ECS A785GM-AD3 Black Series Motherboard Review :: Board Layout

01-31-2010 · Category: Motherboards

By Benjamin Sun

ECS A785GM-AD3 Black Series Motherboard Review board

board

ECS A785GM-AD3 Black Series Motherboard Review 4-pin power

4-pin power

ECS A785GM-AD3 Black Series Motherboard Review CPU Fan Header

CPU Fan Header

ECS A785GM-AD3 Black Series Motherboard Review CPU Socket

CPU Socket


This board is one of the ECS Black Series motherboards. The PCB is all black and the Black Series boards have a little more work put into them than standard ECS boards. Starting in the upper right hand corner of the board we find that ECS has included a 4-pin power connector. The CPUFan header is located on the bottom middle of the board.


ECS A785GM-AD3 Black Series Motherboard Review DIMM Sockets

DIMM Sockets

ECS A785GM-AD3 Black Series Motherboard Review IDE

IDE

ECS A785GM-AD3 Black Series Motherboard Review 24-pin power

24-pin power

ECS A785GM-AD3 Black Series Motherboard Review SATA ports

SATA ports


The CPU Socket, as I indicated earlier is using the Socket AM3 interface. The AM3 CPU has 938 pins while the AM3 Socket has 941 pin contacts. Earlier AM2+ CPUs had 940 pins, meaning that while the AM3 CPU can fit on an AM2+ motherboard due to the lesser pins and the memory controller on the CPU supporting DDR3 and DDR2 memory, the Socket AM2+ CPU would not work due to two extra pins and no DDR3 support.


ECS A785GM-AD3 Black Series Motherboard Review USB 2.0

USB 2.0

ECS A785GM-AD3 Black Series Motherboard Review SysFan NB

SysFan NB

ECS A785GM-AD3 Black Series Motherboard Review ICS

ICS

ECS A785GM-AD3 Black Series Motherboard Review Front USB

Front USB


DDR3 memory basically doubles the speed of the previous generation DDR2 memory, giving data at 8x the data rate of the memory cells that it contains. The ECS board supports up to 16GB of DDR3 memory clocked at up to 1333MHz standard and DDR3 1600 is supported when overclocked. The board has four DIMM slots which are below the CPU socket. ECS has color coded each pair of DIMM slots, one yellow, and one orange pair. Each different pair makes up a memory channel.


ECS A785GM-AD3 Black Series Motherboard Review COM, Clear CMOS

COM, Clear CMOS

ECS A785GM-AD3 Black Series Motherboard Review Power Reset

Power Reset

ECS A785GM-AD3 Black Series Motherboard Review Front Panel

Front Panel

ECS A785GM-AD3 Black Series Motherboard Review Rear of PCB

Rear of PCB


The bottom of the board starts off with a 24-pin power connector. The next item on the board is the IDE connector followed by five SATA2 ports. The SB710 Southbridge chipset supports up to six SATA ports natively in RAID 0, 1, 10 modes. The more expensive SB750 chipset found on some boards adds RAID 5 support which this board does not have. The SB710 supports Advanced Clock Calibration which allows the AMD OverDrive utility to overclock the CPU better.


ECS A785GM-AD3 Black Series Motherboard Review 785G NB

785G NB

ECS A785GM-AD3 Black Series Motherboard Review SB710 SB

SB710 SB

ECS A785GM-AD3 Black Series Motherboard Review Expansion

Expansion

ECS A785GM-AD3 Black Series Motherboard Review USB Power

USB Power


The 785 Northbridge is covered by a heatsink with the Black Series logo on it. The SB710 Southbridge is covered by a smaller heatsink as AMD’s SB710 chip is a really small chip. The left side of the board starts off with a Front Panel header, followed by three USB headers, the COM header, a Clear CMOS button, the CD-In header and the Front Audio header. There is Power and Reset buttons located above the SATA ports, allowing for full control of the motherboard outside of a case.

Expansion on the board consists of two PCI Express x1 slots, a PCI Express x16 Gen 2 slot, and three PCI slots. One thing to note is the board has a single slot for external graphics but supports Hybrid Crossfire. Hybrid Crossfire allows the HD 4200 to work with a HD 3400 or HD 2400 video card to improve performance over the integrated graphics. Unfortunately, the HD 3400 that it is compatible with Hybrid Crossfire is more expensive than a HD 4350 which would provide better performance than the combination..


ECS A785GM-AD3 Black Series Motherboard Review CD In, Front Audio

CD In, Front Audio

ECS A785GM-AD3 Black Series Motherboard Review ALC888S

ALC888S

ECS A785GM-AD3 Black Series Motherboard Review  hardware

hardware

ECS A785GM-AD3 Black Series Motherboard Review Audio

Audio


Onboard sound on the ECS A785GM-AD3 board is provided by the Realtek ALC888S CODEC which is Microsoft Windows Vista Premium (WLP 3.08) compliant. The CODEC supports 7.1+2 channel simultaneous channels (Multi-Streaming). The ALC 888S integrates two stereo ADCs that can support stereo microphone and features Acoustic Echo Cancellation (AEC), Beam Forming and Noise Suppression technology. The ALC888S features extra (secondary S/PDIF-Out outputs and converters for HDMI transmitters. The Rear I/O on the board consists of a PS/2 mouse, keyboard ports, a DVI-D port, a D-sub port, 7 USB 2.0 ports, a Gigabit LAN jack, five jacks for the onboard sound and a S/PDIF Out port.


ECS A785GM-AD3 Black Series Motherboard Review USB Power

USB Power

ECS A785GM-AD3 Black Series Motherboard Review RTL8111DL

RTL8111DL

ECS A785GM-AD3 Black Series Motherboard Review i chip

i chip

ECS A785GM-AD3 Black Series Motherboard Review Rear I/O

Rear I/O