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Between an Asrock and a hard place

Answers to questions you never asked
Fri Jul 30 2004, 16:53
THE ASROCK DUAL P4 announcement earlier today reminded me that I never wrote up my visit to the Asrock suite at Computex. I happened upon it while hunting for the Supermicro suite, and wandered in. Not planning on seeing much, I was pleasantly surprised to find two things that no one else at the entire show had, although we reported on the first one because it was on the SIS stand.

The first is the predecessor to the dual socket P4 board, a dual AMD64 mobo. It will take either a 754 pin or a 939 pin CPU. You can pick the one you want, but it is not a dually board, it is a new market niche, the either/or board.

Asrock-amd64-combo-board

The way you pick the CPU you want to use is rather inelegant, but seeing as it is the only game in town for this kind of thing, it is also the best implementation. If you want to change which socket is live, you need to swap about 40 jumpers in 4 banks. It is hardly a rough job, and you can probably get it done in a few minutes. A switch or a block of jumpers all welded together would make life a lot easier. Who knows, by the time the board comes out, it may just be done that way.

Asrock-a64-combo-jumper-blocks

The other thing that was really cool is a network interface card (NIC). Now, I know how absolutely dull a NIC is, but Asrock made it cool, it was a PCI Express NIC. If you think that is not cool, how many non-graphics PCI-E cards have you seen? As far as I can recall, this was the only PCI Express card at Computex that was not graphics. Doesn't that make a stupid old NIC seem cool again.

Asrock-pci-e-nic

OK, maybe not, but it is different, and that is worth a picture. µ

 

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