ASRock 4Core1333-eSATA2 R5.0 Intel P31 Motherboard Review

Motherboards/Intel S775 by SidneyWong @ 2007-09-11

ASRock introduces another new board 4Core 1333-eSATA2 using the newly released Intel P31 chipset in succession only days after the release of 4Core 1333-Viiv P965 main board. Can this board outperform and beat the P965 in performance and price? Let´s find out.

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BIOS & Settings


If you like surprises, this board may satisfy you. If you are the kind of guys who don’t read the manual ahead of time, this board will definitely surprise you…….

The BIOS is once again simple enough; similar to the 4Core1333-Viiv and lack some of the features yet added some unusual ones that we have not seen for awhile.

Some of the consistency I mentioned earlier applies to ASRock BIOS not having CPU, Memory and chipset voltage adjustments changed slightly this time. The current BIOS does provide voltage for memory but not CPU. This is a very positive step; let's hope the next will be some CPU voltage tweak.

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Screen Shot 1, 2, 3, 4 (Click to Enlarge)

Screen shot 4 above: Voltage values are not shown, ASRock provides the value for memory below:

VCCM - Memory Voltage; [High (1.99V), Middle (1.90V), Low (1.81V), Lowest (1.72V)] not much but a good start.

The other high/low toggle switches are likely to compensate for production variables.

Set FSB 1,2 and 3 jumpers before starting the system as explained at bottom of the page. Set type of HDD as listed below. Otherwise, the BIOS setting is rather straight forward. Note: there is no “Command Rate” settings for memory.

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Screen Shot 5,6,7,8,9 (Click to Enlarge)

Set SATA Drive as "IDE" for SATA HDD (Screen shot 7), IDE HDD does not require special setting. RAID driver is in the CD driver diskette.

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FSB 1 & 2 jumpers are located next to the board main power connector; 1 is on top, there is no marking on the board. FSB 3 is located north of AGI PCIe slot.

It all looks complicated; in simple English by choosing the word "overclocking" that ASRock does not want to use. It simply implies to:

1) Using memory meeting CPU requirement: PC4200 for 1066FSB CPU such as E6000 series (except E6X50 series) is the default, you don't need to do anything.

2) If you plan on overclocking the CPU and know the FSB it can achieve. Pick the memory that will match 1:1 ratio. CPU FSB at 400Mhz and higher; set the jumpers to 1066 using PC6400 memory. (if you know your memory overclocked speed do so accordingly.

Bottom line, if you plan on >333FSB, set the jumpers to 1066 for 1:1 ratio. Below 333FSB and knowing your memory can reach ~410 MHz set the jumpers to 800 to arrive 4:5 ratio.

Overclocking is next ->
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Comment from Nessmaster @ 2007/09/11
You just love ASRock boards, don't you jmke? But I gata say, they are cheap and work well.
Comment from jmke @ 2007/09/12
Sidney is doing an excellent job at covering these ASRock boards, features, performance, overclocking and value, surely gives you an idea what they are capable of, what you can expect for your money; which is more than I thought, overclocking is almost complete with addition of vcore control
Comment from Sidney @ 2007/09/12

If you don't already know, enabling Intel SpeedStep in BIOS and the use of Notebook Hardware Control set to Dynamic switching, OC'ed system runs at a low of 6x multi to CPU default saving a few dollars on electricity.
Comment from Sidney @ 2007/11/13
Bios version P1.2 and 1.1 support Yorkfield 45nm Penryn. But, there won't be much OCing, 366FSB is max'ed out.