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ASRock 775i915P-SATA2 (Intel 915P Express + ATI CrossFire)
By Zachary Chan
Category : Mainboard
Published by Vijay Anand on Saturday, 31st December, 2005
Rating : 4 out of 5 stars  


Introduction

ATI's CrossFire technology has been around for a little over half a year now, but there is still a lack of availability for both CrossFire graphics cards and CrossFire ready motherboards. While both the AMD and Intel camps have strong SLI support in the form of NVIDIA's nForce4 SLI family of chipsets, we only have a trickling supply of Radeon Xpress 200 CrossFire Edition motherboards up till now, but nothing available en masse. Intel has just launched their 975X Express chipset with native dual graphics and CrossFire support. However, it would still be a little while off before these boards populate the market as well. With all this waiting going on for CrossFire to take off with native support, it seems that motherboard manufacturers themselves are getting tired and have taken matters into their own hands. Using existing PCI Express chipsets and with a little modding, we're beginning to see dual graphics motherboards that have rudimentary support for CrossFire.

ASRock is one such manufacturer to come up with a motherboard touting CrossFire support. Their 775i915P-SATA2 is a very interesting board to say the least, not entirely because of its claimed CrossFire functionality, but because it is based on the much older (and very affordable) Intel 915P Express chipset. Not only that, the 775i915P-SATA2 is also one of the new motherboards manufactured under the European Union's RoHS (Restriction of the use of Certain Hazardous Substances) directive. Though the environmentally friendly directive would only come into effect July 2006, several motherboard manufacturers have begun switching their processes and material use to fully comply with RoHS standards.

The ASRock 775i915P-SATA2 CrossFire ready motherboard.

Like most budget motherboards, the 775i915P-SATA2 comes with a modest packaging bundle that included the following:-
  • 1 x SATA data cable
  • 1 x 80-conductor Ultra ATA data cable
  • 1 x SATA power converter cable
  • 1 x floppy drive data cable
  • I/O shield
  • Driver CD
  • User's manual

    Let's take a look at the rest of the specifications of the 775i915P-SATA2.

    ASRock 775i915P-SATA2 Technical Specifications
    CPU Support
    • Supports 90nm LGA775 processor package
    • Supports Intel Pentium 4 / Pentium 4 Extreme Edition
    • Supports Intel Celeron D
    • Intel Hyper-Threading Technology ready
    Chipset
    • North Bridge: Intel 915P Express 
      • 533 / 800MHz front side bus 
      • PCI Express x16 graphics 
      • Digital Media Interface (DMI) with 2GB/s bandwidth
    • South Bridge: Intel ICH6
      • Intel High Definition Audio 
      • Supports up to eight USB 2.0 ports 
      • Supports four PCI Express x1 lanes 
      • Supports four SATA ports
      • Single-channel Ultra ATA-100 IDE port 
      • Digital Media Interface (DMI) with 2GB/s bandwidth
    Memory
    • Supports DDR2-533 dual channel memory architecture  
      • Supports four unbuffered DIMMs of 1.8 Volt DDR2 SDRAM (4GB Max)
    • Supports DDR-400/333 dual channel memory architecture  
      • Supports two unbuffered DIMMs of 2.5 Volt DDR SDRAM (2GB Max)
    Storage
    • Intel ICH6 Southbridge 
      • 1 x Ultra ATA 33/66/100 (data transfer rate up to 100MB/sec.)
      • 4 x SATA (Serial ATA 1.5Gbps interface)
    • JMicron JMB360 SATA II controller
      • 1 x SATA II (Serial ATA II 3.0Gbps interface)
    Audio
    • Realtek ALC850 8-channel AC'97 2.3 CODEC
    Networking
    • Realtek RTL8110L PCI Fast Ethernet Controller
    I/O Interface
    • 1 x Floppy connector
    • 1 x Ultra ATA IDE connector
    • 5 x SATA connectors
    • 8 x USB 2.0 ports (4 x rear, 4 x header)
    • 1 x RJ45 LAN port
    • 8-Channel Audio I/O ports
    • 1 x CD-IN
    • 1 x 9-pin serial port
    • 1 x parallel port (SPP/EPP/ECP)
    • 1 x mini-DIN-6 PS/2 mouse port
    • 1 x mini-DIN-6 PS/2 keyboard port
    Expansion Slots
    • 1 x PCIe x16 slots, PCI Express Bus specification v1.0a compliant
    • 1 x PCIe x1 slots, PCI Express Bus specification v1.0a compliant
    • 1 x AGI Express slot (PCIe x1 to x4 configurable)
    • 3 x 32-bit PCI slots, PCI 2.3 compliant
    Special Features
    • ATI CrossFire Ready
    • ASRock U-COP
    • Boot Failure Guard
    PCB
    • ATX Form Factor, 12"x 9.6"(30.5cm x 24.4cm)


    Rear I/O panel has the standard fare of connectivity options including analog audio, LAN jack, USB 2.0 and legacy ports.
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