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ECS A790GXM-AD3 790GX AM3 Motherboard Review

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Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: Elitegroup
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Introduction and Specifications

Elitegroup rolls out its first AM3 motherboard

After reviewing how ASUS is using the 790GX chipset in its AM2+ motherboards, I was very excited to see how this chipset would perform with an AM3 motherboard that supports DDR3 memory. The first AM3 motherboard we could get our hands on was the ECS A790GXM-AD3, which is what we are evaluating today.

 



(Photo courtesy of ECS)

The A790GXM-AD3 is ECS’s first AM3 Socket motherboard. The integrated graphics platform is designed from AMD's 790GX chipset and powered by the ATI’s Radeon HD 3300 graphics core. One of the key selling points of all AM3 motherboards is their support for dual channel DDR3 1333 memory, and we are very interested to see how the extra bandwidth factors into the overall performance of this board.

ECS claims that the A790GXM-AD3 will deliver the best AMD Phenom II overclocking options and we will definitely put that statement to the test. Some of the other advanced features available on this motherboard include HyperTransport 3.0 and ATI Hybrid graphics, and additional chipset features like ATI PowerPlay. This motherboard also features a low power design that claims to reduce unnecessary power usage. 

ECS A790GXM-AD3 Specifications (from ECS website)

CPU: Socket AM3 socket for AMD Phenom™ II processors

  • High-performance HyperTransport 3.0 CPU Interface
  • Support transfer rate up to 5200 mega-transfers per second
  • Note: This board supports CPU up to 140W TDP only; you can refer to AMD website to check your CPU.

CHIPSET: AMD® 790GX & AMD® SB750

  • North Bridge: AMD® 790GX
  • South Bridge: AMD® SB750

GRAPHICS: On Chip (AMD 790GX-based with ATI Radeon HD3300 graphics )

  • Integrated DirectX 10 graphics processor 

MEMORY: Dual-channel DDR3 memory architecture

  • 4 x 240-pin DDR3 DIMM socket support up to 32GB
  • Supports DDR3 up to 1333/1066 DDR3 SDRAM

EXPANSION SLOTS:

  • 2 x PCI Express Gen 2.0 x16 slots
  • 2 x PCI Express x1 slots
  • 2 x PCI slots 

STORAGE: Supported by AMD SB750

  • 2 x Ultra DMA 100/66/33 devices
  • 6 x Serial ATAII 3.0Gb/s devices
  • RAID0, RAID1, RAID5, RAID 10 configuration
  • eSATA supported by JMB 361 (1 x eSATA)

AUDIO: Realtek ALC888 8-channel HD audio CODEC

LAN: Realtek RTL 8111C Gigabit Fast Ethernet NIC

REAR PANEL I/O:

  • 1 x PS/2 keyboard & PS/2 mouse connectors
  • 1 x D-sub(VGA)
  • 1 x HDMI Port
  • 1 x RJ45 LAN connector
  • 1 x optical S/PDIF Out connector
  • 1 x Audio port (Line-in,4x Line-out, Mic_in)
  • 1 x Clear_CMOS button
  • 1 x eSATA
  • 6 x USB ports

INTERNAL I/O CONNECTORS AND HEADERS: 

  • 1 x 24-pin ATX Power Supply connector
  • 1 x 8-pin ATX 12V Power Connector
  • 1 x 4-pin power connector for VGA card
  • 1 x 4-pin CPU_FAN connector
  • 1 x 3-pin SYS_FAN connector
  • 1 x 3-pin PWR_FAN connector
  • 1 x 3-pin NB_FAN connector
  • 1 x Power on button
  • 1 x Reset button
  • 1 x IDE connector
  • 1 x Speaker header
  • 1 x Front panel switch/LED header
  • 1 x Front panel audio header
  • 1 x SPDIF out header
  • 1X Power on LED (Green light)
  • 6 x Serial ATA 3Gb/s connectors
  • 3 x USB 2.0 headers support additional 6 USB ports 

SYSTEM BIOS: AMI BIOS with 8Mb SPI Flash ROM

  • Supports Plug and Play, STR/STD, Hardware monitor, Multi Boot, DMI
  • Support ECS M.I.B II Utility
  • CPU voltage adjustable
  • Memory voltage adjustable
  • NB Chipset Voltage Adjustable
  • SB Chipset Voltage Adjustable
  • HT Voltage Adjustable
  • External Clock Adjustable
  • Multiple Frequency Adjustable 

FORM FACTOR: ATX Size, 305mm*244mm 

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