Initial impressions of the layout of the board were good. Once again, this is an mATX motherboard, so there is a lot of stuff to pack on here. Many times, there are a few things that have to be sacrificed on a smaller form factor board, and this board is no exception. There are a couple of things that are an inconvenience that you should be aware of. We will look at those closer here…
The top right of the board is the location of our dimm slots. The DFI LanParty 790GX-M3H5 motherboard supports up to 16GB of DDR3 memory in dual channel configuration. Just to the right of the DDR slots is where we find the 24-pin power connector for the board. And just underneath that is the lone IDE connector on the board.
The bottom right of the board has a few goodies that make the eyes of enthusiasts get big. Well, at least mine! This is also where the SATA ports are on the board. The board supports six SATAII devices and supports RAID 0, 1, 10, 5 JBOD and AHCI. Let’s take a closer look at some other things…
I love the power and reset buttons on the board! They make testing much easier! The colored pin connectors are also very nice to have. The LED’s are for troubleshooting, and will come in handy diagnosing any issues you may have. We did not have to use them though!
On the bottom left corner we have our add-on card slots. We have one legacy PCI slot, two x16 PCIe slots and one x1 PCIe slot. The board does support Crossfire X graphics as well.
Audio on the board is powered by the Realtek ALC885 8-channel HD codec. LAN is powered by the Marvell 88E8056 Gigabit LAN controller.
There is not usually much to talk about on the top left of the board, but there were two issues that we needed to point out for you that are the inconveniences that we were talking about. Take a look…
The 8-pin 12v connector is located in a tough spot if you have large hands. It is not impossible to get to, but a little harder than normal.
The other thing that could be an issue is the close proximity of the CPU socket to the northbridge heatsink. This could cause problems with large aftermarket coolers, so you should make sure there will be room for your cooler or be prepared to get a new one. You can also make out part of the 4-Phase Digital PWM + 1-Phase Digital PWM for the 790GX chipset in the image above.
The back I/O ports include: the ps/2 keyboard and mouse ports, HDMI, DVI, four USB, one Gigabit LAN and your audio jacks.