This is another 775 mobo I get for the sole purpose of fun and pushing the AGP limit(s) with some serious CPU's. The mobo does support not only AGP, but also PCIe and not only DDR(1) rams, but DDR2 as well:
So, it is a remarkable piece of hardware Also after updating the bios to latest official P3.10 version ( http://www.asrock.com/mb/VIA/775Dual-VSTA/ ), there are plenty of bios options to play. More that I imagined:
And that is not all! There are existing modified bioses ( http://pctreiber.net/asrock-bios-downloads?did=103 ) that since v3.10a give the possibility to boost the maximum supported ram from 2G (2x1G, you cannot use DDR and DDR2 rams at once, lol) to 4G (2x2G sticks). Current unofficial bios version is 3.19a.
Of course the really available ram on 32bit systems are something around 3.3GBy (all the buffers and your GFX card memory must fit into 4G address space), but it is still a good leap forward, compared to being stuck with "just 2G of ram."
What attract me on the board is 4 phase regulator and good overclockability. When the poor Celeron D 336 on ASRock 775i65G R3.0 hit the wall at FSB 154 ( http://valid.canardpc.com/lregg7 ), the same CPU is not having problems at FSB 164 with this mobo ( http://valid.canardpc.com/rnd2tg ) and when pushed beyond stability, then 175MHz FSB is possible: http://valid.canardpc.com/fxw94m
Sure, sure, 3677MHz from 2.8GHz CPU is nothing spectacular, but w/o incrasing the Vcore it is not actually bad And it looks like that incrasing Vcore could be done by just replacing one SMD resistor with zero resistance to another SMD resistor: http://www.controsensi.it/Mods/4CoreDual-SATA2/Contents_Eng.htm
That is quite good and what it even better is, that near the CPU socket, there are place for 4 (!) stolen CAPS for Vcore regulator! That empty places could get very nice polymer (and small-enought to fit under the heatsink mount) caps. And on the bottom side, there is place just under the CPU for two serious tantal-polymer caps :nana:
So I see a big potencial in this mobo. Just if I understand the settings a bit…
PS. flashing bios is a "little" nightmare, the mobo refuse to boot from CD I create (all other computers do boot), USB flash... and when it finally boot from floppy, not even uniflash was able to flash the bios...! So beware, you really need to use the Windows flasher and NOT latest version but v4.xx (v4.48 from there works: https://www.wimsbios.com/amiflasher.jsp ) as mentioned in this guide (page 2): http://pctreiber.net/2006/howto-biosflash-asrock-motherboards.html
For future reference, there is the latest 3.19a bios WITH the flashing tool: