ASRock X58 SuperComputer

Written by Michael Larabel in Motherboards on 27 April 2009. Page 2 of 4. 2 Comments

Motherboard Layout:

The ASRock X58 SuperComputer motherboard has six DDR3 memory slots that are capable of running up to 2000MHz when in an overclocked mode. DDR3-1866/1600/1333MHz speeds are also supported when overclocking, but the native speed is DDR3-1066MHz. The maximum memory capacity supported by the current Core i7 processors is 24GB. This motherboard is also compatible with Intel Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) memory. Positioned next to the six DDR3 slots is the 24-pin power connector. Rather than being placed along the bottom side of the motherboard, the X58 SuperComputer has its USB 2.0 connectors and other headers near the memory slots as well.

The lone IDE connector on this motherboard is rotated 90 degrees along the edge of the motherboard's PCB. Behind the IDE connector is a VIA Firewire ASIC. Next to the IDE connector are six Serial ATA 2.0 ports, which are also rotated against the side of the PCB. To the rear of the SATA ports is the ICH10R Southbridge, which is covered by a copper heatsink. Usually ASRock's chipset heatsinks are simple and nonchalant, but with the X58 SuperComputer they are nicer than usual.

The expansion slots on the ASRock X58 SuperComputer include four PCI Express x16 and three PCI slots. The two PCI Express x16 slots that are colored blue are rated to run with PCI-E x16 bandwidth while the two orange ones are limited to PCI-E x8 bandwidth. Situated between each of the PCI Express slots is a traditional PCI slot, in the event you wish to use multiple graphics cards that each occupy two expansion slots. This Intel motherboard is compatible with both ATI CrossFire and NVIDIA SLI. The motherboard can handle either two or four ATI Radeon graphics cards in a CrossFire/CrossFireX configuration. With NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards it can handle two, three, or four graphics cards in a SLI, 3-Way SLI, or Quad SLI setup, respectively. The X58 SuperComputer also supports the NVIDIA Tesla Personal Supercomputer for running three Tesla and one Quadro graphics cards. This is quite the assortment for a cost effective motherboard. Below the expansion slots is the FDD connector.

Immediately above the top PCI Express x16 slot is the Intel X58 chipset. The Intel X58 supports Intel Core i7 LGA-1366 processors, PCI Express 2.0 graphics with up to 36 PCI-E lanes, and is compatible with the ICH10/ICH10R Southbridges for providing USB 2.0, six PCI Express x1 interfaces, Intel Gigabit Ethernet, Intel High Edition audio, and Serial ATA 2.0 / eSATA. Cooling the X58 on this ASRock motherboard is a copper heatsink with a heatpipe attached, which runs back to a series of fins near the I/O panel. This heatpipe-based cooling design is not new as similar designs can be found on Gigabyte and ASUS motherboards for years, but this is our first time seeing it on an ASRock motherboard.

The Intel LGA-1366 socket was free of any obstructions and there is sufficient room between the CPU socket and the X58 cooling system and DDR3 memory slots. This motherboard is compatible with Intel Core i7 processors.

The I/O panel ports include PS/2, coaxial S/PDIF output, optical S/PDIF output, six USB 2.0, one eSATA / USB connector, two Gigabit Ethernet, one IEEE-1394a Firewire, and six analog audio jacks.

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