ASRock P43R1600Twins-WiFi Review :
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ASRock P43R1600Twins-WiFi Review

Date: 2009-2-27

   Bang for BuckTimes are certainly tough for the computer hardware industry. Sales of personal computers and PC components have fallen drastically, leaving vendors in an unenviable position of ha...

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Bang for Buck

Times are certainly tough for the computer hardware industry. Sales of personal computers and PC components have fallen drastically, leaving vendors in an unenviable position of having excess stock in their inventories. This in turn has forced many vendors to cease production or at least reduce them down to a more manageable level to keep costs in check. In doing so, they are also forced to impose shorter work weeks, or worse, job cuts. In fact, this is the exact scenario that is being played out in other industries. Hence, to fight this period of gloom, companies are focusing their energies on affordable, smarter, more value-for-money products. In that vein, ASRock here has a rather interesting product with its P43R1600Twins-WiFi.

This is our first review of a motherboard that is based on Intel's P43 chipset, so we thought it'll be good to run you through what's new and different. Basically, compared to the Intel P45 chipset, the only difference is that the P43 chipset only has a single PCIe 2.0 x16 slot, which means SLI or CrossFire configurations are out of the question. Everything else has remained largely unchanged, from the FSB support to the choice of an ICH10 class Southbridge.

ASRock P43R1600Twins-WiFi Review
As you can see the main difference the P43 and P45 chipsets is the absence of a secondary PCIe x16 slot. Multi-GPU setups are therefore impossible on a P43 based board.

Coming back to the ASRock P43R1600Twins-WiFi, the name itself gives a hint of what can be expected. Unsurprisingly, it is based on Intel's P43 chipset, supports up to 1600MHz FSB (when overclocked) and more interestingly, works with either DDR2 or DDR3 memory (though not at the same time) and comes with Wi-Fi support right out of the box via an add-on module. This isn't a new board, but since we've not yet ventured in to the P43 class of boards, we thought this period is an appropriate time to offer our readers motherboard options from this class. ASRrock has quite a reputation for churning out interesting cost optimized designs and as it is, this P43 board is looking rather good value for money. But before we elaborate further, here's a quick look at it:-

ASRock P43R1600Twins-WiFi Review
Here's the ASRock P43R1600Twins-WiFi. Its six DIMM slots allow it to work with both DDR2 and DDR3 memory, just not simultaneously, of course.

As you can see, apart for its six DIMM slots and single PCIe 2.0 x16 slot, the ASRock P43R1600Twins-WiFi looks mostly like your typical modern motherboard. Here's what came with this board followed by its technical specifications:-

  • 1 x 80-conductor Ultra ATA data cable
  • 1 x floppy drive data cable
  • 1 x SATA power converter cable
  • 4 x SATA data cable
  • 1 x S/PDIF cable
  • I/O shield
  • Driver CD
  • User manual

W-iFi accessories:

  • 1 x ASRock Wi-Fi-802.11g Module
  • 1 x Antennae
  • 1 x Wi-Fi bracket

ASRock P43R1600Twins-WiFi Specifications
CPU Support
  • Supportsall 65/45nm Intel LGA775processors (Conroe or later)
  • Quad-Core ready
  • Northbridge:Intel P43
    • 800/1066/1333/1600MHz front side bus
  • Southbridge: IntelICH10R
  • Supports 4unbuffered DIMM of 1.8 Volt DDR2 SDRAM
  • Supports up to 8GB memory size
  • 667/800/1066MHz dual channelDDR2 memoryarchitecture
  • Supports 2 unbuffered DIMM of 1.5 Volt DDR3 SDRAM
  • Supports up to 4GB memory size
  • 1066/1333MHz dual channel DDR3 memory architecture
  • Intel ICH10RSouthbridge
    • 6 x SATA3.0Gbpsinterface
    • Intel MatrixStorage Technology
    • Support AHCI controller with SATA RAID 0, RAID 1,RAID 5 and RAID 0+1
  • JMicron JMB368 PCIe to PATA controller
    • 1 x IDE connector supporting up to two ATA-133 IDEdevices
  • WinBond W83627DHG controller
    • 1 x floppy drive connector
  • IntelHigh DefinitionAudio
  • Realtek ALC890 CODEC
  • Realtek RTL8111C PCI Express Gigabit Ethernetcontroller
IEEE 1394 (FireWire)
  • VIA VT6308S FireWire controller
  • Up to 2 x IEEE1394aports @ 400 Mbps speed (1 x rear, 1 x header)
Rear I/O
  • 6 x USB 2.0ports
  • 1 x RJ45 LANport
  • 8-Channel Audio I/Oports
  • 1 xOptical S/PDIF output
  • 1 x Coaxial S/PDIF output
  • 1 x HD audio jack
  • 1x PS/2keyboard port
  • 1 x PS/2 mouse port
Internal Connectors
  • 1x Floppy connector
  • 1 x Ultra ATAIDE connector (supports 2 IDE devices)
  • 6 x SATAconnectors
  • 1 x eSATAII connector
  • 1 x HDMI_SPDIF header
  • 1 x DeskExpress Hot Plug Detection Header
  • 1 x WiFi header
  • 1 x COM port header
  • 2 x USB 2.0 headers
  • 24-pin ATX power connector
  • 8-pin 12V power connector
  • 1 x CPU/Chassis fan connector
Expansion Slots
  • 1 x PCIe x16 slot (PCI Express 2.0)
  • 3 x PCIe x1slot
  • 3 x PCI slots
Special Features
  • ASRock OC Tuner
  • Hybrid Booster
    • CPU Frequency Stepless Control
    • ASRock U-COP
    • Boot Failure Guard
  • ATX FormFactor, 12" x9.6"(30.5 x 24.4cm)

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