111C Gigabit Ethernet and Winbond W83627DHG-A. Also in this area of the motherboard is the FDD connector.
Above the expansion slot area is the 20/24-pin power connector and then the Intel P43 Northbridge. We would have preferred the main ATX power connector along side the memory slots next to the IDE connector, since it helps with cable routing in that location, but in this area it still works sufficiently. The P43 Chipset is a stripped-down version of the P45, but it supports PCI Express 2.0 graphics, Intel Core 2 Duo/Quad processors, and DDR2 or DDR3 memory. Cooling the P43 is an aluminum heatsink that's passively cooled. The processors supported by the P43 and P45 Chipsets are Core 2 Extreme, Core 2 Quad, Core 2 Duo, Pentium D, and Celeron processors. This support does extend to Penryn, Yorkfield, and Wolfdale families with FSBs up to 1600MHz. Behind the CPU socket area is one eSATA connector and the 4/8-pin power connector, but the CPU socket area is free of any obstructions that would hinder the installation of larger LGA-775 heatsinks.
The I/O panel ports include two PS/2, digital and analog S/PDIF output, six USB 2.0 ports, one IEEE-1394a Firewire, one eSATA, one Gigabit Ethernet, and six analog audio ports.
A Realtek RTL8187L ASIC powers the integrated ASRock 802.11 g WiFi. This isn't the best wireless chipset, but it should work when using ndiswrapper and the Windows driver.
Latest Linux Hardware Reviews
Latest Linux Articles
Latest Linux News
Latest Forum Discussions