Many have been looking forward to the arrival of the first ULi chipset retail motherboards since our review of the ULi Reference boards. In the first Reference board review and the updated second ULi Reference, we found uncompromised performance with both the PCIe and AGP 8X graphics slots. This is very good news for owners of high-end AGP 8X graphics cards, since for the first time they can buy a board that will run their AGP at full speed now, with provisions for a PCIe video card upgrade in the future. Since we have found no real performance difference in PCIe and AGP cards of the same type, the ULi M1695/M1567 chipset provides fresh new options for many end users.

ASRock, the value line manufactured by Asus, has a long history with the ALi chipsets that were the forerunner of the current ULi chipsets, so it came as no surprise when ASRock was first to retail with the 939Dual-Sata2. Frankly, we really hoped to see a ULi board from Abit or another enthusiast brand (rather than a "value" brand) built around the ULi chipset. Some of these are coming, according to sources at ULi, but the shipping ASRock 939Dual-Sata2 is starting to appear in markets around the world. As you will see in our closer look, the ASRock is much better than we expected, and it adds a couple of features for the future that weren't even on the ULi Reference boards.

Board Layout: ASRock 939Dual-Sata2
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  • Marlin1975 - Wednesday, September 7, 2005 - link

    Just be careful. Asrock rarely upadtes their BIOS, has no support, etc... So if there is a problem, you better fix it yourself. Reply
  • nemesismk2 - Friday, September 9, 2005 - link

    Everything you have said is not true, I have owned a asrock k7s8x, asrock k7s8xe+, asrock k8 upgrade 760 gx and now a asrock 939 dual sata 2. I have found their support to be excellent and they only release bios updates when they are needed which is not often because their motherboards are very reliable. My first asrock motherboard the k7s8x was purchased in 2003 and it is still in use today and running perfectly. Reply
  • Googer - Wednesday, September 7, 2005 - link

    Dear Wesley,


    Can AGP and PCI-express video cards run side by side in the same motherboard at the same time? Could I 2 PCI-express cards and my AGP 9700pro all at the same time for some Triple monotor action?

    Thanks.
    Reply
  • FriedRiceBob - Thursday, September 8, 2005 - link

    There are uli 1695 boards that do support that (their reference board, for instance), however this asrock board only has (1) PCIe x16 port.

    Also, while running a setup with multiple cards, you would probably want only chipsets from one company, to minimize driver troubles (an ATI PCIe card to go with your 9700)
    Reply
  • FriedRiceBob - Thursday, September 8, 2005 - link

    erp.

    I just glanced back at the reference board review, and the feat was achieved through the use of a riser card out of the x16 slot, covering the AGP slot in the process.

    ULi touts a "triple graphics interface" meaning PCIe, AGP8x, and PCI, I am unsure of the compatability with an SLI + AGP setup, but I'm sure some inventful motherboard manufacturer will put it into practice if it's feasible
    Reply
  • touchmyichi - Wednesday, September 7, 2005 - link

    looks awesome! Perfect timing since my Neo 2 just bit it. Reply

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