Intel boards tend to have excellent layouts as they are the reference boards for the chipsets that make up the vast majority of the available motherboards on the market today. The DX48BT2 has a great layout in most respects. The CPU area of the board is clear of obstructions allowing for the installation of after-market heatsinks.

The X48 chipset has support for ATI’s Crossfire technology. This allows the user to install two or more video cards into available PCI Express x16 slots. The DX48BT2 has three PCI Express x16 slots. All of the slots are Generation 2.0 PCI Express meaning that they have up to 8GB bandwidth between the video cards and the system controller when operating in x16 mode. One of the slots is electrically wired to x4. Installing Crossfire in this setup is easy just install two or three cards in the free slots and install the Catalyst driver.

There are six SATA ports on the motherboard, which is two more than typically found on motherboards today. With the two external SATA (eSATA) ports, this brings the total supported on the board to eight without additional purchase. Intel’s board sports the ICH9R Southbridge which supports RAID 0, 1, 5, 0+1 and 10 modes. Intel has improved support for their Matrix Storage console in Windows. Their board also includes a Marvell RAID controller for IDE and the external SATA ports.

The 24-pin power connector is on the bottom of the board next to the IDE connector. The 8-pin power connector is on the very top of the board next to the screw mounting hole. This location is great for the routing of power cables from the PSU as it doesn’t interfere with the airflow or other cables on the motherboard.
The board has six fan headers, plenty for the hardware enthusiast wanting a lot of fans on their system. The 4-pin CPU fan header is on the right hand side of the board next to the CPU Socket. There’s another 4-pin fan on the left hand side of the board next to the 4-pin CD In header. Two 3-pin Fan headers are located in between the CPU Socket and the first PCI Express x16 slot. The fifth 3-pin Fan header is under the 24-pin power connector. There are two USB headers on the board on the left hand side of the board. This brings the total USB ports available on the board to ten with six being on the back panel IO. There is a Firewire header as well bringing the total supported by the board to two without an additional bracket on the PCI or PCI Express x1 slots. Also on the board is a 4-pin Molex connector to provide auxiliary power to the motherboard

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Vishnu vardhan Reddy Boda is Tech Blogger and Software Engineer.

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