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On-Board Peripherals

The GeForce 7025 chipset is a single-chip solution and we’ve already published all the main specs for this chipset on the first page of this review. The nForce 630a south bridge chip that is listed as being part of this chipset doesn’t exist as an external chip, as its functionalities are integrated inside the GeForce 7025 chip.

The reviewed motherboard has four SATA-300 ports supporting RAID 0, 1, 0+1, and 5. The support for RAID is a nice addition on a chipset that is targeted to the low-end market. These ports, however, are on the same line as the PCI Express x16 slot, so if you decide to install a “real” video card on this motherboard it may block these ports. The ASRock N68C-S UCC also provides one parallel ATA (“IDE”) port.

ASRock N68C-S UCC motherboardFigure 4: SATA and PATA ports

A floppy disk drive controller is present and is located near the last standard PCI slot.

The N68C-S UCC provides all 10 USB 2.0 ports supported by the chipset, four soldered on the motherboard rear panel and six available through three headers on the motherboard.

Audio is generated by the chipset using a VIA VT1705 codec, which offers 5.1 audio with 192 kHz sampling rate, 24-bit resolution, 100 dB signal-to-noise ratio for its outputs, and 93 dB signal-to-noise ratio for its inputs.

This motherboard doesn’t come with an on-board SPDIF output, and unfortunately, you can’t add one because it doesn’t provide an SPDIF header.

The N68C-S UCC has only three analog audio jacks, so if you install a 5.1 speaker set, you “kill” the line in and mic in jacks.

Another hint that we are dealing with a low-end motherboard comes from the network port, which is a Fast Ethernet model (10/100 Mbps) and not a Gigabit Ethernet model. The network controller is actually embedded in the chipset, using a Realtek RTL8201BL chip to make the interface with the physical layer.

In Figure 5, you can see the motherboard rear panel, with PS/2 keyboard and mouse connectors, a serial port, VGA output, four USB 2.0 ports, a Fast Ethernet port, and shared analog 5.1 audio outputs.

ASRock N68C-S UCC motherboardFigure 5: Motherboard rear panel

This motherboard comes with only one analog video output, supporting a maximum resolution of 1920 x 1440.

A legacy serial port is present on the rear panel, and the motherboard also has a legacy parallel port available through a header labeled “LPT1.” No adapter for this header comes with the board.

Additional features provided by this motherboard include the core unlocking feature (UCC) which allows you to unlock factory-disabled CPU cores on certain AMD CPUs, and the instant boot feature which puts the CPU into hibernation mode when you shut down the system (so when you turn the system back on, it will take only a few seconds to enter Windows).

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Gabriel Torres is a Brazilian best-selling ICT expert, with 24 books published. He started his online career in 1996, when he launched Clube do Hardware, which is one of the oldest and largest websites about technology in Brazil. He created Hardware Secrets in 1999 to expand his knowledge outside his home country.