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Onboard Devices

X48 Motherboard Comparison, Part 2
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ASRock X48TurboTwins-WiFi (Revision 1.02)
Northbridge Intel X48 Express MCH
Southbridge Intel ICH9R
Voltage Regulator Six Phases
BIOS P1.00 (04/29/2008)
333.3 MHz (FSB1333) 333.5 MHz (+0.05%)
Clock Generator ICS 9LPRS916JGLF
Connectors and Interfaces
Onboard 2x PCIe x16
1x PCIe x1
3x PCI
2x USB 2.0 (2 ports per connector)
1x IEEE-1394 FireWire
1x Serial Port header
1x Floppy
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)
Network
Realtek RTL8111C PCI-E Gigabit LAN Connection
Realtek RTL8187L USB 802.11g/b Wireless Network Interface
Audio
Realtek ALC890B HD Audio Codec 7.1 Channel Directional Audio
FireWire
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.

x48 motherboard comparison

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.

x48 motherboard comparison

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.

x48 motherboard comparison

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.

x48 motherboard comparison

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.

x48 motherboard comparison

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.

x48 motherboard comparison

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.

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