ASRock X48TurboTwins-WiFi Motherboard

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Product(s): ASRock X48TurboTwins-WiFi Motherboard
Provided By: ASRock

Price:

Introduction:

Today we are going to take a look at a new board from ASRock, the X48TurboTwins-WiFi. We've had the opportunity to take a look at a couple other boards from ASRock in the past couple months, both of which were of the AM2 variety (ASRock K10N78hSLI-WiFi and ASRock K10N750SLI-WiFi Motherboard), so it will be very interesting to take a look at some of their Intel offerings.

 

First Impressions:

Now before we start, I'm going to mention the big feature of the X48TurboTwins-WiFi board which really sets it apart from its competition, it supports DDR2 and DDR3. Now for some this might not be a big feature, but for the user that needs (or wants) to do an upgrade now, but doesn't want to shell out the cash for some new DDR3 memory, this board is a great option, and gives you the flexibility down the road to jump on the DDR3 bandwagon once the prices drop a bit more. The X48TurboTwins-WiFi board has 2 slots for DDR2, and 4 slots for DDR3 (You are not able to use both DDR2 and DDR3 at the same time), so if you want to do DDR2 for now and DDR3 down the road you are covered.

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Box

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Box (Inside)

 

The ASRock board has all the features that you might need, Crossfire, onboard RAID, onboard Gigabit LAN, onboard 7.1 HD Audio, and comes with a WiFi card. Most of the options are pretty standard, but the WiFi card is a nice touch that most board manufacturers do not include standard on their boards (the WiFi card is available on most boards from ASRock).

Let's take a closer look at the ASRock X48TurboTwins-WiFi... 

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Top View

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PCI Slots

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DDR2 and DDR3 Slots

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Crossfire Compatible

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Inputs and Outputs

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Accessories

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ASRock X48TurboTwins-WiFi - Accessories

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ASRock X48TurboTwins-WiFi - WiFi Antennae

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ASRock X48TurboTwins-WiFi - Wireless Card (Back)

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ASRock X48TurboTwins-WiFi - Wireless Card (Front)

As you can tell from the looks, this board is pretty standard, and has all the options you might need. Let's move onto the specifications and testing.

 



ASRock X48TurboTwins-WiFi Motherboard Specifications:

Specifications taken from ASRock.com

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  1. LGA 775 for Intel® Core™ 2 Extreme / Core™ 2 Quad / Core™ 2 Duo / Pentium® Dual Core / Celeron®, supporting Penryn Quad Core Yorkfield and Dual Core Wolfdale processors
  2. All Solid Capacitor design (100% Japan-made high-quality Conductive Polymer Capacitors)
  3. Intel® X48 + ICH9R Chipsets
  4. Supports FSB1600/1333MHz CPUs
  5. Supports Dual Channel DDR3 1600 with max. capacity up to 8GB and Dual Channel DDR2 1066 with max. capacity up to 4GB
  6. Bundle: 1 x ASRock WiFi-802.11g Module and 1 x Antenna
  • Supports ATI™ CrossFire™
  • 2 x PCI Express 2.0 x16 slots (green @ x16 mode)
  • Supports PCIE Gigabit LAN 10/100/1000 Mb/s
  • Supports 2 x IEEE1394 ports (one port on back panel, one header on board)
  • 6 x Serial ATAII 3.0 Gb/s connectors, support RAID (RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 10, RAID 5 and Intel® Matrix Storage), NCQ, AHCI and Hot Plug functions
  • 2 x eSerial ATAII 3.0 Gb/s connectors
  • 1 x WiFi header
  • 7.1 CH Windows® Vista™ Premium Level HD Audio with Content Protection, supports DAC with 110dB dynamic range (ALC890 Audio Codec), DTS (Digital Theater Systems) support
  • Windows® Vista™ Premium 2008 Logo Ready
  • Supports I. O. T. (Intelligent Overclocking Technology), ASRock OC Tuner
  • ASRock 1394_SPDIF I/O Plus: 1 x RJ-45 LAN Port with LED, 2 x eSATAII portS, 1 x IEEE 1394 port, 6 ready-to-use USB ports

This model may not be sold worldwide. Please contact your local dealer for the availability of this model in your region.

