Super Micro C2SEA G45

Written by Michael Larabel in Motherboards on 25 August 2008. Page 2 of 7. 2 Comments

Motherboard Layout:

While many motherboards using Intel's GMA 4500 graphics are micro ATX based, the Super Micro C2SEA has a 30.5 cm x 24.4 cm ATX footprint. This may rule it out as a choice for some HTPC customers, but the C2SEA offers dual PCI Express x16 slots (albeit with the second slot having only PCI-E x4 bandwidth) and additional expansion capabilities. The C2SEA has four DDR3 memory slots that support up to DDR3-1333MHz memory. The Intel G45 Chipset allows for a maximum of 8GB of DDR3 memory. Positioned next to the system memory slots is the 24-pin ATX power connector.

The Southbridge on this motherboard is the Intel ICH10. The ICH10 allows for 12 USB 2.0 ports, 6 PCI Express x1 lanes, Intel Gigabit networking, Intel HD audio, and six Serial ATA 2.0 ports. Cooling the Intel ICH10 is a small aluminum heatsink attached to the motherboard via pushpins. Near this corner of the motherboard are three 3/4-pin fan headers, six Serial ATA 2.0 ports, one IDE connector, two integrated USB 2.0 ports, two USB 2.0 headers, CMOS battery, and system speaker. It's great to have these extra fan connectors on this motherboard that are 4-pin PWM capable as well as having the two full USB 2.0 ports on the motherboard PCB itself. These USB connectors are great for open-air test systems and for internal devices that would otherwise require routing a USB cable to the rear I/O panel, such as some VFD displays and memory card readers.

The expansion slots on this motherboard include two PCI Express x16, one PCI Express x1, and two PCI slots. With the two PCI Express 2.0 x16 slots, the first slot has the full PCI-E x16 capabilities while the other slot has been reduced to PCI-E x4 bandwidth due to limitations of the G45 Chipset. There are no connectors below each of the PCI Express x16 slots to provide room for graphics cards with dual-slot coolers. Below the bottommost PCI slot is the FDD connector. Some of the ASICs on this motherboard include the Realtek RTL8111C Gigabit Ethernet, Realtek ALC888 HD 7.1 channel audio, and Winbond 83627DHG-P ASIC.

The G45 Chipset on the motherboard is cooled by an aluminum heatsink that bears Super Micro's logo. The G45 Chipset is compatible with all of Intel's current LGA-775 processors, which includes the latest 45nm Core 2 Quad and Core 2 Duo processors. When it comes to obstructions around the LGA-775 socket, there aren't any on this motherboard in the near vicinity but behind the socket is a heatsink that covers some additional power circuitry. This isn't too close to the socket area and it's next to the 8-pin ATX power connector, so it shouldn't cause any issues with large aftermarket cooling solutions.

At the rear I/O panel are two PS/2 ports, one VGA, one HDMI, one S/PDIF optical output, one S/PDIF output, six USB 2.0, one Gigabit Ethernet, and six analog audio ports. It's unfortunate there is no DVI port for the integrated GMA X4500 HD graphics, but the HDMI plus VGA should be suffice.


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