Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Ok so the new motherboard I'd ordered arrived today, nothing fancy by today's latest and greatest standards.  Yet I chose this motherboard not only for it's price but because of the perks it included that you'd normally expect from a higher end board.

Here we have the AsRock M3A770DE Motherboard, it's a AM3 motherboard which matches the socket for my planned AMD Phenom II X4 965 as well as having a IDE connector (my DvD Drive is IDE) it includes 4 internal SATA headers, 2 internal USB headers, and  2 PCIe 2.0 (x16 & x4) connectors along with 3 PCI slots and a PCIe 1.0 slot.  There is no onboard video which isn't needed since I'm installing the GT 520 out of my current machine and the space normally reserved for that connector has been better used on 2 rear powered eSATA connectors.  This boards Bios also includes a nifty overclocking feature which I hope to make use of in the future.  The down side of this board though is one of the SATA headers is already used to connect the front mounted SATA port to the motherboard.  With 2 SATA hard drives coming from my current PC this will only leave me one port for expanding internally, I wonder if I should start pricing a nice SSD to install my operating systems on?

Cost?  $59.99 with Free Shipping from Chief Value (You probably haven't heard of these guys.) compared to $61.55 from Amazon and $64.98 from Newegg.

I went ahead and unboxed the board and installed it into the new tower but first I had to do some modification for the Waterblock and pump.  Notice the Big Orange mounting plate for the AM3 mounted Air Cooler from the top pic?  Nope you don't because 4 screws out and 4 screws in later and it was removed to make room for the mounting bracket for my Antec water cooler that will take the air cooler's place.  As you can see once the cooler plate is mounted to the CPU the hoses to the radiator will not be blocking the PCIe 2.0 X16 socket (Green) which is a good thing as that is where the video card will mount. 

Here you can sort of start to get the idea behind the cable management system built into the case, all the cables for the front USB ports, the front SATA port and the Power and Reset button come in the bottom of the case now right below where they are connected to the motherboard.  I have plenty of room to pull the extra cable back, bundle it up and tie it to the conveniently placed anchor points on the back of the Mother board mounting tray but as of yet I haven't.  Once I get the Hard Drives, and Power Supply Unit installed I will tidy this up, mainly I'm waiting because I'll be tying off as many cables together as I can into as small a bundle as possible, waiting means I can make sure I can route the cables off as needed and tie them into one bunch, with individual cables branching off as necessary, instead of 2 or 3 bundles.

All of the other parts for the case, and water cooler that I'm not currently using or won't use such as the Intel mounting brackets for the water cooler, are conveniently stored with the case in that card board box you can see in the empty hard drive bays. 


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