ASUS M2A-VM

ASUS M2A-VM

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Board Layout


Click here for a 3000x2500 high-res shot of the board (3 MB download), the back is here.


Even though the board is just MicroATX, there is enough space for most of the coolers on the market today (= those that follow the specifications). What worries me a bit is the line of tall black capacitors near the CPU socket, these could become a problem if you plan to install some unorthodox coolers. For example I had a problem with the Zalman CNPS8000's heatpipes sitting on the capacitors.


Aside from the standard connectors like PS/2 mouse and keyboard, parallel port, 4x USB, Gigabit Ethernet and Audio you find an analog output connector and a DVI-D port. The DVI port is only DVI-Digital, it does not carry the analog signals for CRT use. If you look closely near the right of the DVI port, you can see that four holes are missing above and below the dash-like opening. The port is dual-link capable, which means you can use high-res displays like the Apple or Dell 30" TFTs.


The motherboard's memory slots have been color coded for easy dual-channel configuration. To run your memory in dual-channel mode, you have to put the modules into slots of the same color.

Connectors


The power connectors are the in standard location, and are both easy to reach, even with CPU cooler installed.


Four SATA 3.0 Gb/s ports are provided by the AMD RS690 chipset.


A single IDE port is good for CD/DVD-ROM use. I find this is a good move on AMD side to keep support for one IDE port. Intel has scrapped them on their newer chipsets which forces motherboard manufacturers to put an additional IDE chip on the motherboard because most people nowadays are still using IDE optical drives.


The headers are plain white, color-coding was probably left out to save some money. They follow the standard, the manual documents them as well.


If this was an enthusiast motherboard, I'd complain about having only three fan connectors. For a value oriented motherboard this is OK though.
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