   

 


Detailed Specifications: 

 General
CPU - LGA 775 for Intel® Core™ 2 Extreme / Core™ 2 Quad / Core™ 2 Duo / Pentium® Dual Core / Celeron®, supporting Penryn Quad Core Yorkfield and Dual Core Wolfdale processors
- Supports FSB1600/1333/1066/800MHz CPUs
- Supports Hyper-Threading Technology
- Supports Untied Overclocking Technology
- Supports EM64T CPU
Chipset - Northbridge: Intel® X48
- Southbridge: Intel® ICH9R
Memory - Dual Channel DDR3/DDR2 memory technology*
- 4 x DDR3 DIMM slots
- Supports DDR3 1600/1333/1066/800 non-ECC, un-buffered memory
- Max. capacity of system memory: 8GB**
- 2 x DDR2 DIMM slots
- Supports DDR2 1066/800/667 non-ECC, un-buffered memory
- Max. capacity of system memory: 4GB**

*DDR3 and DDR2 are supported separately.

**Due to the operating system limitation, the actual memory size may be less than 4GB for the reservation for system usage under Windows® XP and Windows® Vista™. For Windows® XP 64-bit and Windows® Vista™ 64-bit with 64-bit CPU, there is no such limitation.
BIOS - 8Mb AMI BIOS
- AMI Legal BIOS
- Supports "Plug and Play"
- ACPI 1.1 Compliance Wake Up Events
- Supports jumperfree
- SMBIOS 2.3.1 Support
- CPU, DRAM, NB, SB,VTT Voltage Multi-adjustment
- Supports I. O. T. (Intelligent Overclocking Technology)
 Audio, Video and Networking
Graphics - n/a
Audio - 7.1 CH Windows® Vista™ Premium Level HD Audio with Content Protection
- DAC with 110dB dynamic range (ALC890 Audio Codec)
- DTS (Digital Theater Systems) support
LAN - PCIE x1 Gigabit LAN 10/100/1000 Mb/s
- Realtek RTL8111C
- Supports Wake-On-LAN
Wireless LAN ASRock WiFi-802.11g module
- 54Mbps IEEE 802.11g / 11Mbps IEEE 802.11b
- Supports Software Access Point mode (AP mode) and Station mode (Infrastructure mode and Ad-hoc mode)
 Expansion / Connectivity
Slots - Supports ATI™ CrossFire™
- 2 x PCI Express x16 slots (green @ x16 mode)
- 1 x PCI Express x1 slot
- 3 x PCI slots
Connector - 6 x SATAII 3.0 Gb/s connectors, support RAID (RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 10, RAID 5 and Intel® Matrix Storage), NCQ, AHCI and Hot Plug functions
- 2 x eSATAII 3.0 Gb/s connectors (shared with 2 SATAII ports)
- 1 x ATA133 IDE connector (supports 2 x IDE devices)
- 1 x Floppy connector
- 1 x DeskExpress Hot Plug Detection header
- 1 x HDMI_SPDIF header
- 1 x IEEE 1394 header
- CPU/Chassis FAN connector
- 24 pin ATX power connector
- 8 pin 12V power connector
- CD in header
- Front panel audio connector
- 2 x USB 2.0 headers (support 4 USB 2.0 ports)
- 1 x WiFi header
Rear Panel I/O ASRock 1394_SPDIF I/O Plus
- 1 x PS/2 Mouse Port
- 1 x PS/2 Keyboard Port
- 1 x Coaxial SPDIF Out Port
- 1 x Optical SPDIF Out Port
- 6 x Ready-to-Use USB 2.0 Ports
- 2 x eSATAII Ports
- 1 x RJ-45 LAN Port with LED (ACT/LINK LED and SPEED LED)
- 1 x IEEE 1394 Port
- HD Audio Jack: Side Speaker / Rear Speaker / Central / Bass / Line in / Front Speaker / Microphone
 Other Features / Miscellaneous
Unique Feature - ASRock OC Tuner
- Hybrid Booster:
- CPU Frequency Stepless Control
- ASRock U-COP
- Boot Failure Guard (B.F.G.)
Support CD - Drivers, Utilities, AntiVirus Software (Trial Version)
Accessories - 1 x ASRock WiFi-802.11g Module
- 1 x Antenna
- 1 x WiFi Bracket
- Quick Installation Guide, Support CD, I/O Shield
- Floppy/ATA 133 Cables
- 4 x SATA Data Cables (Optional)
- 1 x SATA 1 to 1 Power Cable (Optional)
- 1 x HDMI_SPDIF Cable (Optional)
Hardware Monitor - CPU Temperature Sensing
- Chassis Temperature Sensing
- CPU Fan Tachometer
- Chassis Fan Tachometer
- CPU Quiet Fan
- Voltage Monitoring: +12V, +5V, +3.3V, CPU Vcore
Form Factor - ATX Form Factor: 12.0-in x 9.6-in, 30.5 cm x 24.4 cm
- All Solid Capacitor design (100% Japan-made high-quality Conductive Polymer Capacitors)
OS - Microsoft® Windows® 2000 / XP / XP 64-bit / Vista™ / Vista™ 64-bit compliant
Certifications - FCC, CE, WHQL

 

 

 

ASRock X48TurboTwins-WiFi Motherboard Testing:

Test Setup:

For the testing of this motherboard I am going to test the memory performance, hard drive performance, CPU performance, and overall system performance. The biggest thing I'm trying to show is how this board performs as well as how the performance differs between DDR2 and DDR3.

