ASRock X48TurboTwins-WiFi DDR2 / DDR3 Motherboard Review
Manufacturer Product Page: ASRock X48TurboTwins-WiFi Overview
Product Number: X48TurboTwins-WiFi
Availability: Mid to late June 2008
Price: Approx. $180
Warranty Length: 3 years
Continuing with the philosophy of catering to the mid-range and high-end (enthusiast) markets, ASRock follows up the tri-SLI Penryn1600SLIX3-WIFI with a board utilizing a brand new Intel chipset, the X48TurboTwins-WiFi. The latest from ASRock is based off the popular Intel X48 chipset, a follow-up of the X38 chipset, and allows for high speed DDR3 memory support along with two full 16x PCIE slots. Along with the latest and greatest chipset, the board hosts a number of innovative features such as support for 1600 and 1333 FSB processors out-of-the box as well as hybrid DDR2 and DDR3 memory compatibility. With this board, ASRock sticks with their roots by providing a safe upgrade path for consumers looking to keep some of their old hardware and adds the latest technology to the mix. The X48TurboTwins-WiFi should be the board that gets ASRock’s name on the enthusiast map.
Instead of taking an older chipset and adding new features like they did with the Penryn1600SLIX3-WIFI, ASRock takes the latest chipset, adds a ton of features, and sells it at a fraction of the price of competitor X48 chipset boards on the market. The board features quad core Yorkfield and dual core Wolfdale processor support out of the box without a BIOS upgrade and PCIE2.0 x16 CrossFire support. In addition to CrossFire support, the X48TurboTwins-WiFi allows for either DDR2 or DDR3 memory to be used. Now that DDR2 memory is dirt cheap, many users want the opportunity to use DDR2 but be able to upgrade to DDR3 in the future when the memory becomes mature and prices come down. ASRock found a niche here as with the X48TurboTwins-WiFi, as there are very few DDR2/DDR3 hybrid boards on the market and no X48 hybrids at all.
On top of this, the X48TurboTwins-WiFi includes a WiFi module and software for those into LAN parties or that want their PC in a location without a LAN cable accessible. For audio enthusiasts, the board supports 7.1 channel HD Audio with Content Protection, as well as DAC with 110dB dynamic range support (ALC890 Audio Codec). The benefit to this is gaming and 2 channel sound can be run through a 7.1 channel sound system. Overall, it looks like ASRock is trying to appeal to everyone with their latest board.
ASRock provides a 3 year warranty for motherboards through Authorized Distributors which means you won't be RMAing your motherboard to a factory in Taiwan. This will save the user a lot of money in shipping, however, this also promotes "passing the buck" policies that some retailers love to promote. To put users at ease, ASRock states if you are having issues with your point of purchase, they will honor your warranty nonetheless.
This should definately be an interesting review since ASRock is really trying to break out of their mold of late and this motherboard represents their furthest departure away from their "cheaper is better" methodology of years past.
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