ECS have opted for a dragon design on their 785G packaging which has various logos informing us of a few features of the board. Inside we find a standard bundle which includes an eJiffy CD. EJiffy is the ECS take on an idea we have seen Asus push for a while (Express Gate). It gives us basic functionality through a Linux based operating system that boots quickly, ideal for those who want to check the net or chat online in a hurry and don’t want to load Windows.
The board itself is a micro ATX model which measures 24.4x 24.4cm. There are two large heatsinks on the board, the first for the power circuitry and second for the 785G Northbridge. AMD’s SB710 is also passively cooled but with a smaller heatsink. As with the other boards shown earlier in the review this is an AM3 based product which supports Phenom 2 X4, X3, X2 and Athlon 2 X2 CPUs. There are four memory slots split into two channels and each can utilise 16 GB, ECS state that in the future 32 GB will be supported. DDR3 speeds of 800 to 1333MHz are available.
ECS include two PCIe 1x slots on their A785GM-M as well as a single PCI and PCI-Express 16x. Over to the right of these we find six SATA 2 ports which are capable of RAID 0, 1 and 10 and below these are the power and reset buttons.
Connectivity options are very good with Firewire, six USB 2.0, GB LAN (Realtek 8111DL), Realtek 888S 7.1 audio and two eSATA ports which use the JMicron JMB362 controller.
As this is a 785G based board we have onboard graphics present. The Radeon 4200 is a 55nm DirectX 10.1 chip with supports full Blu-Ray acceleration, HDCP and audio/video over HDMI. As a result of having the onboard GPU we have three outputs on the back panel of the board; DVI, VGA and HDMI.
American Megatrends are certainly a popular choice as this is another board which features their code. In the advanced chipset setup screen we find our onboard GPU options which include shared memory size and overclocking. In M.I.B. screen we find CPU and memory configuration which includes CPU voltage adjustments although they are listed in the less useful +XXXmV method rather than by actual decimal values.
In recent months we have taken a look at a number of Z97 boards, including Gigabytes exceptional Z97X- Gaming G1 WIFI-BK and their more affordable, mainstream Z97X-Gaming 5. Of course when it comes to motherboards there are many needs and budgets which require solutions and so as with their...