 

Test System:

  • Intel Core 2 Duo E8400
  • Diamond Radeon HD 3870
  • 2 GB Kit of Crucial Ballistix Tracer PC2-8500 - Provided by Crucial
  • 2 GB Kit of Super Talent Project X DDR3-1800 Memory - Provided By Super Talent
  • Hitachi 1TB Hard Drive - Provided by Memory Express
  • Windows XP SP2

 

Test Info:

I've included CPU-Z screenshots from my testing, in all tests I've run the benchmarks using DDR2 @ 800 Mhz, DDR3 @ 1333 Mhz, and also DDR3 @ 1600 Mhz. For my testing of DDR3 @ 1600 Mhz the CPU has been overclocked from 3.0 Ghz to 3.6 Ghz.

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DDR2 @ 800 Mhz CPU Settings

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DDR2 @ 800 Mhz Memory Settings

 



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DDR3 @ 1333 Mhz CPU Settings

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DDR3 @ 1333 Mhz Memory Settings

 

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DDR3 @ 1600 Mhz CPU Settings

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DDR3 @ 1600 Mhz Memory Settings

 

General Testing:

For general testing I've used PCMark 2005 as well as 3DMark06. PCMark should give us a good estimate of overall system performance, and 3DMark06 should give us a good indication for gaming. I haven't included much for gaming testing in this review due to the fact that most games are going to be much more dependent on the Video Card (For our Testing I've used a Radeon HD 3870) than on memory or CPU or motherboard, and if you want to improve gaming a upgrade in your video card is going to make much more of a difference than a new motherboard ever will.

 

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Click on Chart for Larger View

 

 

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Click on Chart for Larger View

 

In both PCMark05 and 3DMark06, the differences between DDR2 @ 800 Mhz and DDR3 @ 1333 Mhz was pretty close to each other.  This is partially due to the fact that the DDR2 is able to run some pretty tight timings (5-4-4-12) while the DDR3 is running at 8-6-6-18 timings. Also in both of these tests memory performance isn't going to make a huge difference in scores, and it's not until we overclock the CPU for the DDR3 @ 1600 Mhz testing that we really see much of a performance increase.


CPU Testing:

For CPU testing I've used pMCore, Everest Ultimate, SiSoft Sandra XII, and SuperPi. All of these tests are pretty heavily dependent on the CPU, so I doubt we're going to see a huge difference between our testing of DDR2 @ 800 Mhz and our DDR3 Testing @ 1333 Mhz, however once we jump to the DDR3 Testing @ 1600 Mhz we should see a bit of a performance increase due to the fact that while testing at 1600 Mhz we've overclocked our CPU by 20% (3.0 Ghz to 3.6 Ghz)

 

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Click on Chart for Larger View

 

 

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Click on Chart for Larger View

 

 

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Click on Chart for Larger View

 

 

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Click on Chart for Larger View

 

 

 

Hard Drive Testing:

For hard drive testing I've used HD Tach, and the results between the 3 tests are probably going to be very similar as the hard drive is not dependent on the memory or CPU very much.

 

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Click on Chart for Larger View

 

 

Memory Testing:

For memory testing I've used Everest Ultimate and SiSoft Sandra XII. Both of these benchmarks are pretty standard, and we've used them in all of our recent memory reviews, and these tests should really show the performance differences between our tests of DDR2 and DDR3. As we've seen in our testing so far, the differences between DDR2 and DDR3 for general usage are not that big (and in most cases probably not even noticeable), however the advantages of DDR3 is in the memory bandwidth (as these tests will show) and if you're using memory hungry applications making the switch to DDR3 might be a good choice.

 

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Click on Chart for Larger View

 

 

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Click on Chart for Larger View

 

Well that concludes our testing, and gives us a pretty good idea of the differences between DDR2 and DDR3 on this board. In general usage the differences were not all the big, but in memory bandwidth testing there was quite an advantage with DDR3. For the general user DDR2 will probably do just fine for the time being, and that's why the DDR2 and DDR3 capabilities of this board is a great feature for the consumer, if you want to save a few bucks and stick with the much cheaper DDR2 for the time being, you won't have to go buy a new board when you decide to jump on the DDR3 bandwagon down the road.


