ECS A790GXM-AD3 Motherboard Review

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The Socket AM3 Black Series Gets Better

ECS continues with their Black Series of motherboards with the introduction of the ECS A790GXM-AD3 motherboard. The Black series boards that we have dealt with have seemed to have a quality build with great features and they are offered at a very reasonable price. Today’s market seems to find nearly everyone searching for a bargain, so this new motherboard from ECS may be just the hot deal you have been looking for… or is it? That is what we intend to find out as we look at the AM3, 790GX based motherboard.

ECS A790GXM-AD3 AMD Socket AM3 Motherboard

The A790GXM-AD3 Black Series motherboard uses the AMD 790GX chipset, so it fully supports all of the Phenom and Phenom II processors on the market today. In addition, the ECS A790GXM-AD3 comes with the feature of dual channel memory architecture that supports DDR3 1333MHz memory up to the capacity of 32GB which is capable to provide faster data throughput for memory-intensive applications. To meet hardcore overclockers’ requirements, the latest exclusive BIOS utility, M.I.B. II, is included to provide various detailed tweaking options. Paired with AMD SB750 south bridge controller supporting the function of ACC (Advanced Clock Calibration), ECS A790GXM-AD3 allows users to push the overall system performance to another higher scale. It also means that you you are trying to ‘unlock’ a triple core AMD Phenom II processor and make it a quad core this board should be able to give it a shot. The board also features a five phase power design with a massive heat sink to help keep things from overheating. The board of course also features AMD CrossFire technology for true multi-GPU gaming performance and six SATA II 3.0GB/s ports that support advanced RAID configurations like RAID 5 and RAID 10. Let’s take a closer look at all the specs:

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

  • 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*
  • (Due to the DRAM maximum size is 2GB at present, the memory maximum size we have tested is 8GB)
  • Support DDR3 up to 1333/1066 DDR3 SDRAM*
  • (Due to AMD CPU spec limitation, please refer to Memory QVL for more information)

Expansion Slot

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

Storage

  • Support 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
  • Support by JMB 361
  • 1 x eSATA

Audio

  • Realtek ALC888 8-channel audio CODEC
  • Compliant with HD audio specification

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

  • 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

Form Factor

  • ATX Size, 305mm*244mm

Warranty

  • 36 months on parts
  • 24 months for parts and labor
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