The A|SRock 4Core1333-Viiv motherboard certainly has a clean look to it. ASRock has kept their familiar blueish tint for the PCB. The board has a few issues though, well, maybe more pet peeves, but we will point them out nonetheless. Let’s get started…
The top right of the board is where we find our dimm slots. This board supports up to 8GB of DDRII memory in dual channel configuration at speeds of 533/667/800DDRII. Right next to the dimm slots we see our IDE connector.
The bottom right of the board is where we find our ICH8DH southbridge. ASRock has chosen to cool it wiht a small aluminum heatsink, which seems to do just fine. Under the southbridge is where we find our SATA connectors. These are handled by the southbridge, and are SATAII compliant. They also support RAID in 0, 1, 10, 5 and Intel Matrix storage configurations. They are also support NCQ, AHCI and Hot Plug functions. There is one orange connector on the board, which is a shared SATA port with the eSATA port that is found on the back I/O ports that we will see in a moment. Here is a close up of the SATA connectors and the front panel pins. There are also USB headers on this part of the board.
The bottom left of the board is where we find the placement of our PCI/PCI-E slots. The ASRock 4Core1333-Viiv has three legacy PCI slots, one x1 PCI-E slot, one PCI-E x16 slot and one AGI Express slot (PCI-E x4). This board is capable of running a Crossfire setup with two Crossfire capable ATi video cards. A close-up of the sticker that comes on the secondary PCI-E slot…
Your audio chips is also located on this part of the board. ASRock chose to go with the Realtek ALC888 chip, which supports 7.1 channel HD audio.
Gigabit Lan is provided by the Giga PHY Intel 82566DC lan chip.
The top left of the board is where we find our CPU socket. This board boasts the ability to support Quad-core Intel chips, as well as fsb settings of up to 1333fsb in overclocking mode. The northbridge is cooled by a large aluminum heatsink, which also seemed just fine for our testing.
As you can see, the 20-pin power connector is just to the left of the northbridge. This is a pet peeve of mine (and many others), but this placement is lousy. Being nearly in the middle of the board makes it difficult for clean wire routing of your system, and just really gets in the way. Right next to it is a 4-pin molex connector that is used to supply extra power when running a Crossfire setup. This is also a pretty poor placement. They should both be on the edge of the board.
The back I/O port includes your typical legacy PS/2 keyboard and mouse connections, as well as a legacy serial and parallel ports. There are four USB ports, a lan port, firewire port, eSATA port and six audio jacks.