A Walk About in SLS (4-3-2006)
The popular Sim Lim Square Walkabout is back by popular demand. Keep yourself updated with the latest and greatest in Singapore’s biggest IT shopping mall!
After a long break from this weekly section, today, VR-Zone returns to Sim
Lim Square – to bring you the latest and greatest from Singapore’s biggest IT
This week, we’ve spotted some interesting motherboards from Bell
Systems. These 2 Asrock boards that we’ve spotted carries some unique
features and of course, being Asrock, it’s definitely low in price, yet worth
very dollar you’ve paid for. The first board we’ve spotted is the Asrock
939SLI32-eSATA2. Being an board based on the ULi M1697 + M1695, like it’s
name suggests, supports NVIDIA’s Scalable Link Interface (SLi). This board
happens to also be the first ever board to give SLi solution, on a non-NVIDIA
based motherboard. The other features on this board doesn’t look too shabby:
eSATA2 function at 3.0GBps that is also hot-pluggable. 4 additional SATA 3.0GBps
that supports many RAID funtions like RAID 0, 1, 0+1, JBOD, and even RAID 5. All
this for a small price tag of just $ 175, making it one of the cheapest
available SLi enabled motherboard on shelves!
This is how the box packaging of the Asrock 939SLI32-eSATA2
looks like. It appears that Asrock uses generic packing for most of their
The label affixed on the packaging, with a summary of the key
features available on the motherboard.
This is the motherboard itself. 2 large heatsinks covers the
northbridge and the southbridge. Notice the slot that have a yellow sticker over
it? That’s actually a CPU upgrade slot. Once the new AMD AM2 socket appears,
Asrock will release an upgrade card that will allow users to use those new CPUs
on this motherboard. Future-proof eh?
The silk-screened label on the motherboard, indicating that
the motherboard we’ve found is a Rev 1.02 board.
This big bunch of jumpers is meant for the "CPU Future Upgrade
slot" By switching the jumper positions, the board will activate the slot when
the Upgrade card is slotted in.
Like the model name of this motherboard suggests, the Asrock
939SLI32-eSATA2 comes with an exernal SATA 3.0GBps port on the I/O connector.
The I/O connectors present on the board. Apart from the
standard PS2 and other legacy ports, there’s also Firewire ("A") and eSATA also.
It’s a pity that this board only supports 5 channel HD Audio, instead of the 8
channel most other boards have.
The 5 channel HD Audio is provided via this Realtek ALC660
The LAN connections on the board is controlled via this
Realtek RTL8111B chipset. This chipset supports 10/100/1000 MBps connections,
and works on the PCI Express lanes.
Of course, being SLi enabled, this board comes with the
crucial SLI bridge included in the package.