ASRock 4Core1333-eSATA2 R5.0 Motherboard Review

by AkG     |     January 22, 2008

ASRock 4Core1333-eSATA2 R5.0 Motherboard Review

Manufacturer Product Page: ASRock Motherboard - Product - 4Core1333-eSATA2 - Overview
Product Number: 4Core1333-eSATA2 R5.0
Availability: Now
Price: Approx. $105CAD
Warranty Length: 1 year

ASRock Inc started in 2002 as a subsidiary of ASU has long been known for producing reliable entry level motherboards, at competitive prices but lately they have been branching off into a bit higher-end products. Let's face it, not everyone is willing to spend two hundred or more dollars on a motherboard that is dual-GPU compatible and can overclock a processsor like no tomorrow. In fact most people are more than willing to spend a lot less and get a motherboard that does what they need as long as it is completely stable, and if they need an extra “bell” or “whistle” they just buy a few aftermarket parts. Being successful in this market means a manufacturer has to know exactly what a particular market niche needs, wants, desires and most importantly can deliver it at a reasonable price. In the past ASRock has shown an uncanny ability to read the market place months in advance and deliver exactly what their customer wants at exactly the right time and sell it at the right price.

Just a few short months ago ASRock was spun off from Asus, went public and became its own company. While the ownership may have changed, their philosophy of producing stable, value-oriented motherboards based on older chipsets certainly has not and this holds true for the motherboard we see here today. The subject of this review is ASRock’s new Core 2 Duo (LGA 775) ready motherboard called the “4Core1333-eSATA2 R5.0”. This motherboard is based on a heavily tweaked Intel P31 & ICH7R chipset architecture, and has been modified so it can support just about any C2D processor from the older 800MHz FSB to the newer 1333MHz FSB CPU’s. Interestingly enough it is also purported to be “Wolfdale” ready though we have yet to test that claim.

The naming conventions ASRock uses for their motherboards is very straightforward and in this case 4Core1333-eSATA2 basically means that this product is compatible with all 1333Mhz FSB (and below) processors which includes Quad Cores (Kentsfield) and it comes with a built-in eSATA port. That being said, with a price of about $105CAD it is set up to compete directly against some very popular budget motherboards like the Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3L even though this ASRock has quite a few more features.

Will this board meet the needs of its intended audience, and more importantly is a $100 board still a “value oriented” board or does it cross over into the “enthusiast” level?


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