Times are certainly tough for the computer hardware industry. Sales of personal computers and PC components have fallen drastically, leaving vendors in an unenviable position of having excess stock in their inventories. This in turn has forced many vendors to cease production or at least reduce them down to a more manageable level to keep costs in check. In doing so, they are also forced to impose shorter work weeks, or worse, job cuts. In fact, this is the exact scenario that is being played out in other industries. Hence, to fight this period of gloom, companies are focusing their energies on affordable, smarter, more value-for-money products. In that vein, ASRock here has a rather interesting product with its P43R1600Twins-WiFi.
This is our first review of a motherboard that is based on Intel's P43 chipset, so we thought it'll be good to run you through what's new and different. Basically, compared to the Intel P45 chipset, the only difference is that the P43 chipset only has a single PCIe 2.0 x16 slot, which means SLI or CrossFire configurations are out of the question. Everything else has remained largely unchanged, from the FSB support to the choice of an ICH10 class Southbridge.
Coming back to the ASRock P43R1600Twins-WiFi, the name itself gives a hint of what can be expected. Unsurprisingly, it is based on Intel's P43 chipset, supports up to 1600MHz FSB (when overclocked) and more interestingly, works with either DDR2 or DDR3 memory (though not at the same time) and comes with Wi-Fi support right out of the box via an add-on module. This isn't a new board, but since we've not yet ventured in to the P43 class of boards, we thought this period is an appropriate time to offer our readers motherboard options from this class. ASRrock has quite a reputation for churning out interesting cost optimized designs and as it is, this P43 board is looking rather good value for money. But before we elaborate further, here's a quick look at it:-
As you can see, apart for its six DIMM slots and single PCIe 2.0 x16 slot, the ASRock P43R1600Twins-WiFi looks mostly like your typical modern motherboard. Here's what came with this board followed by its technical specifications:-