Now we focus our attention on the board itself. ASUS uses the same black PCB that is used on quite a lot of their high-end boards. The M4A79T Deluxe uses a full size 6 layer ATX PCB to support all of the additional features.
The layout of the board is extremely well designed. The 24-pin ATX power connector resides behind the DDR3 memory slots. The 4/8 pin EPS power connector is located at the top left of the board behind the PS2/USB tower, just above the heatpipe assembly that cools the system.
The CPU socket is extremely clean of any high rise components, which are all solid state; no more electrolyte capacitors, it's all copper. The CPU is powered by an 8x2 power regulation system; eight phases are used to power the CPU core and the final two are used to power the internal Northbridge and memory controller on the CPU die itself. The AMD 790FX Northbridge and the AMD SB750 are all cooled by an all-in-one heatpipe assembly that cools the Mosfets for the voltage regulation system. ASUS has decided to remove the older SB700 and 600 series and use the newer 750 with more SATA ports and upgraded PCIe 2.0 interconnects.
On the lower right side of the board ASUS places the six SATA data connectors that are powered off the SB750. Just above this is the single IDE port that is also run off the SB750. Unlike Intel, AMD still integrates IDE into its Southbridges.
Moving along to the rear I/O panel, ASUS puts a lot of work into this area. This one contains both keyboard and mouse PS/2 ports, FireWire, eSATA, HD Audio and digital audio connectors.
Last on the list are the expansion slots; there are a total of four PCI Express x16 slots, two blue and two black. Being based on the 790FX chipset, this board supports two PCI Express x16 slots at full speed, which are the blue ones. However, if you want to run four graphics cards, eight lanes from the first x16 slot are diverted to the first black slot and a similar process with the second set of slots to give an 8/8/8/8 configuration. For additional expansion there are two legacy PCI slots.