ASRock K10N78hSLI-WiFi Motherboard - Closer Look at the K10N78hSLI-WiFi

Article Index
ASRock K10N78hSLI-WiFi Motherboard
Closer Look at the K10N78hSLI-WiFi
Chipset and Motherboard Features
K10N78hSLI-WiFi BIOS and Overclocking
Test Setup and Subsystem Testing
ASRock K10N78hSLI-WiFi Benchmarks
Gaming and Real World Performance

Board Overview:

The board layout is not bad on the K10N78hSLI-WiFi in my opinion, but there are a couple of areas of concern.  The 24-pin power connector is located quite low on the board and this could cause an issue with some large heatsinks.  There is plenty of room around the socket though - except for that darn 24-pin connector.  With a stiff cable, it could certain cause an issue with some larger heatsinks.  As you can see, ASRock has once again stuck with their all solid-state capacitor design and this is a huge bonus for those looking to buy a board with some longevity.  Boards that come with standard electrolytic capacitors often give problems after a year or so, and these solid capacitors have certainly helped with stability over time.

 Board Layout
Board Layout

 

The rear IO is pretty straightforward and there are no surprises here.  ASRock still uses legacy PS/2 keyboard and mouse connectors while also providing a composite digital audio output as well as a optical audio connection as well.   There are a total of six USB2.0 ports along the back as well as eSATA, firewire, and GB LAN ports.  To complement the audio connections there is an 8-channel audio block right next the lower USB and GB Ethernet ports.  On this board the wireless card sits between the PCI slots lower down and isn't crammed into the main I/O of the motherboard.


Closer Look:

We'll quickly cover the areas on interest on the motherboard without going into a lot of detail.  Please click the thumbnails below for a closer look at the motherboard.  At the end of the pictures, we'll cover a few thing that you may have or may not have noticed.  Most of the items are pretty standard, and you'll notice that there are not two PCIe 16x slots - only one.  So where does the "SLI" come from?

 RAM and CPU Layout
RAM and CPU Layout
PCI Slots
PCI Slots

 

Sink SATA and USB
Sink SATA and USB
WiFi Installed
WiFi Installed

 

The SLI comes from the GeForce 8200 chipset that has an integrated GPU of sorts, but has no external monitor connector.  There is a single PCIe 16x slot, two PCIe 1x slots and three standard PCI slots on this board.  You can see there are plenty of SATA connectors on the bottom corner as well as the one behind the Rear I/O.  There really isn't too much noteworthy on the layout at all, but I do like the idea of having the WiFi moved lower down.  Even with standard PCI cards in the slots there is still enough room to fit this module and it keeps the WiFi cable away from the other tangle of cables coming from the main I/O.

The heatsink is rather tall, but because there won't be multiple graphics cards in this system it shouldn't be an issue.  The DDR2 slots are positioned in banks for each channel - signified by different colors.  The slots on the different banks are quite close together and this could cause some heating issues with highly overclocked RAM.  For the record, in the Thermaltake Armor+ MX, we had no issues due to the large 25cm side fan bringing in plenty of fresh air.

We'll cover some of the GeForce 8200 chipset features and the board specifications on the next page before we take get started into testing this board.