The board’s bundle is pretty sparse (but what is expected for what is essentially a budget board), including just:a warning note about CPU installation; a jumper sticker (for the case); Manual; IO shield; driver CD; IDE, floppy, SATA cable and a Molex to SATA power converter.
Well the colours on this board are definitely bright, but at least they don’t clash! Everything on the board seems pretty sensibly laid out with all the ‘messiest’ connectors at the edge of the board. The only exception is the 8pin power header, but with a bit of creative cable routing it’s placement shouldn’t be a problem.
The IP35P has a lot of USB header connections (for a maximum of 8 ports), so you should never be short of USB ports with this board. The 4 SATA ports are out of the way of any obstructions from add-in cards, so that is another positive. Front panel jumpers are colour coded for ease of attaching the front panel connections.
Up in the very top left of this picture is a novel sight (at least to me); the space for the clear CMOS jumper is left blank. This is because of the easy clear CMOS switch on the back I/O section of the board, which you can see on this next photo:
The easy CMOS clear switch can be seen to the left of the PS2 ports on the end of the board. This will be welcome after a failed overclock, fiddling about with jumpers to reset the CMOS was never my strong point.
The area around the socket is pretty clear, so there should be no problems mounting coolers on this board.
One of the things that worry me about this board is the lack of VRM and mofset heatsinks. If you are planning to overclock with this board, which to be frank many will be, then these could get rather hot. With good airflow around this area (say from a top down CPU cooler) then it shouldn’t be a problem, but for something like watercooling (or even just tower coolers to some extent) then it could cause the mofsets and VRMs to overheat, which isn’t a good thing.
The inputs on the back of the board are somewhat sparse, with just the bare minimum of Ethernet, 4 USB, sound and PS/2 ports. The Easy CMOS switch is the best thing going for the IO panel, but there is one advantage to all this space, the IO shield has grilled vents on it which will allow cool air in/warm air out, which should help to cool the heatsink-less mofsets/VRMs slightly better.
Right, now that we have seen the board, let’s get on with installation and testing.
Next Page – BIOS