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The Layout / PCB


The CS61 features somewhat of a standard design. As with all 815xx Solutions the board’s features three well-positioned DIMM slots. The DIMMs are interfering with the video adapter (AGP) when installed. This little “bug” is present on several of today's mainboards and generally results in unpleasant experiences due the fact that when upgrading your RAM will require to remove the video adapter.

Another little design flaw on the CS61 is its FDD connector placement. DFI opted and placed it vertically at the very bottom of the board along with the PCI ports. I would have preferred to see it close to the two HDD connectors; this would have resulted in a cleaner design.

The CS61features two 40-pin IDE connectors marked as IDE1 and IDE2. Each connector supports up to two IDE devices. Thanks to the AC97 codec on the ICH2 controller, onboard sound is present. This particular codec is very similar to the Sound-Blaster 16 card and should satisfy most of the office users. However, if you are playing a lot of games and/or use a multi-channel sound system, you would be better off with a normal high-end audio card such as the SBLIVE. The implanted audio solution features two different internal audio connectors (CD-in/TAD) on the PCB. These connectors allow you to receive stereo audio input from sound sources such as CD-ROM drives and TV Tuners.

The power supply connector is located on the left of the 815xx chip, this unfortunately might be another design flaw on the CS61 because the power cables might run over the memory and CPU which would potentially block airflow.

The expansion of the CS61 can be considered maximum. DFI opted for 6 PCI slots and an optional CNR slot for people looking to take advantage of the integrated network controller in the 82810BA ICH2 or other CNR based devices such as a V90 phone modem. The j18/19 connector on the PCB allows to connect the optional third or fourth USB ports supported by the 815xx platform, this will have to be bought extra, as DFI did not bundle it. The CS61-EC is also equipped with an IrDA connector for wireless connectivity between your PC and peripheral devices.

The CS61-EC offers different front side bus settings in order to overclock the processor. The changes can be done via BIOS. DFI placed two jumpers (JP2/JP3) on the board that lets you choose the main FSB for your processor. For example, if you run on a Pentium III EB (133MHz) Processor the choices for overclocking will be 133Mhz and higher, in little MHz choice. For a standard E Processor (100MHz) the choices will start from 100MHz and reach 129MHz in little MHz choices.









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