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Onboard Devices

790i Ultra SLI Motherboards Compared

XFX nForce 790i Ultra (Revision 01)
Northbridge Nvidia nForce 790i Ultra SLI SPP
Southbridge Nvidia nForce 790i Ultra SLI MCP
Voltage Regulator Six Phases
BIOS P06 (06/25/2008)
333.3 MHz (FSB-1333) 333.3 MHz (+0.0%)
Clock Generator Nvidia
Connectors and Interfaces
Onboard 3x PCIe x16 (Transfer Modes: 2x 2.0, 1x 1.0)
2x PCIe x1
2x PCI
2x USB 2.0 (2 ports per connector)
1x IEEE-1394 FireWire
1x Serial Port header
1x Ultra ATA (2 drives)
7x Serial ATA 3.0 Gb/s
1x Front Panel Audio
1x Internal Power Button
1x Internal Reset Button
1x Fan 4 pins (CPU/Chassis)
4x Fan 3 pins (Chassis/Chipset)
IO panel 2x PS2 (keyboard + mouse )
2x Digital Audio Out (S/P-DIF optical + coaxial)
1x External SATA
1x IEEE-1394 FireWire
6x USB 2.0
6x Analog Audio Jack (7.1 ch. out, Mic+Line In)
2x RJ-45 Network
Mass Storage Controllers
nForce 790i MCP 6x SATA 3.0 Gb/s (RAID 0, 1, 0+1, 5, JBOD)
JMicron JMB362 PCI-E 1x eSATA + 1x SATA 3.0 Gb/s
2x Broadcom B5071A2KFBG PCI-E 2x Gigabit LAN Connection
Realtek ALC888S 7.1 + 2 channel Multi-Streaming Output
Texas Instruments TSB43AB22A PCI 2x IEEE-1394a (400 Mbit/s)

An otherwise typical high-end device list stands out only because the XFX nForce 790i Ultra has seven SATA ports and one eSATA port, rather than the expected 6+2 combination.

Rear panel connections include two PS/2 ports, coaxial and optical digital audio outputs, a single eSATA port, an IEEE-1394 FireWire port, six USB 2.0 ports, six analog audio jacks, and two Gigabit Ethernet ports.

The XFX nForce 790i Ultra is the second motherboard in today’s comparison to use the tiny JMicron JMB362 2-port SATA controller for eSATA. Below it is the oddly-placed internal connection to the same controller.

Defying conventional wisdom, the XFX nForce 790i Ultra uses solid capacitors for its Realtek ALC888S audio controller, and electrolytic capacitors in most other areas. The electrolytic capacitors are Samxon brand, a name that has earned a great deal of respect compared to other non-Japanese brands.

The XFX nForce 790i Ultra’s TSB43AB22A IEEE-1394 FireWire controller is hidden beneath a PCI Express x16 slot latch. In front of it, an old-fashioned socket-mounted BIOS ROM is easily replaced in the event of a bad flash.

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