First picture of Asus’ M5A99X EVO motherboard

asus m5a99x First picture of Asus M5A99X EVO motherboard

As far as leaks goes, AMD has managed to keep things secret about its upcoming AM3+ platform pretty quiet, but we're finally starting to see a few leaks here and there from its partners ahead of Computex. The first picture of Asus' upcoming M5A99X EVO board has just made an appearance and it looks like we're in for a treat if this is what a mid-range AM3+ board looks like.

As far as leaks goes, AMD has managed to keep things secret about its upcoming AM3+ platform pretty quiet, but we're finally starting to see a few leaks here and there from its partners ahead of Computex. The first picture of Asus' upcoming M5A99X EVO board has just made an appearance and it looks like we're in for a treat if this is what a mid-range AM3+ board looks like.

In all fairness, the picture is from and odd angle and we can't really see what I/O ports the board has which is a bit of a shame. Even so, we can make out a lot of the details of the board and form a good opinion about what's on offer. Due to the slightly odd placement of the 990X chipset the first expansion slot is missing which isn't exactly a fantastic start, but at least it only gets better from here.

The slots consists of three x16 slots, with the primary and secondary slots sharing bandwidth in a dual x8 mode when both are in use due to chipset limitations and the third slot most likely being a x4 slot. There are also two x1 PCI Express slots and a single PCI slot. AMD's chipsets still support PCI, so there's no need for a bridge chip that takes up a PCI Express lane on AM3+ boards.

asus m5a99x First picture of Asus M5A99X EVO motherboard

Interestingly Asus has gone with the new, more compact CPU cooler retention mechanism ASRock was showing off back at CeBIT. As with all motherboards with AMD's SB950 we're looking at six native SATA 6Gbps ports, although Asus has added another two ports via a third party controller which looks like it's from ASMedia, but it could very well be a Marvell chip, as the angle of the picture doesn't reveal the text on the chip.

Other on-board features include a front USB 3.0 header courtesy of an ASMedia host controller, three headers for an additional six USB 2.0 ports, a header for a FireWire port from a PCI based VIA FireWire controller and a serial port header. It's also clear that the board has an audio and Gigabit Ethernet controller from Realtek, although as to what exact models, we don't know.

As for the rear ports it's pretty safe to say that we're looking at 7.1-channel audio, at least a pair of USB 3.0 ports, a FireWire port, a selection of USB 2.0 ports, maybe a PS/2 port, an Ethernet port, a CMOS reset button, most likely some form of S/PDIF outputs and maybe an eSATA port as well. Of course, most of these are standard features today, but some of them are at least given judging by the chips on the board.

The 8-phase PWM design seems to take up a fair bit of space on the board thanks to its straight layout and this also appears to be one of the reasons that the chipset is located so far down on the board. We're not sold on the heatsink designs either, but more specifically the MOSFET heatsink appears to be taking up a lot of space and might block larger CPU coolers. Otherwise the board has pretty much all of the standard Asus features you'd expect, such as EPU, TPU and MemOK. We'll have to wait a bit longer for pricing and the full details of the board, but there's a good possibility that this board will hit retail before the new AM3+ CPUs are available.

Source: XFastest

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