ASUS M3A79-T Deluxe Motherboard Review :: M3A79-T Deluxe Layout

10-29-2008 · Category: Motherboards

By Ben Sun

The CPU area is clear of obstacles allowing you to install after-market cooling solutions. The CPU Socket is surrounded by a heatsink on one side that has a heatpipe leading out to the Northbridge. A second heatpipe leads out from the 790FX Northbridge to the SB750 Southbridge. The NB and SB are covered with a heatsink, cooling the chips.


ASUS M3A79-T Deluxe Motherboard Review CPU Socket

CPU Socket

ASUS M3A79-T Deluxe Motherboard Review CPU Socket area

CPU Socket area

ASUS M3A79-T Deluxe Motherboard Review Back heatsink

Back heatsink

ASUS M3A79-T Deluxe Motherboard Review Northbridge

Northbridge


The right hand side of the CPU Socket has four DIMM Sockets for up to 16GB of DDR2-1066MHz DDR2 memory. As I noted before, the memory controller is on the CPU die, meaning that DDR2 support is dependent on whether the CPU supports the higher speed, namely the AM2+ CPUs that also support HyperTransport 3.0. Earlier CPUs will support DDR2-800MHz.


ASUS M3A79-T Deluxe Motherboard Review Southbridge

Southbridge

ASUS M3A79-T Deluxe Motherboard Review Capacitors

Capacitors

ASUS M3A79-T Deluxe Motherboard Review FP

FP

ASUS M3A79-T Deluxe Motherboard Review Rear of motherboard

Rear of motherboard


Next to the memory slots is the 24-pin power connector. In a bit of a departure from the norm, the 24-pin power connector is located more towards the center of the boardís bottom edge. This doesnít interfere with cable management inside a case. The 8-pin power connector is on the top of the board next to the rear IO where it should be. There is a Power and Reset buttons on the board to operate it outside of a case.


ASUS M3A79-T Deluxe Motherboard Review 24-pin power

24-pin power

ASUS M3A79-T Deluxe Motherboard Review 8-pin power

8-pin power

ASUS M3A79-T Deluxe Motherboard Review Power Reset

Power Reset

ASUS M3A79-T Deluxe Motherboard Review Memory

Memory


The M3A79A-T Deluxe board has an interesting mix of expansion slots to accommodate four PCI Express x16 slots. Expansion slots are: PCI Express 2.0 x16_1, PCI, PCI Express 2.0 16_2, PCI, PCI Express 2.0 x16_3, PCI Express 2.0 x16_4. Note that if you are using 2-slot video cards like the 4870, three cards can be installed. If four cards are installed in this motherboard, they operate in x8 x8 x8 x8 mode. Three cards can operate in x16, x8, x8 mode. Two cards will operate in x16/x16 mode.


ASUS M3A79-T Deluxe Motherboard Review Expansion

Expansion

ASUS M3A79-T Deluxe Motherboard Review PCI Express locks

PCI Express locks

ASUS M3A79-T Deluxe Motherboard Review SATA ports

SATA ports

ASUS M3A79-T Deluxe Motherboard Review IDE port

IDE port


Hard drive expansion on the board consists of the now standard 6 SATA 3Gb/s ports. The SATA ports are angled sideways at a 90 degree angle, meaning that video cards will not interfere with the installation of the hard disks. Many other motherboards on the market block up to four SATA ports especially with the installation of multiple graphics cards but this board does not. There is also an IDE port that is angled. The FDD port is on the left side of the board.


ASUS M3A79-T Deluxe Motherboard Review FDD port

FDD port

ASUS M3A79-T Deluxe Motherboard Review AAFP

AAFP

ASUS M3A79-T Deluxe Motherboard Review Firewire header

Firewire header

ASUS M3A79-T Deluxe Motherboard Review USB headers

USB headers


The left side of the board has the AA Front Panel, the Chassis fan header, FDD, a Firewire header, 2 headers for USB 2.0, a COM1 header, Power, Reset and the Front panel IO. There is a third USB header on the right hand side of the board next to the 8-pin power connector. The right side also has a CPU Fan header with a 3-pin power connector on the top area of the board. This brings the total Firewire on the board to two ports and 12 ports for the USB.


ASUS M3A79-T Deluxe Motherboard Review ITE chip

ITE chip

ASUS M3A79-T Deluxe Motherboard Review LSI chip

LSI chip

ASUS M3A79-T Deluxe Motherboard Review Pwr fan connector

Pwr fan connector

ASUS M3A79-T Deluxe Motherboard Review Marvell controller

Marvell controller


Onboard audio on the M3A79-T Deluxe board is provided by the ADI 2000B CODEC. This solution offers jack-sensing and is compatible with Creative Labsí X-Fi software up to EAX 4.0. Modern sound cards have mostly been made obsolete by the High Definition Audio initiative as many of the necessary features have been incorporated into even the least expensive motherboard chipsets. The ADI 2000B CODEC supports up to 7.1 Surround Sound+2 channel FP Audio simultaneously.


ASUS M3A79-T Deluxe Motherboard Review Rear IO

Rear IO


The rear I/O on the board has mostly done away with the legacy ports of earlier motherboards. There is a PS/2 Keyboard/Mouse combo port that can be used for either mouse or keyboard installation. The modern enthusiast will have a USB keyboard and mouse or even Wireless but this is there if you need it. Also on the rear IO are 1x Optical, 1 Coaxial S/PDIF Out port, 1 External SATA port, 1 IEEE-1394a port, 1 RJ45 jack for the onboard Gigabit Ethernet, 6 USB 2.0 ports and 6 audio jacks for the onboard audio.