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The bulk of the board is covered by the huge aluminum heatsink that allows all
of the board's components to be cooled passively. As a result, all of the many onboard
jumpers and headersare crammed around the edges
of the board and behind the back panel ports. With a lot of extra devices, wiring
everything up could be a bit of a nightmare. Even so, VIA has done a fairly
good job of keeping things accessible. The only major annoyance was the placement
of the BIOS reset jumper, which is wedged between the heatsink and the PCI slot.
It proved to be easier just to remove the battery than to use the jumper.
The board's internal connectors are clustered along the edges of the board.
The rear panel features the usual assortment of connectors PS/2, VGA,
4 USB, Ethernet, Audio plus an S-Video port and an RCA plug that can
be used for either composite video or S/PDIF. The only notable omissions are
firewire and a parallel port, which are both supported via internal connectors.
Plenty of external connectors.
Power is supplied by a single 20-pin ATX connector. There is little
room on either side of the connector; there is no room for a 24-pin plug. Because
the power consumption is so low, no +12V AUX connector is needed.
A 20-pin ATX connector feeds power to the board.
Lots of little chips and bits on the bottom of the PCB.
The cooling system is simple. The massive aluminum heatsink
provides passive cooling for all three of the
major chips: CPU, northbridge, and southbridge. Not surprisingly, the heatsink
is not easily removable. It looks every inch an effective passive cooler. It
is large enough to provide a lot of surface area, and fins are widely spaced
with plenty of breathing room in between. The edge fins extend outwards beyond
the base of the heatsink to allow some air to flow underneath them.
A large heatsink with widely spaced fins why don't graphics cards
use something similar?
Plastic bolts attach the heatsink to the board.
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