Overclocking:

I'll give a quick rundown of my overclocking experience with the ASRock X48TurboTwins-WiFi. For my testing of DDR3 @ 1600 Mhz I overclocked the CPU from 3.0 Ghz (Stock) to 3.6 Ghz (20% Overclock). I was able to pull this overclock with air cooling; however it was pretty much as much as I could pull with air cooling before I started to run into overheating and instability. Overall though, 20% with air cooling isn't a bad overclock, and as you can see in the benchmarks I ran, it was enough of an overclock to make a noticeable difference in most benchmarks.

For the casual overclocker the features of this board are going to be more than enough, you've got all your standard overclocking controls and voltage controls. ASRock has also included a Windows-based overclocking tool, OC Tuner. I won't go into much detail about OC Tuner, but if you want to find out more about it you can check out our review of the ASRock K10N78hSLI-WiFi motherboard where we have gone over what OC Tuner is all about. Most overclockers are probably going to prefer using the BIOS to tweak your overclock, but for a casual overclocker, or someone looking to squeeze a bit more performance out of their system easily the OC Tuner is a great option.

The X48TurboTwins-WiFi has your standard overclocking controls in the BIOS, however for the "Extreme Tweaker" you probably will end up going with a board like the Asus Rampage Formula board, which will included a bit more extreme control for overclocking; however for most enthusiasts the overclocking features of the ASRock X48TurboTwins-WiFi board are going to be more than enough and will easily get the job done.

One feature to mention quickly is the Boot Failure Guard, which works very well. Basically if you push your hardware a little too far and you're not getting it to post anymore, the Boot Failure Guard will kick in and reset your BIOS to defaults and let you give it another shot without having to manually reset your BIOS with jumpers or anything. Most current boards have options similar to Boot Failure Guard, but in the past I've had some issues with some of them, but in all my testing, even when I pushed my system beyond its limits the Boot Failure Guard worked like it's supposed to and saved my bacon.

 

ASRock X48TurboTwins-WiFi Motherboard Final Conclusion:

ASRock might not be a household name like its parent company Asus, however from the last couple motherboard we've tested from them, it might not be long before they are also a household name also. Like the previous couple offerings we've reviewed (ASRock K10N78hSLI-WiFi and ASRock K10N750SLI-WiFi Motherboard), the ASRock X48TurboTwins-WiFi board really is a great choice and carries a price tag that won't break the bank and at the moment can't be beaten. This board is really aimed at a enthusiast who wants all the features and performance that an X48 board offers, but doesn't want to drop over $300 dollars to get them. While this board isn't exactly "cheap", it is able to beat its current competition by almost $100 bucks, which makes it a great choice.

One of the biggest options that the X48TurboTwins-WiFi board offers is its ability to support both DDR2 and DDR3, which is a nice option to have. Right now DDR3 is a bit more expensive that DDR2, and for someone looking to do a cheap upgrade, this could be very handy. As prices of DDR3 continue to drop, you have the flexibility to switch over to DDR3 down the road without having to buy a new board.

The price of the X48TurboTwins-WiFi board is really going to be the biggest selling point, currently other X48 boards like the Asus Rampage Formula and the Gigabyte GA-X48-DQ6 retail in the $300+ dollar range, while the ASRock X48TurboTwins-WiFi can be found online for ~$230 dollars (and almost $100 dollars cheaper than most X48 boards), and if you match option-to-option between the boards, the ASRock is able to compete with both, and even has some unique features that the others do not (DDR2 and DDR3 Support). On price alone the ASRock X48TurboTwins-WiFi board is probably enough to get a lot of people seriously considering it, luckily the performance and options are also very good and that really makes this an attractive option when looking for a motherboard upgrade.

I really have no major complaints with this board, throughout all of my testing it remained nice and stable, and everything worked like it was supposed to. Overall this is a very solid all-around board, and even though its priced lower than its competition, you're really not sacrificing options or functionality.

At the end of the day I'm very impressed by the X48TurboTwins-WiFi motherboard, and during all of my testing I really had no major issues to mention. The price of the X48TurboTwins board is really the big feature and if you're looking for a X48 board, this board is a great option. Thanks to the solid performance, abundance of features and very competitive price the ASRock X48TurboTwins-WiFi motherboard has easily earned our "Top Pick" award.


Pros:

  • Very Affordable Price
  • Very Stable
  • Good Features
  • DDR2 and DDR3 Support

 

Cons:

  • Nothing Major

 

BCCRating

TopPick

I'd like to thank ASRock for sending us the X48TurboTwins-WiFi. If you have any questions, comments, or general feedback, please leave it at the "Comments" link below.