Basic Features: ASRock 939SLI-32 eSATA2

Specification ASRock 939SLI32-eSATA2
CPU Interface 939-Pin Socket supporting AMD Athlon 64 / 64FX / 64X2
Chipset ULi M1695 - North Bridge
ULi M1697 - South Bridge
Bus Speeds 150MHz ~ 400MHz in 1MHz increments
CPU Clock Multiplier Auto, 4x ~ 25x in 1x increments
Memory Speeds Auto, 133MHz, 166MHz, 200MHz
PCI Bus Speeds Auto, Sync with PCI-E, 33.33MHz ~ 37.50MHz variable speed
PCI Express Bus Speeds Auto, 75MHz ~ 200MHz in various increments
HT Multipliers Auto, 200MHz, 400MHZ, 600MHz, 800MHz, 1000MHz
HT Link Speed Auto, 8-bit, 16-bit
Core Voltage Auto, 0.800V to 1.400V (in 0.025V increments), (max voltage dependent upon CPU)
DRAM Voltage Auto, 2.55V, 2.6V, 2.7V, 2.8V (Low, Normal, High, Ultra)
Chipset Voltage Auto, 2.10V, 2.20V (Normal, High)
Memory Slots (4) x DIMM, max. 4GB, DDR 400/333/266, non-ECC, un-buffered memory, Dual Channel Operation supported.
Expansion Slots (2) x PCI-E x16 (each slot operates in 1x16 mode)
(1) x PCI-E x4 (operates in x1 or x2 mode)
(3) x PCI 2.2
(1) x AM2 CPU port
Onboard SATA ULi M1697: (4) x SATA II , (2) eSATA II (shared with SATA II)
Onboard IDE ULi M1697: (2) x UltraDMA 133/100/66/33
SATA/IDE RAID ULi M1697:
(4) x SATA II
RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 0+1, RAID 5, JBOD
Onboard USB 2.0 (8) USB2.0 ports (four ports, two headers for four more ports)
Onboard LAN Realtek RTL8111B PCI-E 10/100/1000Mb/s LAN - PHY
Onboard Audio Realtek ALC-660, 5.1 channel capable HD Audio Codec
Onboard Firewire TI TSB43AB22 IEEE 1394 chipset - 1394A capable
Power Connectors 20-pin ATX
4-pin ATX 12V
4-pin 12V SLI
Back Panel I/O Ports 1 x PS/2 Keyboard
1 x PS/2 Mouse
1 x Parallel (ECP/EPP)
1 x Serial (COM1)
1 x Audio I/O Panel
1 x RJ45 LAN 4 x USB 2.0
2 x eSATA II
1x IEEE 1394
Other Features Hybird Booster - Overclocking Engine
Boot Failure Guard - Overclocking Safe Guard
United Overclocking Program - Fixed PCI-E and PCI speeds
Hardware Monitor - BIOS Based
Windows Vista Ready
ROHS Compliant
BIOS AMI 1.0 (2/06/06)

The ASRock 939SLI32-eSATA2 is a member of the Socket 939 Series product family and is a value-based board targeted towards the enthusiast user. The board ships with an accessory package that includes the standard assortment of IDE/SATA cables and power connectors. ASRock also includes an extensive driver CD along with desktop utilities.

This is the BIOS setup utility screen, which displays the change configuration categories available on the board.

This is the Advanced BIOS category main screen that contains all of the subcategories available for setup.

The CPU configuration section allows you to set individual parameters manually for voltage, multipliers, and chipset frequency settings. Unfortunately, one of the few issues that we had with the board was the limited CPU voltage settings. The system would not allow a setting over 1.4V for our 4000+ or Opteron 170 CPU choices. The Boot Failure Guard option is a BIOS recovery setting that allows the system to recover from errant overclocking settings. The system worked superbly as we never had to use the clear CMOS jumper.

The CPU Configuration screen also contains the section for controlling memory timing adjustments. The BIOS allows for an Auto setting that will set the memory to the SPD settings or you can adjust the memory timings manually. The Flexibility Option will override the manual settings based upon the ability of the system to operate properly at the requested memory settings. We typically found in our testing that the system would adjust the memory clock settings based upon the latency settings utilized.

The Memory Clock settings are fairly limited on the board with the Auto setting providing an adjusted ratio dependent upon the manual memory settings and bus speeds. The other three memory settings will lock the given memory ratio to the CPU clock.

The Chipset Settings configuration screen allows you to adjust the North and South Bridge link speed and width settings. The voltage adjustments for memory and chipset are also available on this screen. The memory voltage was only adjustable up to 2.8V that definitely played a role in our overclocking results along with the limited CPU voltage settings. We also do not like the memory and chipset settings being alpha instead of numerically based.

