Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

Onboard Devices

X48 Motherboard Comparison, Part 2
By
ECS X48T-A (Revision 1.0)
Northbridge Intel X48 Express MCH
Southbridge Intel ICH9R
Voltage Regulator Six Phases
BIOS 04/28/2008
333.3 MHz (FSB1333) 332.9 MHz (-0.13%)
Clock Generator ICS 9LPRS926EGLF
Connectors and Interfaces
Onboard 2x PCIe x16 (Modes : Two x16 : One x4/x1)
2x PCIe x1
2x PCI
3x USB 2.0 (2 ports per connector)
1x Floppy
1x Ultra ATA (2 drives)
6x Serial ATA 3.0Gb/s
1x Front Panel Audio
1x CD-Audio In
1x IrDA
1x Fan 4 pins (CPU)
1x Fan 3 pins (Chassis)
IO panel 2x PS2 (keyboard + mouse )
1x Serial Port
2x Digital Audio Out (S/P-DIF Coaxial, Optical)
1x Digital Audio In (S/P-DIF Coaxial)
6x USB 2.0
1x External SATA
2x RJ-45 Network
5x Analog Audio (7.1 or 5.1 ch. out, 2 or 4 ch. in)
Mass Storage Controllers
Intel ICH9R 6x SATA 3.0Gb/s (RAID 0,1,5,10)
JMicron JMB361 PCI-E 1x Ultra ATA-133 (2-drives)
1x External SATA 3.0Gb/s
Network
Intel 82566DC (GLCI) PHY Gigabit LAN Connection
Realtek RTL8111B PCI-E Gigabit LAN Connection
Audio
Realtek ALC888S HD Audio Codec 7.1 + 2 channel Multi-Streaming Output

What’s missing from the onboard device list ? High-end buyers have come to expect IEEE-1394 FireWire controllers, yet most don’t have any devices to connect to these. Designed for high-bandwidth peripherals, the most frequently found devices that still use these connectors are Sony video cameras. If you ever need one of these ports you’ll regret not having it, but most users never require them.

x48 motherboard comparisonx48 motherboard comparison

With FireWire not included, ECS instead provides a legacy serial port to fill the empty space on its port panel. We’d have preferred a second External SATA port (eSATA) instead, but ECS chose to use JMicron’s single-SATA plus Ultra ATA model JMB361 controller, rather than the more frequently picked JMB363.

x48 motherboard comparisonx48 motherboard comparison

One nice added feature of the X48T-A is its digital audio input, which we’ve not seen on many boards recently. The digital output is provided with both coaxial and optical connectors.

Five analog audio jacks support 5.1 surround plus microphone and line inputs, but 7.1 surround can be configured by disabling one of the inputs. This isn’t a significant loss, since the average user will employ the front panel header for their microphone.

x48 motherboard comparisonx48 motherboard comparison

Rated at a 97db signal-to-noise ratio, the ALC888S provides a total of 10 analog output channels. Users can output 7.1 surround signals to speakers while listening to a separate stream through their headphones.

x48 motherboard comparisonx48 motherboard comparison

ECS uses Intel’s high-end 82566DC GLCY PHY to access the ICH9R integrated gigabit networking capability, which is usually a smart move to conserve PCI-Express lanes. It appears, however, that the X48T-A actually has extra lanes left over.

x48 motherboard comparisonx48 motherboard comparison

The second Gigabit Ethernet port is provided by Realtek’s RTL8111B PCI-Express controller chip. Between this controller, the Ultra ATA/eSATA controller and the two x1 slots ; only four of the ICH9R’s six available PCI-Express lanes are used.

React To This Article