Published in Motherboards
ASRock brings back retired chipsets
Budget AM2 board with AGP and PCIe
ASRock is set to launch what is possibly the oddest, strangest and most bizzare motherboard ever with its upcoming AliveDual eSATA2 board. ASRock must be sitting on a lot of stock of old and what most of us would have thought to be defunct chipsets, but it seems that thanks to AMD's HyperTransport interface, it's possible to take random chipsets, much as Nvidia does, and pair them up together to create something almost usable.
What we've got here is a combination of Nvidia's old nForce3 250 chipset, which is a single chipset solution with AGP support. With this, ASRock has paired up a ULi M1695 PCIe tunnel, as with AMD CPUs there is no need for any advanced Northbridges, as they only act as an interface between the CPU and the graphics.
This makes for a truly bizzare board that is unlikely to appeal to anyone but the most budget constrained upgraders; but as ASRock has fitted an AM2+ socket, even upgraders are limited to what they can get from their old system. The board only has three SATA connectors, two IDE connectors, a single x16 PCIe slot, an AGP 8x slot and three PCI slots, but still managed to take up a full size ATX motherboard layout.
There's also four memory slots, eSATA, Ethernet, 5.1 or 7.1-channel audio, a few USB 2.0 ports and a parallel and serial port on the board. The layout leaves a lot to be desired and we wish anyone luck that decides to spend money on buying this bizzare creation.
You can find a picture of the board here