Articles: Mainboards

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The 925XE7AA mainboard is based on the i925XE chipset, one of the best for Intel’s 32-bit processors. The chipset supports Pentium 4 (including Pentium 4 Extreme Edition the i925XE is specially optimized for) and Celeron D processors for Socket LGA775. The FSB frequency is 200MHz for 5xx series processors and 266MHz for Pentium 4 Extreme Edition. There is a three-channel CPU voltage regulator on board, but you can see only two channels on the next snapshot (the third channel is located somewhat farther away from these two).

The memory controller from the chipset’s North Bridge officially supports DDR2-400 and -533 memory and unofficially DDR2-667. The mainboard offers four DIMM slots for a maximum of 4GB memory. Dual-channel memory access is supported. As a graphical interface, the i925XE Express uses a PCI Express x16 bus, just like the senior i925X Express chipset.

The ICH6R South Bridge on its part supports six PCI slots (three are available on the mainboard) and four PCI Express x1 slots (three are physically available). The eight USB 2.0 ports provided by the chipset can all be used: four such ports are at the mainboard’s connections panel and four more are available as two onboard dual-port headers. And lastly, the ICH6R allows you to connect to the mainboard as many as two PATA and four SATA-150 devices. The SATA drives can be united into RAID arrays of levels 0, 1, 0+1, or Intel Matrix Storage (in the latter case a RAID 0+1 array is organized on two disks using one half of the available storage space for RAID0 and another half for RAID1).

The functionality of the mainboard doesn’t end here, though. Particularly, there are two more disk drives controllers. Silicon Image’s SATALink SiI3114TC176 RAID-controller supports four SATA drives and permits to unite them into RAID arrays of level 0, 1 or 0+1.

And ITE’s IT8212F RAID controller supports four PATA drives with ability to unite them in RAID arrays of level 0, 1, 0+1 or JBOD (in the latter case all the connected drives are regarded by the system as one big disk drive).

So, the 925XE7AA allows you to connect as many as six PATA and eight SATA devices simultaneously and to unite most of these drives into RAID arrays. That’s quite a lot, especially if you add a floppy drive, too. Mainboards that support so many disk storage devices are really rare, if we don’t count in products originally targeted at the server market.

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