It's board time and Sapphire has done a very interesting job. The 790GX based board has been placed on a full size ATX PCB that is dark blue in colour.
The layout is rather clean for this board. The 24-pin ATX power connector along with the IDE and FDD port are located on the right hand side edge of the board behind the four DDR2 memory slots which are coloured yellow for channel 1 and blue for channel 2. A 4/8 pin CPU power port is located on the left hand side behind the rear I/O ports and the heat-pipe assembly.
Moving to the storage connectors which are located towards the bottom right of the board, using the SB750 this board gets six native SATA-300 ports which support the major RAID levels as well as AHCI. These ports are not rotated and are facing up like traditional SATA ports, which may pose a problem when using large graphics cards.
AMD's retention design for its heatsinks makes it pretty good for keeping the CPU area clean, as they have a standard footprint. The board follows this and has plenty of room around it to allow large heatsinks to be installed. The CPU is fed its power through a six phase regulation system using solid sate components. A heat-pipe assembly is used to keep the voltage regulators cool. This heat-pipe assembly is used to cool the AMD 790GX Northbridge as well. As for the SB750, this is cooled by a separate heatsink.
Moving to the rear I/O ports, we have a good layout here. First off, since the 790GX has an IGP there are three different monitor options. First is the standard CRT and DVI-I port for traditional monitors. For pure digital connection there is a HDMI port that supports the latest HD video standard and audio passthrough. The rest is pretty self explanatory.
Lastly, we are down to the expansion slots that the board is equipped with. Being Crossfire based, there are two PCIe x16 slots; an orange and a blue. The orange slot is the primary slot and when the switch card is in the blue slot all 16 lanes are set to the orange slot. When the card is removed 8 lanes are stolen away and sent to the blue slot to allow Crossfire operations. Two PCIe x1 slots are placed between the two x16 slots and two legacy PCI slots make up the full compliment.
Last updated: Apr 7, 2020 at 12:27 pm CDT
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