Asus M2A-VM HDMI: AM2 mATX motherboard

CPUs|Motherboards
Viewing page 2 of 4 pages. Previous 1 2 3 4 Next

PACKAGING & LAYOUT


The Asus M2A-VM HDMI ships in a simple green box.



The package contents. It's standard fare for the most part except for the component cable adapter, Q-connector kit, and the HDMI card.



Asus' Q-connectors.

Asus includes something they call a "Q-connector kit." Instead of painstakingly connecting each individual front panel and USB plug to the appropriate pins on the board (which inevitably results in a lot squinting and cursing), plug them instead into the Q-Connectors which act a convenient go-between. These are great little time savers, and we wish all motherboards would come with them.


The HDMI module needs to be plugged into the PCIe 16x slot.



The board's back panel.

Since Asus decided to include a parallel port, there simply wasn't room for extra video outputs on the back panel. To supplement this, they include an expansion card with HDMI, S-Video/component, composite, and S/PDIF out. To be used, this card must be installed in the PCI-E 16x slot, which may be a huge negative for some users (most notably gamers).


The board viewed from above.

The layout is fairly good. All the main connectors are located on the edges of the board and nothing is glaringly out of place. The IDE port is placed on its side which can help get a bulky IDE cable out of the way. There are three fan headers: one 4-pin next to the AM2 socket for the CPU fan, one 3-pin in a corner near the DIMM slots and one 3-pin at the very bottom next to the USB headers. The CMOS jumper is sandwiched between the SATA ports and the front panel header which makes it a bit difficult to access.


The board layout viewed from a low angle.

Clearance around the socket is a little tight with the northbridge heatsink millimeters away on one side and a line of tall capacitors on another. The heatsink covering the northbridge is surprisingly small and held on by a retention clip hooked onto two hoops. Replacing this heatsink may be problematic as there are no mounting holes. The heatsink on the southbridge chip, common on many Asus boards, is very short with shallow grooves — not ideal for thermal dissipation.



Previous 1 2 3 4 Next

CPUs|Motherboards - Article Index
Help support this site, buy the Asus M2A-VM HDMI motherboard from one of our affiliate retailers!