17 ASRock ConRoeXFire eSATA2 Motherboard Review

The Intel Core 2 Duo that is about to be launched is making big headlines for those who keep up with the tech buzz for it’s impressive big step-ahead performance. Interest is not just generated from a by-standers’ position but a lot from an eager purchaser, thanks to the very attractive and affordable pricing of the lower-end models such as the E6300 and E6400.
There is one motherboard that can complete the budget upgraders’ kit. ASRock brings about the first 945P motherboard to support Intel Core 2 Duo in the world, with ATi Cross-Fire support to boot!

The Intel Core 2 Duo that is about to be launched is making big headlines for
those who keep up with the tech buzz for it’s impressive big step-ahead
performance. Interest is not just generated from a by-standers’ position but a
lot from an eager purchaser, thanks to the very attractive and affordable
pricing of the lower-end models such as the E6300 and E6400. Switching to Core 2
Duo would however inflict a need to search for a new motherboard, and right now
most supporting boards hover in the USD$ 240 (SGD$ 400) range.

There is one motherboard that can complete the budget upgraders’ kit however.
ASRock has been gaining popularity for it’s wallet-friendly and feature-rich
solutions on the Desktop Motherboards frontier. Core 2 Duo matching up with
Intel 975 and 965 chipset solutions is commonplace…. but with Intel 945P
chipset? ASRock brings about the first 945P motherboard to support Intel Core 2
Duo in the world!

1 ASRock ConRoeXFire eSATA2 Motherboard Review

ASRock ConRoeXFire-eSATA2 Motherboard

Flashing the main key draw features blatantly in the name itself makes for
good advertising and selling, but for ease of conversation, let us call it the
ASRock CRXF 945P.

3 ASRock ConRoeXFire eSATA2 Motherboard Review

ASRock pins the features of the motherboard proudly on the front of the box,
to the point whereby it looks like a seasoned war veteran with all the medals.
As seen on the box, this motherboard supports ATi dual display card Cross-Fire
configurations through it’s own drivers, remarkable feat when most motherboards
based on the 965P chipset don’t.

4 ASRock ConRoeXFire eSATA2 Motherboard Review

5 ASRock ConRoeXFire eSATA2 Motherboard Review

The simple look of the motherboard… You pick out the 4 DDRII Memory slots
supporting up to a maximum capacity of 4GB.

18 ASRock ConRoeXFire eSATA2 Motherboard Review

CPU

- LGA 775 for Intel® Dual Core Pentium® D / Pentium® 4 / Celeron® D, supporting Core™ 2 Duo Desktop (Conroe), Presler and Cedar Mill processors
– FSB 1066/800/533 MHz
– Supports Hyper-Threading Technology
– Supports Untied Overclocking Technology
– Supports EM64T CPU

Chipset

- Northbridge: Intel® 945P
– Southbridge: Intel® ICH7R

Hybrid
Booster

- CPU Frequency Stepless Control
– ASRock U-COP
– Boot Failure Guard (B.F.G.)

Memory

- Dual Channel DDRII memory technology
– 4 x DDRII DIMM slots
– Supports DDRII 667/533
– Max. capacity: 4GB

Slots

- Supports ATI CrossFire™
– 3 x PCI slots
– 1 x PCI Express x 16 slot
– 1 x AGI Express slot (PCI Express x 4)
– 1 x PCI Express x 1 slot

Graphics

- n/a

Audio

- Realtek ALC888 7.1channel CODEC with High Definition Audio

LAN

- Gigabit LAN 10/100/1000 Mb/s
– PCIE x 1 Realtek RTL8111B
– Supports Wake-On-LAN

Connector

- 4 x Serial ATAII 3.0 Gb/s connectors, support RAID (RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 10, RAID 5 and Intel® Matrix Storage), NCQ, AHCI and “Hot Plug” functions
– 2 x eSerial ATAII 3.0 Gb/s connectors (shared with 2 SATAII ports), support “Hot Plug” function
– 1 x ATA100 IDE connector (supports 2 x IDE devices)
– 1 x Floppy connector
– 1 x IR header
– 1 x Game header
– 1 x HDMI_SPDIF header
– 2 x IEEE 1394 headers
– CPU/Chassis FAN connectors
– 20 pin ATX power connector
– 4 pin 12V power connector
– SLI/XFire power connector
– CD in header
– Front panel audio connector
– 3 x USB 2.0 headers (support 6 USB 2.0 ports)

Rear Panel I/O

ASRock 8CH_eSATAII I/O
– 1 x PS/2 Mouse Port
– 1 x PS/2 Keyboard Port
– 1 x COM Port
– 1 x Parallel Port (ECP/EPP Support)
– 2 x Ready-to-Use USB 2.0 Ports
– 2 x eSATAII Ports
– 1 x RJ-45 LAN Port
– HD Audio Jack: Side Speaker / Rear Speaker / Central / Bass / Line in
/ Front Speaker / Microphone

BIOS Feature

- 4Mb AMI BIOS
– AMI Legal BIOS
– Supports “Plug and Play”
– ACPI 1.1 Compliance Wake Up Events
– Supports jumperfree
– SMBIOS 2.3.1 Support

Support CD

- Drivers, Utilities, AntiVirus Software (Trial Version)

Hardware Monitor

- CPU Temperature Sensing
– Chassis Temperature Sensing
– CPU Overheat Shutdown to Protect CPU Life
– CPU Fan Tachometer
– Chassis Fan Tachometer
– CPU Quiet Fan
– Voltage Monitoring: +12V, +5V, +3.3V, CPU Vcore

Accessories

- Quick Installation Guide, Support CD, I/O Shield
– Floppy/ATA 100 cables
– 4 x SATA data cables (optional)
– 2 x SATA 1 to 1 power cables (optional)
– 1 x HDMI_SPDIF cable (optional)
– 1 x USB+1394 bracket

Form
Factor

- ATX Form Factor: 12.0-in x 8.6-in, 30.5 cm x 21.8 cm

OS

- Microsoft® Windows® 2000/XP/XP 64-bit/Vista™ compliant

Certifications

- FCC, CE, WHQL

So how about it? Full featured yes? Let’s start with the BIOS Menu!