The AMD A88X chipset is a single-chip solution. This chip supports eight SATA-600 ports with RAID (0, 1, 10, and 5). On the ASUS A88X-PRO, two of them were placed on the rear panel as eSATA-600 ports, leaving six SATA-600 ports available.
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Figure 4: SATA-600 ports
The AMD A88X chipset supports 10 USB 2.0 ports and four USB 3.0 ports. The ASUS A88X-PRO offers 10 USB 2.0 ports, two soldered on the rear panel and eight available through four headers located on the motherboard; and six USB 3.0 ports, four located on the motherboard rear panel and two available on a header located on the motherboard. The two extra USB 3.0 ports on the rear panel are provided by an ASMedia ASM1024 chip.
The ASUS A88X-PRO does not have FireWire ports.
This motherboard supports 7.1+2 audio format, i.e., eight channels plus two independent channels for audio streaming. On this motherboard, the audio is generated by the chipset using the Realtek ALC1150 codec, which is an excellent audio codec, providing 115 dB signal-to-noise ratio for the analog outputs, 104 dB signal-to-noise ratio for the analog inputs, and up to 192 kHz sampling rate for both inputs and outputs, with 24-bit resolution. These specifications are good even for the user who wants to professionally capture and edit analog audio (e.g., converting LPs to CDs or MP3, converting VHS to DVDs or any other digital format, etc.)
The motherboard also comes with an on-board optical SPDIF output. It also has a header labeled “SPDIF_OUT,” where you can install an adapter to have a coaxial SPDIF output or to connect a cable to older video cards that required a physical connection to have audio on their HDMI outputs.
The analog audio outputs are independent only if you use a 5.1 analog speaker set. If you install a 7.1 analog speaker set, you will need to use the “line in” jack.
The portrayed motherboard has one Gigabit Ethernet port controlled by a Realtek RTL8111GR chip.
In Figure 6, you can see the motherboard rear panel with a shared keyboard/mouse PS/2 connector, two USB 2.0 ports, HMDI output, DisplayPort output , VGA output, DVI-D output, two eSATA-600 ports, four USB 3.0 ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port, an optical SPDIF output, and the analog audio jacks.
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Figure 5: Motherboard rear panel