Moving onto the board, we can see a pretty slick looking setup with an almost all black setup going on across the whole board. We can see some active cooling over our X79 chip and a pretty mean looking heatsink around our RAM / CPU area. Let's move in a bit closer and see exactly what's going on in the expansion slot department.
The first thing that has to be said is it's nice to see that ASRock have dropped the legacy PCI slot on its higher end board. Instead we've got a single PCIe x1 slot and five PCIe x16 slots which support up to three cards in SLI or CrossFireX. You can see by the pins that PCIe x16 1 and 3 are wired as x16, while the other three slots are only wired halfway up resulting in them running at x8.
As we move across the bottom of the board, there's nothing too unusual going on with our 1394 Firewire header on the left followed with COM1, some USB 2.0 headers, front panel header, power and reset button, pair of fan headers and above that we can see our LED debug meter.
Turning the corner, we can see an absolute massive amount of SATA ports with a total of 12 being present. On the far right we've got our four black SATA II ports that run off the X79 chipset while the two grey ones next to that are SATA III running off the X79 chip as well.
As for the last six ports, they're all SATA III as well with four running off the Marvell SA9172 controller and two running off the Marvell SE9220 controller. In the end, it all results in a massive amount of SATA III ports.
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