ASrock 939Dual-SATA2 ULi M1695 Conclusion 8/8
At last, ASrock 939Dual-SATA2 has delivered its promise - the first mainboard based on the killer chipset - ULi M1695. As we all know, ASrock has been delivering good quality and yet affordable boards targeting the masses.
After spending some time with the board and working out issues together with ASrock staff, we are proud to unveil this new product of ASrock. First of all, in the performance department, it actually has amazing results when compared to other chipsets. Although it didn't sweep as the top performer in every category, we can see that the performance is not far or in fact superior in some cases against the big players out there. In the past, we have seen boards supporting AGP by deriving the bandwidth from the PCI bus, this method is slow and is a major bottleneck. The 939Dual-SATA2 based on the ULi M1695 solution breaks this myth that you can't have the best of both worlds on the same board at performance levels that are comparable or even better than existing AGP or PCI-E solutions. The best of all is you can even do surround video connecting up to 6 screens playing Quake 3 or Flight Simulator.
Features wise, the 939Dual-SATA2
has some unique feature. As it is based on the M1695+M1567 pair, it supports
native AGP and PCIe, the board also supports all Athlon
64 X2, FX, Sempron processors. ASrock bundled in a Jmicron chip to add on as a
third SATA port which supports SATA II with NCQ. On top of all this, it supports
the upgrade allowing future Socket M2 processor. The downside is there is
no HD Audio and GbE.
[Update - 10 Aug
2005] We have received a new BIOS and were trying out the overclocking
possibilities. Firstly, we lowered the multiplier to 6x (8x was lowest in
previous BIOS). We wanted to see how far we can push the CLK. With the new BIOS,
i can now achieve 6 x 350 (350 CPUclk speed). HTT is set to 3x (600), MA
timing 2T, Ram running at a ASync DDR 200 mode. That is to say, if the CPU CLK
runs at 400HTT, then the ram will run at 200MHz. In this case, our ram is
running at 350/2 or 175MHz at
In another test, we tried to run the CPU:RAM at 1:1. To achieve that, we ran the system at 300 x 8. Memory is set to run at CAS 2.5, 8-4-4. Thus our Corsair ram is actually at DDR600, HTT (CPU->NB) is set to 3x (600MHz). MA Timing is 2T. 3Dmark2005 runs fine but SuperPI aborted with an error message. A run of SiSoft Sandra 2005 shows memory score is right at ~ 6800/6800.
For those who intends to overclock, you will need to set the new ram timings, voltage etc in the BIOS followed by a Save and Exit. If it does not reboot, you have to turn off the power. When you power it back on, it will boot up with the new CPUCLK x multiplier and ram timing.
In conclusion, I think this board will appeal to users who still owns high end AGP cards and don't intend to upgrade to PCIe. Although the board may not have everything, it does have very unique and nice features that no other companies can offer right now. OCW gives it two awards - Product Excellence and Product Innovation.
Here are my ratings out of 10 stars.
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