The Motherboard (Cont’d)
As you could see on the first page, the chipset supports six SATA-300 ports and all are present on the reviewed board, supporting RAID levels 0, 1 and 10. Near the SATA ports this motherboard has a reset and a power button, which always help users that are building the PC outside a case or debugging their computer.
SB710 south bridge supports one ATA-133 port, which is present on the motherboard.
The chipset supports 12 USB 2.0 ports and the motherboard provides 10 of them, four soldered on the rear panel and six through headers. Unfortunately this motherboard doesn’t come with any I/O bracket for you to use these extra USB ports. No FireWire controller is available.
This motherboard has a six-channel on-board audio produced by the chipset together with a Realtek ALC662 codec, which features a 98 dB output signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and a 90 dB input signal-to-noise ratio, with 24-bit output resolution, 20-bit input resolution and up to 96 kHz sampling rate for both outputs and inputs. While these specs are good enough for the average user, people working professionally with analog audio capture and editing will be better off with a different motherboard or will have to buy an add-on sound card. This board does not provide SPDIF outputs and it uses shared analog outputs, i.e., you cannot use the mic in and the line in jacks while a 5.1 analog speaker set is connected to your PC.
This motherboard also features one Gigabit Ethernet port, controlled by a Realtek RTL8111DL chip. This controller is connected to the south bridge chip through individual PCI Express x1 lanes, which is perfect, as this configuration won’t limit the performance of your Gigabit Ethernet ports (controllers connected to the system using the regular PCI bus can face a bottleneck – i.e., may not be able to achieve the maximum Gigabit Ethernet performance).
In Figure 6, you can see the rear panel of the motherboard. There you will find one mouse PS/2 connector, one keyboard PS/2 connector, DVI output, VGA output, four USB 2.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet port and 5.1 channel analog audio outputs (shared).
The capacitors from the voltage regulator circuit are solid, which is great, but the other capacitors are regular electrolytic models (from OST).
In Figure 8, you can see all accessories that come with this motherboard.
Before going to our benchmarking, let’s recap the main features from this motherboard.