Articles: Mainboards

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PCB Design and Functionality

ASUS mainboards have always been thought-through and immaculately manufactured products and the ASUS P6X58D-E carries that tradition on.

Its six memory slots allow using up to 24 gigabytes of DDR3 SDRAM in triple-channel mode. The mainboard supports all modern LGA1366 processors including the six-core varieties and powers them through a 16-phase voltage regulator. There are also two more phases for the CPU-integrated memory controller. The chipset and voltage regulator components are equipped with heatsinks as they dissipate quite a lot of heat. The heatsinks are joined together with a heat pipe and fastened securely with screws. There is a small fifth heatsink on the reverse side of the PCB. The mainboard features high-quality components like low RDS (on) MOSFETs, ferrite-core chokes with low hysteresis loss, and polymer capacitors.

The P6X58D-E supports 3-way SLI and Quad-GPU CrossFireX technologies, offering three PCI Express 2.0 x16 slots which can work as x16/x8/x8 or x16/x16/x1. Besides the six Serial ATA 3 Gbps ports provided by the Intel ICH10R South Bridge, the mainboard is equipped with a Marvell 88SE9128 controller that supports an additional two SATA 6 Gbps ports. There are a couple of buttons on the PCB: a highlighted Power button and a MemOK! button (you can press it to load failsafe memory settings when booting your system).

The following can be found at the mainboard's back panel:

  • PS/2 keyboard and mouse connectors;
  • Clear CMOS button;
  • Six USB ports, including two USB 3.0 ports (blue connectors) implemented via NEC D720200F1 controller; four more USBs are available as two onboard pin-connectors;
  • Coaxial and optical S/PDIF and six analogue audio jacks provided by eight-channel Realtek ALC889 codec;
  • IEEE1394 (FireWire) port implemented via VIA VT6308P controller, the second port is available as an onboard pin-connector;
  • Local network port (network adapter is built on Gigabit Marvell 88E8056 controller).

And here is a flowchart of the ASUS P6X58D-E:

You can refer to the manufacturer’s website for the full list of this mainboard’s features and technologies. We’ve put together the key ones in the following table:

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