+++ The ASRock 939S56-M motherboard
has at present a price of approx. 54 Euro (12/2005)
and is thus clearly below the so far tested Socket 939 PCIe motherboards.
It is really amazing that ASRock creates again and again boards
with such low prices,
despite high-quality components e.g. the long-living capacitors
and well-known ICs, etc.
Surely because of the MicroATX format there're a few features less
on this motherboard,
but nevertheless some interesting equipment characteristics remains.
Let us begin with the features, which this 244x224 mm small MicroATX
The board offers 2x IDE connectors for up to four ATA 133 hard disks,
2x SATA connectors
which can also operate in RAID 0/1 mode, 4x ATX panel USB 2.0 ports,
onBoard 10/100 LAN and
6 connectors for the RealTek ALC-850 7.1 Surround sound.
There're no digital input or output connectors, so there's only
the basic analog way to connect
speakers to the onBoard sound card.
BTW beside Windows XP also older operating systems like e.g. Windows
98SE are supported,
which is unfortunately no longer natural with PCIe boards.
Who still would like to use older dual boot installations with the
Win98SE, can find all
necessary drivers on ASRock
as Download for the SiS chipset.
Furthermore the Motherboard can be equipped altogether with 4 DDR
memory modules and
is thus expandable to maximally 4 GB memory.
The allocation for DUAL Channel support is specified in the manual
and should be absolutely kept.
The BIOS can be achieved SiS like not as usual with the Del key,
but with the F2 key.
There're extensive settings e.g. adjustments of the memory frequency
of 133 MHz over 166 MHz
up to 200 MHz, also the host clock between 140 and 300 MHz and the
frequency setting from 1x to 5x (200/800/1000 MHz) beside extensive
Unfortunately the change of the voltages comes somewhat too briefly,
since only the memory
voltage and the voltage of the CPU can be changed, but these two
voltages are the most important
ones for good overclocking results.
The BIOS option "CPU overheat shutdown" should be absolutely used
also without overclocking,
since the feature can protect the CPU with a failed cooler against
Furthermore one finds in the BIOS beside the CPU temperature also
all informative monitoring
of values e.g. chipset temperature, fan speed and all voltage levels.
Result: The inexpensive ASRock 939S56-M Socket 939 PCIe motherboard
most important features, which are necessary for the entrance into
the fast 16x PCI express
technology, whereby the performance of the SiS 756 chipset isn't
noticeably slower in combination
with the SiS 965L South Bridge, as the up-to-date nVidia nForce4
Owing to the 6 connectors for 7.1 sound, 2 x S-ATA ports, 10/100
LAN and up to
4 DDR-memory modules, which can operate in DUAL Channel mode, this
board is quite recommended
for inexpensive AMD Socket 939 gaming PCs.
In addition, the overclocking doesn't come too briefly, because
almost all important settings are
adjustable in the BIOS and thus helps to a faster PC for free.
Special thanks to ASRock
for their support.