ASRock X58 SuperComputer Motherboard - Close Look at the ASRock X58 SuperComputer

Article Index
ASRock X58 SuperComputer Motherboard
Close Look at the ASRock X58 SuperComputer
X58 Features and Specifications
BIOS and Overclocking
Test Setup, HDD Testing and More
Synthetic System, CPU and Memory
Real World Application Benchmarks
Game Performance and Final Thoughts

Closer Look:

As mentioned on the previous page, the cooling solution is pretty well done and while some X58 motherboards use more fans and heatpipes, ASRock has opted for some passive cooling on this board.  While it will likely be used for overclocking and cooler chipsets obviously equal more stable systems, often fans on motherboards are quite noisy and don't seem to last as long as fans on regular heatsinks.  If you have adequate airflow, you should be good.  Not only are the chipsets cooled; the voltage regulators are cooled with a heatpipe and a stack of fins as well.  There is more space between the VRM cooling and the 8-pin power connector on this board than there is on the EVGA X58 and this is a good thing.  You shouldn't have any issues routing your 8-pin cable to the proper connector.

 Mobo Cooling
Mobo Cooling

 

The rear I/O of the ASRock X58 SuperComputer is honestly not that interesting.  It is a pretty standard rear I/O - other than the eSATA connector.  There are both PS/2 keyboard and mouse connectors.  Moving on down we find the Digital Audio Out options: optical and Coaxial SPIDF.  To the right of the digital audio outputs we've got the eSATA port.  Next up we've got a set of USB ports that sit under a GB Ethernet port - followed by a Firewire and another two USB ports.  Continuing our journey down the rear I/O we've another USB/Ethernet block that brings our rear USB up to a total of six.  Below these are the standard 7.1 Audio connectors that we see on many motherboards.

Rear IO
Rear IO

 

As we move on to the socket area, there really isn't too much to say.  The socket area is clear of major obstructions and we had no issues mounting a large heatsink on the board.  The cut-away design of the northbridge cooler allows for large heatinks to be installed without issues.  You'll also notice the 8-phase power regulation on this board - pretty much the same power solution found on the EVGA X58 3x SLI motherboard.

CPU Socket
CPU Socket

 

The ASRock X58 SuperComputer motherboard has four PCIe 16x slots spaced apart far enough that you'll be able to install four of your favorite GTX 260, GTX 285, HD4870 or HD4890 cards without any issues.  Of course if you do this, you'll block the other PCI slots, but I guess you'll be happy with 400+ FPS in Mirror's Edge with PhysX enabled.  You'll notice that there are no other PCIe slots on this board so if you want to add a PCIe 1x or 4x device, you'll have to take up one of the longer slots.

Four PCIe 16x Slots Bitches!
PCIe Slots

 

Thankfully the SATA connectors remain out of the way of the tail-end of the graphics cards due to the main block being mounted at a 90° angle and pointing toward the back of the board/front of the case.  This is a great idea on any motherboard and I'm pretty happy about that for sure.  The last couple of things worth mentioning before we jump into the specs and features of this board are the 6 DDR3 slots.  For triple-channel memory action, the modules are spaced with an empty slot separating the three sticks of memory, but if you do decide to drop in another kit and populate all six slots, you'll be happy to know that there is a wee bit of breathing room between the modules.  I've seen other boards that have the RAM sandwiched together, but ASRock allows a little room for airflow. 

 SATA Ports
SATA Ports
 CPU & RAM Area
CPU & RAM Area

 

On the next page we'll take a look at the chipset features as well as the motherboard specifications before we jump into testing.