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ECS A785GM-M 785G AM3 Micro ATX Motherboard Review

Author: Steve Grever
Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: Elitegroup
Tagged:

Features, Layout, Included Extras

ECS A785GM-M Features

AMD Phenom II support

With the state-of-the-art technology, AMD’s next generation processor, AMD Phenom II, enables the power of platform solutions for gaming, multitasking, and digital entertainment with outstanding performance and energy efficiency

Socket AM3 support

The latest socket AM3 supports AMD’s AM3 processors which have featured the integrated memory controller for DDR3 memory that provides much higher bandwidth to enhance the overall system performance.

Certified For Windows Vista

The latest generation Microsoft O.S., delivers better personal productivity and digital entertainment on your PC through its improved reliability, security, and performance.

Certified For Windows 7

Windows 7 platform introduces a number of manageability improvements that can reduce total cost of ownership by helping to increase automation, improve user productivity, and provide flexible administrative control to meet compliance requirements. It is more user-friendly and has been optimized to consume less system resources with Windows® 7 as well. Furthermore, the VT technology is enhanced to support real-time multimedia application

eJIFFY

ECS eJIFFY is a Linux based interface for a fast boot application which is compressed in a CD to install on the hard drive.Within 8 seconds after the computer boots up, eJIFFY is ready to provide users the total enjoyment for web browsing, photo reviewing and on-line chat. Instead of waiting for the regular OS to start up, eJIFFY serves a convenient center to have quick fun or a glance at the hot news in today’s fast pace world where nothing can be too quick.

HT3.0

The highly scalable Hyper Transport 3.0 is capable to provide incredible bandwidth of the system bus up to 20.8GB/s which would dramatically elevate the efficiency of computing performance.

Dual DDR3 1333

Doubles the bandwidth of your system memory up to 21.0GB/s and pumps up the system performance at lower power.

eSATA

The signal quality and the Max cable length is 2x longer than the conventional one. It also supports external HDD hot plug and keyed connector end for fool-proof.

8 Channel High Definition Audio

Integrated 8-channel HD Audio CODEC delivering advanced multi-channel audio and bringing you the experience of home theater-quality sound.

HDMI

The interface supports existing high-definition video formats(720p, 1080i, and even 1080p), plus multi-channel digital audio on a single cable. Combination with HDCP, provides a secure audio/video interface that meets the security requirements of content providers and systems operators.

Motherboard Intelligent BIOS II

ECS’s exclusive BIOS tweaking utility, M.I.B. II (Motherboard Intelligent BIOS II), which has gathered all options of overclocking in a single page, provides higher voltage capability for helping users to achieve better overclocking results.

 

Board layout

The ECS A785GM-M motherboard comes shipped in a sweet ECS Black Series retail box with an awesome graphic of a gruesome dragon on the front panel. The front panel also details what types of processors, chipsets, and video cards this board supports.

 

The back panel of the retail box goes into mroe detail on the A785GM-M's overclocking features, eJiffy function, and other available I/O features like HDMI and 8.1 audio.

 

After I removed the A785GM-M from its retail enclosure, I got my first real look at the board up close. It's pretty packed with a variety of important features like an PCI-E x16 slot, two PCI-E x1 slots, and a nifty LED post code display for on-the-spot troubleshooting.

 

The back panel of the motherboard isn't really that special and only including a large plastic backplate behind the CPU to help add stability when users install third-party CPU coolers.

 

The back I/O panel is chalked full of available video, audio, LAN, and data transfer headers. Our readers will notice two eSATA ports to go along with six USB 2.0 ports. There is also a firewire 1394a port, HDMI port, D-Sub, DVI, and an optical SPDIF output. ECS truly used the back I/O panel very efficiently and placed every important port users will need right at their fingertips.

 

As we discussed earlier, this board has one PCI-E x1 6 slot, two PCI-E x1 slots, and one PCI slot for add-on cards.

 

Here's a close-up look at the front panel audio header and SPDIF header.

 

The A785GM-M comes with another firewire header and two USB headers that can support up to four USB 2.0 devices.

 

Here's an extreme close-up of the LED post code display that ECS installed right on the front of the motherboard next to the clear CMOS button.

 

ECS also added two handy buttons for resetting and powering on the PC. The front panel headers can also been seen in the photo above. I'm not too happy they didn't color code the front panel header nor provide basic instructions on the board so users don't have to hunt through the user manual to figure out which pin goes where.

 

The bottom right side of the motherbard has six SATA 3GB/s headers as well as an extra three-pin fan connector.

 

There are four DIMMs on this motherboard that support DDR3 1333/1066 with dual-channel architecture. All the DIMMs together can handle up to 32GBs of memory.

 

The heatsinks, MOS, and solid capacitors around the CPU are low enough for users to install expensive third-party CPU coolers on the A785GM-M. The heatsinks actually cover most of the capacitors, which will help discipate heat from them to increase stability.

Overall the entire board layout is pretty crammed, but that's to be expected with modern micro ATX boards. Many vendors are putting features that were once only regulated to regular ATX boards on these tiny micro ATX PCBs so some clutter and tight fits come with the territory. The back I/O panel has everything a user will need for their home theater PCs and the addition of an PCI-E x16 slot that can be used in tandem with the integrated HD 4200 graphics via AMD's Hybrid Crossfire technology provides a lot of flexibility for users wanting a little bit more gaming power from their HTPCs. 

 

Included Extras

The included extras are pretty scarce with the A785GM-M, but they did include a nice backplate, PATA cable, and four SATA cables that have right-angle connectors on one side.

 

ECS also included a handy installation guide for new users as well as a detailed user manual.

 

Lastly, ECS provided a support CD with drivers and other utilities. They also included the eJiffy web function that's very handy for those users who want to quickly boot into their systems to check e-mail and surf the Internet.

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