XFX 650i Ultra Socket 775 Motherboard
The Board - Close up
XFX 650i Ultra Close-up
The first thing you notice is the fact that the XFX 650i Ultra motherboard is on a green PCB. I was hoping for XFX to be using a black PCB as they do on some of their cards, but as this board is a lower end board I assume this must be cost-saving. The next thing you notice is that the cooling is very minimal with no South-Bridge cooling and no PWM IC cooling.
The colour scheme is pretty decent with white and black being used predominantly and the PCI and PCI-e slots being differentiated by these colours.
The NorthBridge heatsink is just a large chunk of aluminium painted black, not the best cooling solution we've ever seen in all honesty.
Not only did I notice this, but I also noticed that the capacitors around the PWM area are very close to the CPU socket. After fitting the Scythe Infinity cooler here it is obvious that these are far too close for comfort and although I fitted the heatsink sideways, it would not fit face-on as it usually does. I believe this would mean many of the larger coolers would have some issues fitting on the board, which is a bit of a shame.
Notice two things in this picture; firstly the PWM has no heatsink on it at all which is pretty strange, secondly notice that the 12v power connector is a 4-pin affair which is contrary to many of the high-end boards out nowadays. Indeed your PSU will need to either have a splitable 8 PIN 12v lead, or have a special adaptor (as mine had).
With a couple of PCI-e X1 slots, 1 PCI-e x16 slot and three PCI slots onboard I think XFX have done well for expansion slot choice with a nice range there for you. Nothing overly unusual in the layout here...
One feature I found pretty cool on the board was the battery that had been made vertical to save space. This means that it's easy access in case of change or if that CMOS really won't clear properly.
All of the connectors are at the edge of the board where they should be and also unusually the front IO panel is very much on the bottom edge of the board which is good. Again notice that the SouthBridge is devoid of cooling, which is slightly unusual.
There's enough room from the CPU area to the RAM slots to be able to add some oversize memory such as the OCZ Reaper modules
. The ATX power connector is again at the edge of the board, just as it should be.
Overall the layout is "OK", with some quibbles which would put enthusiasts off altogether, unfortunately.
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