Manufacturer ASRock
Name 939A8X-M
Type / Chipset Socket 939 / ULi M1689 Chipset
Dimensions
+++ 20 mm (40 mm radius) around the socket to the next capacitor or other parts of the
mainboard - for further information see Fit for Fan.
The overall size is 244 x 219mm.
Slots + 3x pci, 1x AGP (1.5V 4x/8x), 4x DDR PC2100 - PC3200 (max. 4GB RAM)
Connectors

+++ 1x Floppy, 2x UDMA133, 2x SATA, 1x serial (and 1x IrDA), 1x parallel, 2x PS/2,
onBoard 10/100 Mbps base-T Ethernet, 8x USB 2.0/1.1 (4x internal/optional),
1x Gameport (mounting bracket isn't delivered with the mainboard),
8-Channel AC'97 RealTek ALC850 onboard sound 6x connectors
(1x int. Aux, 1x ext. S/PDIF, ext. Line in, ext. Mic, ext. Front out, ext. Side out,
ext. Rear out, ext. Center/Subwoofer) and 2x fan connectors.

Vcore +++ BIOS between 0.80 Volt and 1.55 Volt in steps of 0.025 Volt / Jumper not available
Multiplier ++++ BIOS between 4x and 25x (1x to 5x HT) / Jumper not available
FSB ++++ BIOS between 140 and 300 MHz / Jumper not available
VIO/VDD + VCCM (VDIMM) between 2.61 Volt and 2.72 Volt
Performance**** +++ Ratings with HIS Excalibur Radeon 9600 Pro graphic card and Catalyst 3.6 !
AMD Athlon 64 3000+ 3514 points with 3DMark 2003 and 13702 points with 3DMark 2000
Manual and
Labeling

+ Complete motherboard inscription and except the missing BIOS section detailed motherboard
manual in different languages e.g. German, English, etc..
Easy devaluation of the manual, because the BIOS is explained only in the manual on the CDROM,
where it doesn't helps if one is in the BIOS!
Furthermore the inscription is not good readable caused by the MicroATX format.

Overall

+++ The ASRock 939A8X-M motherboard has at present a price of approx. 55 euro (10/2005),
whereby this price is very low compared to other motherboards with similar equipment.
We begin with the features, what this 244x219 mm small MicroATX board has to offer.
ASRock gave the motherboard 2x IDE connectors for up to 4x ATA 133 harddisks,
2x SATA ports (RAID 0/1), 4 x ATX panel USB 2.0 ports, onBoard 10/100 LAN and
the whole 6 audio connectors for the 7.1 Surround sound, which is by the way produced by the
RealTek ALC-850 sound chip.
All important drivers for Windows XP and older operating systems are provided on CDROM and
are besides up-to-date at ASRock for Download available.
Furthermore the Sockel939 board can be equipped with altogether 4 memory modules and
is upgradeable thus according to manufacturer to maximally 4 GB memory.
During the use of 4 memory modules in the DUAL Channel mode one should use however
four absolutely identical modules.

For responding the ULi M1689 chipset an AMI BIOS serves, whereby this is attainable
not as usual over the Del key, but AMI-like via the F2 key.
In the BIOS menu are e.g. change of the memory frequency of 133 MHz over 166 MHz to
200 MHz also the host clock of 140 to 300 MHz and the HT (hypertransport) frequency
from 1x to 5x (200-1000 MHz) alterable beside extensive memory timing.
The voltages are not completely so extensively, there unfortunately only the memory voltage
(VCCM) and the CPU voltage (VCore) are alterable.
However it would be anyway not recommendable to increase the chipset voltage of the ULi chipset
without active chipset cooling.

Nevertheless could be realized in the test scarcely over 250 MHz, which quite represents
a good host frequency to overclock the Socket 939 processor.
So it's also with this inexpensive ASRock motherboard possible to get a little more from its CPU
and the chipset remains pleasantly cool thereby.
Like also with the ASRock Combo-Z motherboard the "boot failure guard" protection
did not function for high overclocking settings unfortunately with too high host frequency.
Whereby it becomes unfortunately necessary with a black screen by to high overclocking to put
the BIOS back over CLEAR CMOS.

Result: The ASRock 939A8X-M Socket 939 motherboard offers a good basic equipment for
small money, whereby one should attach not much importance to extensive overclocking.
Nevertheless most frequencies and a few voltages can be changed, which can quite suffice for the
entrance into the PC tuning.
The performance and the equipment of the MicroATX motherboard is in this price region very fair,
so that hereby straight customers are addressed who like to get a favorable Socket 939 system
with SATA, IDE, 7.1 sound and a small network.

Special thanks to ASRock for their support.

Picture

Click to enlarge !

Click to enlarge !

 

**** All Socket 754 motherboard tests since 01.08.2004 are based on an AMD Athlon 64 3200+
and Socket 939 reviews are based on an AMD Athlon 64 3000+ Venice with a HIS Excalibur Radeon 9600 Pro videocard,
Kingmax 256 MB PC2700 memory module and the following software configuration:
Windows 98 SE, DirectX 9b, Catalyst 3.6 video driver and 3DMark 2003.
Since all benchmark results should only offer a comparison among themselves, I select Win 98 SE for a faster OS installation which is of course not the usual OS for Athlon 64 systems but enough for a comparison.

 

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