Articles: Mainboards

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We have already mentioned one controller integrated onto the mainboard PCB. There are two more add-on controllers like that. And of course, there is a sound codec:

The sound is implemented via the Realtek ALC650 microchip. Although it is not a new solution, it provides pretty high-quality six-channel AC’97 sound. Of course, the quality of the sound output also depends on the entire sound tract implementation on the given platform. To test how good the sound quality on Supermicro PDSGE is, we resorted to RightMark AudioAnalyzer utility. Here are the results we obtained:

Frequency response (from 40 Hz to 15 kHz), dB:

+0.28, -0.32


Noise level, dB (A):



Dynamic range, dB (A):



THD, %:


Very good

IMD + Noise, %:



Stereo crosstalk, dB:


Very good

IMD at 10 kHz, %:



General performance: Good

As we can see, the developers did a pretty good job on implementing the sound tract on the Supermicro PDSGE mainboard.

So, let’s continue. Another onboard controller, that we haven’t yet mentioned is the Gigabit Ethernet controller connected to the PCI-E bus. It is Intel 82573V chip.

The second microchip is none other but Super I/O and Hardware Monitor in one:

This time it is Winbond W83627EHG chip. Thanks to this chip you can actually connect up to 5 fans to the mainboard.

And in conclusions to our functionality discussion I would like to point out a few more things. Firstly, Supermicro PDSGE has all the supported USB ports laid out: 6 of them are available on the mainboard back panel among all other connectors, and the remaining two are laid out as onboard connectors.

A pretty interesting feature is a special light emitting diode that can be connected to the case front panel and will indicate the failure of any of the fans connected to the mainboard by blinking. If this LED is constantly lit on, it means the system is getting overheated.

The mainboard itself is equipped with three LEDs. The first one indicates if +5V power is driven to the mainboard, and the other two serve as a simple POST indicator. The list signals and their means are given in the user’s manual.

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