SB750 south bridge chip supports six SATA-300 ports allowing RAID 0, 1, 5, 10 and JBOD, and one ATA-133 port. All the SATA ports are located facing the motherboard edge, so the cables on these connectors are installed parallel to the motherboard. Some manufacturers put the SATA ports on the same line as the PCI Express x16 slots and then the video card makes it difficult or even impossible for you to install cables on the SATA ports, problem that does not happen with ECS A790GXM-AD3.
Additionally this motherboard has one eSATA-300 port located on the rear panel, controlled by a JMicron JMB361 chip.
As you can see in Figure 4, A790GXM-AD3 like other members from Black Edition series from ECS has on-board power and reset buttons, which helps a lot if you are overclocking or debugging your PC.
No floppy disk drive controller is present.
This motherboard has all the 12 USB 2.0 ports supported by the chipset, six soldered on the rear panel and six available through three motherboard headers. The motherboard doesn’t come with I/O brackets for you to use the USB headers, so is interesting to buy a case with four USB ports to go with this motherboard. No FireWire ports are provided.
Audio is generated by the chipset using a Realtek ALC888S codec, which provides 7.1 audio with 24-bit resolution, 97 dB signal-to-noise ratio for the outputs, 90 dB signal-to-noise ratio for the analog inputs, 192 kHz sampling rate for the outputs and 96 kHz sampling rate for the inputs. If you want to work professionally converting and editing audio from an analog source (e.g., converting VHS tapes, LPs, etc to digital format) we highly recommend you to pick a motherboard with a codec with at least 100 dB signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) for its analog inputs (ADC).
This motherboard comes with an on-board optical SPDIF output, and coaxial SPDIF output is supported through an SPDIF out header present on the motherboard. If you want to use this output you will need to buy an I/O bracket containing i
t, as this motherboard doesn’t come with one.
On the analog side ECS A790GXM-AD3 doesn’t come with independent 7.1 analog outputs. You will be able to use a set of 5.1 speakers together with a line in cable and a microphone installed, but if you want to use line in and mic in at the same time as 7.1 audio you will have to use the SPDIF output for that.
A Gigabit Ethernet port is provided, controlled by a Realtek RTL8111C chip.
A790GXM-AD3 comes with an on-board HDMI output. Together with its on-board optical SPDIF output it may be an option to build a home theater PC (HTPC).
In Figure 5, you can see the motherboard rear panel with PS/2 mouse and keyboard connectors, clear CMOS button, VGA and HDMI outputs, six USB 2.0 ports, eSATA-300 port, optical SPDIF output, Gigabit Ethernet port and analog (5.1 independent/7.1 shared) audio outputs.