Index ASRock 939SLI32-eSATA2: Features
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  • chesss - Tuesday, March 07, 2006 - link

    quote:

    . We also have to wonder about the inclusion of the AM2 CPU upgrade slot that seems more like a marketing gimmick than something that will be useful in the future.
    hmm I was hoping for a more definite answer from anandtech about this. Anybody else?
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Tuesday, March 07, 2006 - link

    What type of information are you looking for at this time? We have seen prototype AM2 daughter cards but have not been able to test a card yet due to ongoing engineering changes. Although the daughter card will have direct HT access through the M1695 chipset, we have to wonder how well ASRock will be able to optimize the DDR2 memory performance. The daughter card will also limit cooling options available for the CPU choice. The other variable will be cost and if you are upgrading to AM2 then the additional cost of a motherboard in this category should not be an issue. When all is said and done we still think this is a marketing driven feature and not a viable engineering solution for most users. Reply
  • itroxx - Wednesday, March 08, 2006 - link

    Hello everybody,

    I'am also looking for a new system for mainly video editing. Working with Premiere, MPEG2 encoding and DVD authoring. Thats why I found this review cause the AsRock seems the only board available with SATA2-Raid capabilities right now. But I am not sure about how much SATA2 drives can be attached. Is it possible to attach one SATA2 drive for the system and build a Raid0 of two more SATA2 drives? For what reason are the SATA connector on the rear panel?

    The components I've selected at this point are

    AMD Athlon64 X2 3800+ 2x2000MHz 2x512kB Box E4-Stepping
    Asrock 939SLI32-eSATA2 S939 ATX
    2x 1024 Corsair DDR400
    1x Samsung 80GB SATA2 (System)
    2x Samsung 250GB SATA2 (Raid0)
    256MB PCIe x16 ATI RADEON X1300 PRO

    What do you think of my selection? What type of power suply do I need?
    Is 400 Watt enough?

    thanks a lot and greetings from germany
    Daniel
    Reply
  • Redrider - Thursday, March 09, 2006 - link

    Although my expertise is much lower than most of the people on this forum, there are a few things I have gleaned from my experience and research. Here are a couple of suggestion:

    You want the best you can get for the money you spend so as for the processor (I am seriously considering an X2 3800+ myself) I would go for the http://www.amdcompare.com/us-en/desktop/details.as...">ADA3800DAA5CD
    which has the E6 stepping which is a newer revision based on http://www.techpowerup.com/articles/overclocking/2...">this article

    Also, I would boost your power supply. You are spending some serious cash and I don't think skimping on the PS is wise. 400W seems pretty small and I would go with big power overhead just to be sure.
    Reply
  • UJMA - Saturday, March 04, 2006 - link

    The people who invariably buy SLi enabled boards are gamers, and gamers love to OVERCLOCK! unfortunately Asrock have provided this board with a feeble set of voltage options, both the Vdimm & Vcore voltage options are pathetic. No problem, if you're handy with a soldering iron as I'm pretty sure some voltage mods will eventually show up for entusiasts. Probably a better option would be to wait for Epox to launch their new EP-9U1697 GLI mobo based on the same ULi M1697 chipset, you'll get SLi with better overclocking options for a similar outlay! Reply
  • Gary Key - Saturday, March 04, 2006 - link

    quote:

    Probably a better option would be to wait for Epox to launch their new EP-9U1697 GLI mobo based on the same ULi M1697 chipset, you'll get SLi with better overclocking options for a similar outlay!


    We just happen to have that board available for testing now. :)
    Reply
  • UJMA - Friday, March 24, 2006 - link

    2 great reviews on boards using the ULi M1697 chipset. In the red corner we have the Asrock 939SLI32-eSATA2, in the blue corner we have the EPoX EP-9U1697-GLi ... I'm going for the Epox board. Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Saturday, March 04, 2006 - link

    Keep in mind the Epox is dual x8 using a single M1697 chipset, while the ASROCK is an amazing dual x16. If dual x8 is enough for you though, the Epox should be an interesting board. Reply
  • UJMA - Saturday, March 04, 2006 - link

    I was looking at the Epopx website specs ...

    "Two PCI Express (x16) connector compliant with PCI Express 1.0a"

    http://www.epox.com.tw/eng/products_content.php?ps...">http://www.epox.com.tw/eng/products_content.php?ps...
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Saturday, March 04, 2006 - link

    There are two physical x16 connectors on the Epox board but they are electrically x8 lanes in SLI mode. The ASRock 939SLI32 has the same physical x16 connectors but electrically they are x16 lanes in SLI mode. Reply

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