- Articles & News
- For IT Pros
- Your Opinion
|Northbridge||Intel X48 Express MCH|
|Voltage Regulator||Six Phases|
|333.3 MHz (FSB1333)||333.5 MHz (+0.05%)|
|Clock Generator||ICS 9LPRS916JGLF|
|Connectors and Interfaces|
|Onboard||2x PCIe x16|
|1x PCIe x1|
|2x USB 2.0 (2 ports per connector)|
|1x IEEE-1394 FireWire|
|1x Serial Port header|
|1x Ultra ATA (2 drives)|
|6x Serial ATA 3.0Gb/s*|
|1x Front Panel Audio|
|1x CD-Audio In|
|1x S/P-DIF Out|
|1x Fan 4 pins (CPU)|
|1x Fan 3 pins (Chassis)|
|IO panel||2x PS2 (keyboard + mouse )|
|1x RJ-45 Network|
|6x USB 2.0|
|2x External SATA*|
|1x IEEE-1394 FireWire|
|2x Digital Audio Out (S/P-DIF optical + coaxial)|
|6x Analog Audio (7.1 Channel + Mic-In + Line-In)|
|Mass Storage Controllers|
|Intel ICH9R||6x SATA 3.0Gb/s (RAID 0,1,5,10)|
|JMicron JMB368 PCI-E||1x Ultra ATA-133 (2-drives)|
|Realtek RTL8111C PCI-E||Gigabit LAN Connection|
|Realtek RTL8187L USB||802.11g/b Wireless Network Interface|
|Realtek ALC890B HD Audio Codec||7.1 Channel Directional Audio|
|VIA VT6308S PCI||2x IEEE-1394a (400 Mb/s)|
ASRock endows the X48TurboTwins-WiFi with a complete controller set typically expected of high-end motherboards, but differs from the norm by using a non-SATA add-in disk controller. Intel chipsets haven’t supported Ultra ATA devices since the P965, and ASRock would have likely left the board devoid of any add-in controller had this not been the case.
The X48TurboTwins-WiFi port panel provides PS/2 keyboard and mouse ports, coaxial and optical digital audio outputs, IEEE-1394 FireWire, six USB 2.0 ports, a single gigabit network port and six analog audio jacks. Two internal SATA to eSATA pass-through connections are also found here, but enabling these requires some very messy internal cabling.
ASRock chose JMicron’s JMB368 Ultra-ATA controller, rather than one that supports both Ultra-ATA and SATA. It uses one of the chipset’s six unallocated PCI-Express pathways to provide optimal performance…typically to slow devices such as a DVD burner.
Realtek’s RTL8111C uses PCI-Express to provide full bi-directional bandwidth to a single Gigabit Ethernet port. The motherboard’s single PCI-Express x1 slot and two third-party controllers use up only three of the chipset’s six “spare” lanes.
ASRock uses VIA’s ancient 6308 series FireWire controller to provide two IEEE-1394 ports. At 133MB/s, its PCI interface is more than fast enough to provide full performance for two 50MB/s (400 megabit) connections.
ASRock is the only company we know of to use Realtek’s ALC890B audio codec, which the company rates at a respectable 110db signal-to-noise ratio.
ASRock continues to use the AW-GA800BT mini-USB card previously found in Asus WiFi products to provide 802.11g/b wireless networking. Realtek’s RTL8187L controller does the job nicely.