ASRock ALiveNF6G-DVI Motherboard ReviewMon, Dec 11, 2006 - 12:00 AM
The Layout: A Look At The Board
Our initial opinion of the layout of the board was pretty much the same as it was for the CONroe matx board. It is a pretty good layout, with just a few minor things that should be pointed out. From the overall appearance of the board, you can tell that it is a very clean layout, and even though the board is small in size, it really is not too difficult to work with.
Here on the top half of the board, we can see the CPU socket right in the middle of the board. This socket is placed in such a way that there was no hindrance in installing our water cooling setup. Just next to the CPU socket, you can see the DIMM slots. The board supports four DDR2 DIMM modules in Dual Channel DDRII configuration. It supports DDRII800/667/533 dividers, and has a maximum capacity of 8GB.
Just to the top left of the CPU socket (bottom left of the picture) we see the 4 pin power connector. This is a great placement on the board, as it is on the edge and out of the way, making for easy wire management. To the right of the 4-pin connector, we have our 20-pin power connector. This is pretty much the same placement that we saw on the CONroe version of the board, and is just an awkward position, as it sits nearly right in the middle of the board, potentially causing issues with cable management and cooling of the system.
On the bottom half of the board, we see our small heatsink on the chipset. This seemed to be just fine for the cooling of the chipset, especially considering that none of the voltages can be adjusted. To the right of the chipset, we see our four SATA connections on the board. These SATA connectors are SATA2 compliant, and support 3.0 Gb/s, RAID (RAID 0, 1, RAID 0+1, RAID 5, JBOD), NCQ, and “Hot Plug” functions. Underneath the SATA connectors, we have have some USB header pins and the front panel I/O connectors. To the left of the chipset, we see our pci/pcie and HDMR connectors. As you can see, there is one x16 pcie slot, two pci legacy slots, one pcie slot, and one HDMR slot. The DVI add-on card fits right into the front part of the x16 slot. This is also a good angle to see how close the 20-pin power connector is to the x16 pcie slot. Also, this is how the DVI adaptor card looks when installed:
Lan is powered by the Giga PHY Realtek RTL8211B controller, which supports Gigabit LAN and 10/100/1000 Mb/s speeds.
Audio is powered by the Realtek ALC888 7.1 channel CODEC which supports High Definition Audio. This is a pretty common choice on boards these days.
On the back I/O panel, we have our typical legacy connectors, such as our PS/2 mouse and keyboard and parallel connectors. We also have our VGA connection here, as well as four USB connectors, our lan connectors, and then all of our audio jacks as well. Nothing real fancy here.