ASRock X58 Extreme Motherboard Review :: Layout

07-24-2009 · Category: Motherboards

By Elric Phares

ASRock X58 Extreme Motherboard Review CPU Socket

CPU Socket

ASRock X58 Extreme Motherboard Review 8-pin power

8-pin power

ASRock X58 Extreme Motherboard Review Rear of PCB

Rear of PCB

ASRock X58 Extreme Motherboard Review Chassis and Power Fan headers

Chassis and Power Fan headers


Starting at the upper right hand corner of the board we find the 8-pin power connector. The CPU Socket is surrounded by low profile DuraCap solid capacitors on the top and left hand sides. Large after-market CPU coolers work well with this layout. We installed a Thermaltake CPU cooler with a huge heatsink and fan combination without problem on the board.

The Northbridge is to the left of the CPU Socket with X58 Extreme on the top. A heat pipe leads out to the top of the motherboard with another heatsink covering the MOSFETs. The ICH10R Southbridge is covered by a small heatsink on the bottom of the board. The CPUFan header is next to the 8-pin power connector making for easy CPU Fan installation.


ASRock X58 Extreme Motherboard Review Northbridge

Northbridge

ASRock X58 Extreme Motherboard Review MOSFET heatsink

MOSFET heatsink

ASRock X58 Extreme Motherboard Review ICH10R Southbridge

ICH10R Southbridge

ASRock X58 Extreme Motherboard Review Capacitors

Capacitors


The board has two 3-pin and a single 4-pin fan headers on the board. Two 3-pin fan headers are located on the right side of the board. The 4-pin fan header is on the left side of the board next to the Power button. ASRock outfits this board with six DIMM Slots under the CPU Socket. These can take up to 24GB of DDR3 non-ECC unbuffered DDR3 memory clocked up to 2000MHz when overclocked or 24GB of DDR3 ECC memory when using a Xeon 3500 series CPU.


ASRock X58 Extreme Motherboard Review DIMM Sockets

DIMM Sockets

ASRock X58 Extreme Motherboard Review 24-pin power

24-pin power

ASRock X58 Extreme Motherboard Review FP IO USB, and Firewire

FP IO USB, and Firewire

ASRock X58 Extreme Motherboard Review SATA ports

SATA ports


The bottom of the board has from right to left: a 24-pin power connector, the Front Panel IO header, a Front Panel IEEE-1394 header for the Firewire, a USB 2.0 header, the IDE connector and the SATA ports. The FP IO header has each connection labeled so it's impossible to install the Power Switch cable in the wrong spot for example. The location of the Front Panel IEEE-1394 header is a good one as you can route it from the front of the case directly to the motherboard.


ASRock X58 Extreme Motherboard Review Speaker header and Dr Debug

Speaker header and Dr Debug

ASRock X58 Extreme Motherboard Review Power and Reset buttons

Power and Reset buttons

ASRock X58 Extreme Motherboard Review USB

USB

ASRock X58 Extreme Motherboard Review IDE

IDE


The left side of the board has the Chassis Speaker Header, the Debug LED, a Reset Switch, the Power Switch, a Chassis fan connector (4-pin), the Clear CMOS jumper, a USB 2.0 Header, the TPM header, a COM Port Header, the FDD connector, and the HDMI_SPDIF Header. The inclusion of a Debug LED helps determine errors on boot assuming the system hangs. The Power and Reset Switches allow you to test your motherboard outside of the box without connecting the FP I/O cables.


ASRock X58 Extreme Motherboard Review TPM

TPM

ASRock X58 Extreme Motherboard Review FDD

FDD

ASRock X58 Extreme Motherboard Review Expansion

Expansion

ASRock X58 Extreme Motherboard Review Via VT6330

Via VT6330


ASRock outfitted this board with three full length PCI Express Generation 2.0 slots. These allow the user to install up to three video cards in either SLI or Crossfire mode if you so desire. The expansion slots are aligned in this manner: PCIE x1, PCI Express x16, PCIE x1, PCI, PCIE x16, PCI, PCIE x16. You can fit up to three dual slot video cards into the space of the motherboard but the last card might block the FDD controller and TPM Module. This arrangement allows up to three PCI Express video cards to be installed easily.


ASRock X58 Extreme Motherboard Review JMB360

JMB360

ASRock X58 Extreme Motherboard Review ITE IT8720F

ITE IT8720F

ASRock X58 Extreme Motherboard Review SPDIF header

SPDIF header

ASRock X58 Extreme Motherboard Review HD Audio header

HD Audio header


ASRock includes six sideways facing SATA ports on their X58 Extreme board. The orientation of the ports allows the installation of long video cards like the GeForce GTX 295 or Radeon HD 4870 x2 cards without blocking a SATA port as many motherboards tend to do. RAID 0, 1, 5, 10 and JBOD (Just a Bunch Of Disk). Rounding out the drive expansion is a FDD controller next to the COM Port header. The ICH10R does not control the memory as previous Southbridge's did; Intel now has moved the memory controller to the CPU itself.

Onboard sound is provided by a Realtek ALC890 CODEC. This is the latest sound CODEC from Realtek with support for 7.1 Surround Sound, High Definition Content Protection and an 110dBA. Realtek has taken to manufacturing CODECs with different names for different motherboard manufacturers. ASUS uses the ALC1200, ASRock the ALC 890 and so on. The ASRock board has a Realtek RTL8111DL PCI-E Gigabit LAN PHY which supports 10/100/1000Mb/second. Wake-On-LAN is supported.


ASRock X58 Extreme Motherboard Review ALC890

ALC890

ASRock X58 Extreme Motherboard Review DuraCaps

DuraCaps

ASRock X58 Extreme Motherboard Review ICS chip

ICS chip

ASRock X58 Extreme Motherboard Review Rear I/O

Rear I/O


Rear Panel I/O on any board is important as it determines what USB ports, external SATA ports and onboard sound jacks are on the board. ASRock's IO includes a PS/2 mouse port, a PS/2 Keyboard port, a Coaxial SPDIF Out port, an Optical SPDIF Out port, seven USB 2.0 ports, an external SATA port, a RJ45 LAN Port for the onboard Gigabit LAN, a Clear CMOS Switch and the 6 audio jacks for onboard LAN. The Clear CMOS Switch allows you to reset the BIOS without opening the computer.


ASRock X58 Extreme Motherboard Review Realtek Digital Output

Realtek Digital Output

ASRock X58 Extreme Motherboard Review Audio information

Audio information