First impressions of the board look very promising. Both the power and expansion areas are placed in an arrangement that prevents any wire routing puzzles from forming. We will explore component plug layout further in the installation section.
You can also note the different colored expansion ports here. A very nice little cosmetic touch added by ECS, that makes locating different ports and plugins an easier task. It works like a built in hardware installation for dummies feature.
The power regulation circuitry of the board is low profile in nature, and shouldn’t cause any installation obstructions while using large heatsinks. Also noteworthy, is the good spacing of the CPU socket itself, it is spaced as evenly as possible. This helps to avoid obstructions from other board components.
The top right corner of the A770M-A houses the four DDR2 DIMM slots, and the 24-pin power supply connector. The auxiliary power supply connector is located to the top left of the CPU socket.
Below the CPU socket is where the AMD 770 Northbridge is located, cooled by a passive heatsink. Located below that is the AMD SB600 Southbridge, which is also cooled by a passive heatsink. In the region beyond the Southbridge there are two additional USB 2.0 connectors, and next to those are four SATA ports and the front panel connectors. One ATA133 IDE port is visible in this shot as well.
In the expansion slot department, there are two PCI-E x1 slots, one PCI-E x16 slot and three PCI slots. ECS also provides an additional audio connection for the front panel. In another nice design touch, the two PCI-E x1 slots are located above the graphics slot. This is probably about the best possible layout, as even with a dual slot cooler video card, you would only lose functionality of one PCI slot.
Located in the back panel area of the board are PS/2 connectors for legacy keyboard and mouse support, in conjunction with a serial port. Next is an E-SATA port and six USB 2.0 ports. Gigabit LAN and eight channel HD audio connections are also present and accounted for.