Many have been looking forward to the arrival of the first ULi chipset retail motherboards since our review of the ULi Reference boards. In the first Reference board review and the updated second ULi Reference, we found uncompromised performance with both the PCIe and AGP 8X graphics slots. This is very good news for owners of high-end AGP 8X graphics cards, since for the first time they can buy a board that will run their AGP at full speed now, with provisions for a PCIe video card upgrade in the future. Since we have found no real performance difference in PCIe and AGP cards of the same type, the ULi M1695/M1567 chipset provides fresh new options for many end users.

ASRock, the value line manufactured by Asus, has a long history with the ALi chipsets that were the forerunner of the current ULi chipsets, so it came as no surprise when ASRock was first to retail with the 939Dual-Sata2. Frankly, we really hoped to see a ULi board from Abit or another enthusiast brand (rather than a "value" brand) built around the ULi chipset. Some of these are coming, according to sources at ULi, but the shipping ASRock 939Dual-Sata2 is starting to appear in markets around the world. As you will see in our closer look, the ASRock is much better than we expected, and it adds a couple of features for the future that weren't even on the ULi Reference boards.

Board Layout: ASRock 939Dual-Sata2
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  • poohbear - Thursday, January 19, 2006 - link

    btw, this mobo does NOT support any cpu frequency above 274 w/ any of the official bios' (1.2 and after), so if u buy it thinking u can do 275x9 (or more) u wont. complained to ASRock about this but it falls on deaf ears. :( Reply
  • radiodad - Tuesday, December 06, 2005 - link

    Interesting how posts end abruptly and not seeing any new posts on this board since September seems rather odd. Or is that normal? I just started researching my second build in 3+ years. That begs the questions of whether to buy this board, if anyone is still satisfied having bought one, and has this chipset held up? I want to multitask with a 64 X2 3800+ or 4000+ but if nobody is excited about this board anymore, then maybe I should go for the gusto and spend $200 on an Asus, but I rather not. Any comments? Reply
  • Krakn3Dfx - Saturday, December 17, 2005 - link

    I picked up one about 2 weeks ago as a refurb from newegg. Worked great, I'm currently running an Opteron 146 on it @ 2.5GHz, you can learn a lot more about it over at ocworkbench.com, as they have a pretty extensive forums based on ASrock products. I still had some of the cold boot issues with the 1.2 bios, but upgraded to the 1.5 bios and they went away. Couldn't be happier with my $42 investment :). Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Friday, September 09, 2005 - link

    ASRock has posted a 1.20 BIOS update at their website dated 9/02/05. We flashed an update to 1.2 and the Cold Boot problems have disappeared. If you are experiencing cold boot issues please update to BIOS 1.2. We will also add an update to the review. Reply
  • dlmetzger - Saturday, September 17, 2005 - link

    What exactly is a 'cold boot' issue.

    The article stated "We did find extremely irritating cold boot issues with the ASRock in our testing. Even at standard stock speeds and settings, the 939Dual often required several starts to boot,"

    I purchased the 939Dual for a new computer and it will not start when the power button is pushed. The pins on the System Power Header for the PWRBTN# to GND measure 3.37 Vdc.

    Are these separate problems?
    Reply
  • Fam Money - Monday, September 12, 2005 - link

    Wesley, are you still able to achieve the same or better oc with the 1.20 BIOS? Which BIOS did you originally use?

    TIA
    Reply
  • ElFenix - Friday, September 09, 2005 - link

    does the new bios do anything else, like add more voltage adjustments?

    thanks!
    Reply
  • ElJefe - Saturday, September 10, 2005 - link

    I wish freakin dual core would drop to sane prices. the 4400 looks like the nice semi-future proofing system. This board is perfect for dual core from scratch setup, only good board out there that is garaunteed to work with dual core out of the box.

    Ocworkbench.com didnt experience cold boot problems. they use 1.20.
    Reply
  • StillTickin - Thursday, September 08, 2005 - link

    Hi,

    I'm planning to buy this board once it comes in stock again. I would of course eventually use PC3200 RAM or better on this board.

    But I would like to know, in the interest of saving money for now, if my 512MB of PC2100 RAM that I have on my current motherboard (an FIC AD11) will work on this board for the time being.

    Not a big deal if I have to buy new RAM right now, but it would help if that can wait a month or two, since I'm on a budget.

    Thanks,
    Aly
    Reply
  • SynthDude2001 - Thursday, September 08, 2005 - link

    I don't have any first-hand experience with A64 platforms (yet), but the PC2100 should be fine as long as you set the RAM speed to 133 instead of 200 (which I'm not entirely sure how to do on this board, you may have to get the details from someone else). I suppose it's possible that it might not boot because the default is 200, but it won't hurt to try. Reply

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