ASUS A8R-MVP Crossfire Motherboard Review :: The Layout and Setup

02-28-2006 · Category: Motherboards

By Benjamin Sun

The area around the CPU socket is clear of obstructions and most after-market cooling solutions will fit without much difficulty. The 4-pin power connector is above the CPU Socket, allowing for easy routing from the PSU without impeding airflow. The 24-pin ATX power connector is located on the bottom right corner, also excellent placing as it's unlikely to get in the way of the IDE cables.


ASUS A8R-MVP Crossfire Motherboard Review 4-pin power

4-pin power


Memory location is a sticky point on many boards, as many motherboards have the memory slots right under the video card slot, making removal/insertion of memory a task due to the need to remove the video card first. ASUS decided to place the memory under the CPU socket, allowing for easy removal of memory without removing the video card first. There is a 4-pin Molex power connector for use when Crossfire is enabled located above the first PCI Express x16 slot.


ASUS A8R-MVP Crossfire Motherboard Review SATA positioning

SATA positioning


Another pet peeve of mine is the placement of the SATA ports on many motherboards. Some boards have the SATA ports right under the video card slot. ASUS put a lot of thought into the design of the board and the SATA ports are not blocked by the insertion of a 2 slot video card into PCI Express slot 2. The only problem I have with the layout is the location of the PCI Express x1 slot between the two PCI Express x16 slots.


ASUS A8R-MVP Crossfire Motherboard Review North Bridge

North Bridge

ASUS A8R-MVP Crossfire Motherboard Review South Bridge

South Bridge

ASUS A8R-MVP Crossfire Motherboard Review Front Panel I/O

Front Panel I/O

ASUS A8R-MVP Crossfire Motherboard Review Battery

Battery


The Front Panel I/O on the board is clearly labeled for everyone. One header for Firewire and one extra header for USB 2.0 ports are included to bring a total of 6 USB 2.0 ports and 1 Firewire port on the board. The Xpress 200 chipset is cooled by a heatsink with the ASUS RADEON Xpress name on the top. The South Bridge is cooled by another passive heatsink.