ASRock 775XFire-eSATA2

Written by Michael Larabel in Motherboards on 26 January 2006. Page 1 of 11. Add A Comment

Even though NVIDIA's SLI has been in existence for quite some time now, the talented engineers over at ASRock have yet to introduce a single motherboard that is able to utilize this innovative multi-GPU technology. Meanwhile, ATI's CrossFire is still in its infancy as it was launched this past June when we were covering the happenings at Computex Taipei 2005. The folks over at ASRock have just unleashed its latest in an arsenal of LGA-775 motherboards, and among other things, the 775XFire-eSATA2 motherboard supports CrossFire. Unfortunately, the red developers have yet to officially append any Linux CrossFire support to its proprietary fglrx display drivers nor is there any public comment on when ATI's multi-GPU technology will make its way to penguin computing. If you will recall, it took a staggering thirteen months until NVIDIA had appended Scalable Link Interface support to its Linux counterpart, and over a month later, the SLI performance is still very much lackluster. Although we have no viable time frame until the introduction of CrossFire for Linux, we have just received ASRock's 775XFire-eSATA2, which also supports Microsoft Windows Vista, Untied Overclocking Technology, and four SATA 2.0 ports. If you will recall, ASRock presently has on its hands the 775i915P-SATA2, which is based upon Intel's i915P Grantsdale Chipset and likewise it features CrossFire support but lacks any abilities for dual-core processors and other prominent features. Another highlight to the 775XFire-eSATA2 is that it does not belong to ASRock's Dual, Upgrade, or Combo series but rather has forged a new home in the eSATA collection. No, this is not a new Serial ATA standard but rather signifies external SATA support. Like the ASUS P5LD2 Deluxe WiFi + TV that we had reviewed last year, there is actually a SATA 2 support at the rear I/O panel. However, unlike the P5LD2, the 775XFire-eSATA2 requires that you extend one of your motherboard's SATA ports to the posterior of the motherboard using a traditional Serial ATA data cable. What else is new in the ASRock 775XFire-eSATA2 motherboard, which is powered by Intel's i945PL + ICH-7R Chipset? Today we have to offer you the world's first complete look at this new motherboard only here at Phoronix.


· Intel LGA 775 for Intel Dual Core Pentium D / Pentium 4 / Celeron D, supporting Presler and Cedar Mill processors
· FSB 800/533 MHz
· Supports Hyper-Threading Technology
· Supports Untied Overclocking Technology
· Supports EM64T CPU

· Intel 945PL
· Intel ICH7R

Hybrid Booster
· CPU Frequency Stepless Control
· ASRock U-COP
· Boot Failure Guard (B.F.G.)

· Dual Channel DDRII memory technology
· 4 x DDRII DIMM slots
· Supports DDRII-533
· Maximum capacity of 2GB

· Supports ATI CrossFire
· 3 x PCI slots
· 1 x PCI Express x 16 slot
· 1 x AGI Express slot (PCI Express x 4)
· 1 x PCI Express x 1 slot

· Realtek ALC660 5.1 channel CODEC with High Definition Audio

· Realtek PCI LAN 8101L
· 10/100 Ethernet
· Supports Wake-On-LAN

BIOS Feature
· AMI Legal BIOS
· Supports "Plug and Play"
· ACPI 1.1 Compliance Wake Up Events
· Supports jumperfree

Form Factor
· ATX Form Factor
· 12.0-in x 8.6-in, 30.5 cm x 21.8 cm


Unlike Tyan and a portion of other motherboard manufacturers who do not seek to personalize their packaging but rather uses a generic design and simply slaps on a SKU sticker, ASRock's 775XFire-eSATA2 packaging came in a simple green container and on its various sides were a fair amount of information pertaining to the product. The actual 775XFire-eSATA2 motherboard, quick installation guide, support CD, ATA-100 IDE ribbon cable, one FDD ribbon cable, four Serial ATA data cables, two Serial ATA power adapters, and one ASRock I/O shield greeted us upon opening up the packaging. Although four SATA cables may be standard by other manufacturers, past ASRock motherboards have only included one or two cables and being greeted by four with this motherboard was greatly welcomed. The increase in SATA cables is likely due to the external SATA capabilities now presented with the motherboard. Likewise, ASRock has never been a big contributor of accessories so they may have finally decided to change around their assortment.

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