EQS A58K9-MLF ATI RS480 Socket 939 Motherboard
Posted on: 30.12.2005 01:00:00

Once you open the box the first thing that catches your eye is the TV out bracket, this is to extend the onboard GPUís capabilities and add svideo out. Also included was a com bracket, case IO panel, HDD cablex1, a floppy cable, 2x red Sata cables and a USB2 bracket for the rear As well as the manual and installation cd.

Everything was in excellent condition and I could find no faults, taking a look through the manual I found it to be explained well and simple to read and understand.

The Mainboard itself is wrapped in antistatic protection as you would expect, so lets remove it and take a closer look shall we.

The First thing I noticed when pulling the mobo (motherboard) out of the box was the empty bottom right, it not a major think but itís been a while since I have seen a mobo this way. I also noticed the board was still fitted with 5 normal pci slots, this was an excellent idea as most people still have only pci expansion cards and no pci-e, although this board has onboard vga there is an expansion slot for PCI-Express 16 based GFX cards. Apart from that, the layout was pretty much what you would expect. Let us take a closer look at the setup of the motherboard.

The RS480 (Xpress 200G) is well cooled via a huge heatsink, that is a lot larger tan the normal non VGA built in mobo. Situated in the normal area of a Northbridge and should provide enough cooling for the chip.

The board has 2 x ATA-100 and 4 x SATA-150 RAID situated near the front, I liked this layout as it meant good cable management when it comes to assembling the computer. You can also see the Southbridge (ATi IXP400) this too like the Northbridge is passively cooled.

The motherboard supports memory sizes from 64mb to 4gigabyte and is of course Dual Channel compatible.† Next to them is the PSU connector and the floppy, I think the actual layout of this board is excellent for setting up as the main connectors are all near the edge of the board and make it easier to tuck away. It not a major plus but it is useful never less.

The IO section of the board has the normal PS2, 4xUSB, Printer, firewire and LAN ports on the rear. On the sound and vision side of things there is 3 audio connectors. Onboard VGAís Output as well as a composite out, donít worry if you need Svideo as the package comes with a rear cable bracket with Svideo. There is a sound expander (optional) and fire wire bracket (optional available) though should you require it, although there is a firewire connecter on the motherboard and pretty much every case now as one.

So what do we have?† Well if the specs and features are anything to go by the board should pull some good results on tests, I also think when you consider the price bracket this mobo is in, it is when you consider the specs and features well priced. Whether you are a HTPC owner (onboard VGA with composite and Svideo out) or desktop/web browser the onboard VGA will suit you needs. However, if you want the mobo to pack some punch there is also the PCI-Express x16 slot there waiting for you. Will it perform as well as it should, and for me more importantly, will it be able to top the Nforce4 with same CPU, RAM and GFX. Let us find out shall we.

Next Page Install and†Use

Printed from XtremeComputing (http://www.xtremecomputing.co.uk/articles_pages/eqs_a58k9_mlf_ati_rs480_socket_939_motherboard,4.html)