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ASRock P55 Extreme4 Motherboard Review (1156)

As well as the 12 USB 2.0 ports, the ASrock board delivers support for 4 USB 3.0 devices which are controlled by a pair of NEC PD720200 processors. Two of these are are available from the rear panel and two are available via a header on the motherboard which connects to a USB 3.0 adapter panel which you can install into the front panel of your computer. This is a 3.5 inch frame design so your specific case might not support it without a 5.25 inch adapter. I feel this is a lovely addition to an already impressive bundle.

The motherboard panel has support for clear CMOS (button), PS/2 mice and keyboards, coaxial and optical SPDIF, One eSATA 600 port, two USB 3.0 ports (blue), six USB 2.0 ports, one Gigabit Ethernet (Realtek RTL8111E) and independent analog 7.1 audio outputs. There is also an infrared interface which means you can buy an infrared sensor and plug it in.

The board is built around a beefy ten phase voltage regulator circuit and eight of these handle the CPU voltage (Vcore) and the other two handle the VTT rail which is called upon by the integrated memory controller and L3 memory cache.

To keep the voltage regular circuit transistors cooler ASrock have supplied two substantial passively cooled heatsinks. ASrock have also upgraded the standard iron chokes to ferrite models with solid capacitors used throughout the motherboard design. They haven’t cut corners which is good to see and the biggest coolers can also be fitted easily enough as the CPU slot has plenty of free space around it.

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