Albatron PX875P Pro - Page 3

..:: PX875P Pro Layout: Socket Area ::..

From an overhead perspective, the look of the Albatron PX875P Pro is that of a colorful blend, featuring a combination of several different colors for various component connectors. The PX875P Pro features a gorgeous blue PCB, although I was hoping for more unison for the color scheme. As manufacturers have picked up on the idea of multi-colored motherboards, many have progressed to set color palettes for motherboard components using two to three colors. This board would look even better if it used a simple two color design, in my opinion. Some might find the current look to be excellent, but what can I say, Iím a picky s.o.b. The first thing that jumped out at me with the PX875P Pro had to be the Northbridge heatsink, glimmering and gold. The PX875P Pro has what looks to be quite a nice layout, but letís get a little deeper into things now to see if this is indeed true.

As far as the processor socket orientation goes for the PX875P Pro, Albatron has chosen to opt with the layout that we feel is optimal for cable routing purposes, that being a east-west layout with the core components of the core voltage power supply along the top portion of the motherboard. Within the processor socket itself, we find several small chip capacitors, while some are also located around the outer rim of the retention bracket. Underneath the left hand side of the retention bracket, we find the brain of the PX875P Proís core voltage power supply control system, the Analog Devices ADP3180 Synchronous Buck Controller. This controller features a six-bit, programmable output for voltages ranging from 0.8375V to 1.600V, the now standard measurements for Intelís VRD / VRM 10.0 specifications. An internal DAC reads the signal sent by the processor, and determines the proper settings for the control to convert the stock 12V input voltage down to the given voltage that is needed. The ADP3180 chip is capable of up to a four phase operating mode, though we se that the PX875P Pro only operates off of a three phase setup.

Along the top portion of the PCB, we find all of the core electrical and magnetic components that make up the core voltage power supply. We can see that, exactly as Albatron stated after the whole capacitor leakage fiasco, they indeed are using only high quality Sanyo capacitors for both the input and output current. Capacitors are used to resist sudden changes in voltage. This allows for the voltage across the processor to remain within a given tolerance and keep everything protected from sudden voltage spikes. The inductors here serve to resist any sudden changes in current, yet another important factor. Inductors naturally create a force against the flow of current until they reach equilibrium, so if there is ever a spike in current the inductors will create a force against the current to smooth out the sudden spike. This portion of the board also features the 12V, four-pin power connection, along with three Analog Devices ADP3418 MOSFET driver chips, and various other items such as the diodes, capacitors, and resistors used.

The portion of the board to both the left and right of the processor socket is quite clean, given the fact that the core voltage power supply has been moved along the top of the board. Other than a few surface mounted items, both of these areas are relatively clean and clear of any large components. As we progress further down the PCB, we once again will come across a larger array of items, but for now everything is clear. I do like the layout that Albatron has opted to go with for the PX875P Pro. Due to the location of the core voltage components, the 12V power cable although small, doesnít need to be routed around the processor socket. This orientation also allows for better airflow over the MOSFETís to keep them running at a cooler, more stable temperature.