ASRock X58 SuperComputer Motherboard Review :: Layout

03-03-2009 · Category: Motherboards

By Ben Sun

ASRock X58 SuperComputer Motherboard Review CPU Socket

CPU Socket

ASRock X58 SuperComputer Motherboard Review CPU Socket area

CPU Socket area

ASRock X58 SuperComputer Motherboard Review DIMM Sockets

DIMM Sockets

ASRock X58 SuperComputer Motherboard Review Rear of PCB

Rear of PCB


Starting from the CPU Socket the LGA-1366 Socket is facing towards the left side of the board which is normal for the new interface. The CPU area is clear of obstacles with two rows of low-h capacitors on the left hand side of the socket and the bottom of the socket. The Northbridge is covered by a heatsink with a heat pipe going to a heatsink that covers the MOSFETs. The Southbridge is covered by another heatsink but is not connected to the NB by heat pipe.


ASRock X58 SuperComputer Motherboard Review NB

NB

ASRock X58 SuperComputer Motherboard Review Heatpipe

Heatpipe

ASRock X58 SuperComputer Motherboard Review SB

SB

ASRock X58 SuperComputer Motherboard Review 8-pin power

8-pin power


There are six DIMM Sockets on the board that take either ECC or non-ECC DDR3 memory. One thing that should be noted is that the memory controller is on the CPU and only DDR3-1066MHz is supported officially supported. XMP memory is supported for the higher clocked profiles when the memory is installed. To install three DIMMs in Triple Channel Memory mode you need to install the memory in the white memory slots.


ASRock X58 SuperComputer Motherboard Review Expansion slots

Expansion slots

ASRock X58 SuperComputer Motherboard Review PCI Express slots

PCI Express slots

ASRock X58 SuperComputer Motherboard Review PCI Express lock

PCI Express lock

ASRock X58 SuperComputer Motherboard Review 24-pin power

24-pin power


The big feature of this board is the ability to do CrossfireX or SLI. To facilitate this, the board has four PCI Express x16 Generation 2.0 slots. There are 32 PCI Express lanes available for video cards, meaning that in 2-way SLI or Crossfire both slots operate in x16 mode. In 3-way SLI mode the middle PCI Express slot operates in x16 mode, the other two in x8 mode. In four-way CrossfireX mode, the slots operate in x8 mode each. There is enough clearance between the slots to operate four dual-slot video cards on the board. There are also three PCI slots in between the PCI Express slots.


ASRock X58 SuperComputer Motherboard Review FP IO Firewire USB

FP IO Firewire USB

ASRock X58 SuperComputer Motherboard Review IDE

IDE

ASRock X58 SuperComputer Motherboard Review SATA

SATA

ASRock X58 SuperComputer Motherboard Review FDD

FDD


The 24-pin power connector is located on the bottom right corner of the board, the normal position for this connection. The 8-pin power connector is in between the MOSFET heatsink and the IO area. This is also ideal but the closeness between the heatsink and the IO might make it a little hard to take out. Not a big deal once the system is put together. Next to the 24-pin power is the FP IO connections which are all labeled so inserting a wire won't happen.


ASRock X58 SuperComputer Motherboard Review Speaker+ USB 10

Speaker+ USB 10

ASRock X58 SuperComputer Motherboard Review Via chip

Via chip

ASRock X58 SuperComputer Motherboard Review Winbond

Winbond

ASRock X58 SuperComputer Motherboard Review Dual LAN

Dual LAN


In an unusual move, ASRock has placed the IEEE-1394 and two USB 2.0 headers next to the FP IO. This makes a lot of sense if you consider the placement of the PCI Express x16 slots in relation to where they are normally situated. Next to that is a legacy IDE port. Finally on that side of the board are six SATA ports that are sideways situated. Again this is a consideration for those that want to install four PCI Express cards.

The next side starts off with the Speaker connection, then the USB 10 connection. The Clear CMOS jumper is next followed by the IR connector and a COM1 connector. Next to the COM1` connection is a FDD port followed by a HDMI SPDIF connection. There is a Via VT6330 controller for the IDE port and Firewire support on the board. A Winbond chip is on the board to monitor temperatures and fan speeds.


ASRock X58 SuperComputer Motherboard Review IO

IO


The board has two Realtek RTL8110L PHY chips for the onboard dual Gigabit LAN controllers. These have the ability to Team with each other forming a single 2 Gigabit LAN connection from two separate LAN ports. The onboard audio on the board is a Realtek ALC890 CODEC that offers support for 7.1 surround sound and encrypted Content protection. The sound supports Digital Theater Systems supports and has DACs with 110DB dynamic range.

The rear IO on the board is rather interesting. There are legacy PS/2 mouse and Keyboard ports but if you have a X58 motherboard you will likely have USB versions or Wireless versions of the keyboard and mouse. The Audio IO includes an Optical SPDIF Port, a Coaxial SPDIF Port, and six jacks for the HD Audio. 6 USB 2.0 ports, a powered ESATAII/USB connector, an IEEE-1394a port and 2 RJ-45 LAN ports with Activity/Link LEDs round out the Rear IO.