The Asus M3a78-EMH HDMI motherboard is a small form factor board that is perfect for your HTPC setups as far as size in concerned. The setup of the board was very easy and straight forward. We had absolutely no issues with it. The layout is very good as well, which we will see now as we take a closer look.
The top right of the board is where we find our dimm slots for our ddr2 ram. The Asus M3A78-EMH HDMI supports ddr2 in dual channel configuration at speeds of 1066/800/667/533 (1066 is supported when using a Phenom only).
Right next to the dimm slots we have our floppy connector, and right next to that is our 24pin power connector. As you can see, this is right on the edge of the board, which is a perfect placement.
Right underneath the 24-pin power connector is the lone IDE connector on the board, which is powered by the SB700 southbridge. The six SATA ports that are found on the board are also controlled by the southbridge, and have support for RAID 0, 1 and 10. To the left of the SATA is the front I/O panel pins and just above them, we see the Clear CMOS jumper and the battery. To the left of the battery we have our SB700
The lower right hand of the board is where we find our add-on card slots. The Asus M3A78-EMH HDMI sports one x1 PCI-E slot, one x16 PCI-E slot and two legacy PCI slots.
Our audio solution is also found on this part of the board. The M3A78-EMH HDMI uses the Realtek ALC883 Audio chips which provides 8-channel hi def sound.
The top left of the board houses our AM2+ socket CPU. The board not only supports AMD’s Phenom CPU, but also supports all AM2 processors as well. You can also see the large heatsink that covers the 780G northbridge. This heatsink seemed to do the job just fine during our testing. At the very top edge of the board we have our 4-pin 12v connector. This is ideally placed at the edge of the board which will allow for optimal cable management. Take a closer look at the heatsink…
The back I/O plate of the Asus M3A78-EMH HDMI includes your typical ps/2 connectors, as well as four USB ports, a lan port and six audio jacks. The board also includes an HDMI, VGA and DVI connections for the onboard video.
That is really all that is interesting on the board. The layout is actually quite good and should pose no problems in any setup.
Let’s move along…