Part 2 - Layout
placement of the ATX connector is something that I will definitely have to
highlight; once installed, itís almost touching the CPU heat sink. This placement
issue will generally require disconnecting the ATX connector every time you
would like to remove the heat sink.
The I/O back panel features the mouse, keyboard connectors (PS/2), four USB
2.0 connectors, one parallel printer port, one serial port, the standard AC97
audio connectors and the Gigabit Ethernet port.
Audio support on the FISR Max2 is provided by the C-Media 8738MX featuring
a 6 Channel audio with the help of a MSI sound bracket. The bracket offers
2 SPDIF jacks for digital audio, one for optical and another one for a coaxial
connection and 2 analog line out jacks for a standard 4 channel output. The
C-Media solutions provides decent audio quality under standard 4 channel mode
and quite a pleasant experience under the full 6 channel setup with the use
of a digital connection. Having this solution on the Max2, I wouldnít have
a problem using this option as my main sound source.
Serial ATA support is available thanks to the Promise††† PDC20376 chip. Two
high speed Serial ATA ports (SER1 & SER2) are present on the board supporting
1st generation serial ATA data rates of up to 150MB/s. Each connector
can connect one hard disk. The board features 3 IDE RAID connectors controlled
by the Promise 20376 chip. IDE3 located horizontally around PCI slots 4 and
5 is a enhanced PCI IDE and Ultra DMA 66/100/133 controller providing PIO
mode 0~5, and a Ultra DMA 66/100/133 function.
IEEE 1394 support is present on the board thanks to the VIA VT6306 chip. The
chip is a complete single IEEE 1394 solution providing high speed plug and
play connection to enabled IEEE 1394 products such as HDDís and video cameras.
A bracket is present in the package offering three 1394 pin headers.
interesting feature on the 845PE Max2 is itís on board Intel Gigabit Ethernet
controller. The Intel 82540EM chip located close to the PCI slot number 2
provides a standard IEEE 802.3 Ethernet interface for 1000Base-T, 100Base-TX
and 10Base-T application. The on board Ethernet adapter is capable of sending
and receiving data at 1000 Mb/s, 100Mbís and 10Mb/s speeds in addition of
providing a direct peripheral component interconnect (PCI 2.2) compliant bus
speed up to 66MHz.
Thatís not the only bracket that our 845PE Max2 FISR sample had, featuring
already some interesting features listed in the paragraphs above, a third
bracket is in the bundle that has more than a single use. First you get an
extra USB 2.0 port, a LED system allowing the user to identify system problems
with the help of 4 LED lights capable of 16 different signals possible and
possible Bluetooth support for wireless connectivity.