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 Post subject: ASUS M2A-VM HDMI
PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2007 3:00 pm 
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This is the first motherboard based on the new AMD 690G (ATI RS690) IGP chipset for Socket AM2, and was recently announced at CES. Said to contain Radeon X700-class integrated graphics, the chipset was delayed due to licensing issues concerning HDCP support, and it was thought that ASUS would omit HDMI and HDCP to bring its board to market sooner. Apparently, however, the M2A-VM HDMI does have those features!

On the backplane are PS/2 ports, DVI and VGA outputs, parallel, four USB (with headers for six more), Firewire (with headers for one more), Ethernet, and three audio jacks running off a Realtek ALC884 HD Audio chip (yuck... what happened to AD codecs found on recent ASUS creations?). HDMI and composite and component video are implemented on an expansion card that goes into the x16 PCIe graphics slot. The physical layout is generally good and sensible, with nothing much to complain about. Of course, with such a small board, you must remove the graphics card to upgrade memory.

Image

Looks like a mobo to watch out for. MSI and DFI are expected to announce AMD 690G boards, as well.

EDIT: The board has a yellow RCA jack below the component video outputs, which should be for a composite video signal, and NOT a coaxial SPDIF as I said earlier. Matbe.com has pics of the connectors out back.

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Last edited by tempeteduson on Thu Jan 18, 2007 2:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 8:50 am 
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uhm, does it HAVE to go on the x16 port?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 2:46 pm 
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I'm pretty sure it does. Pick: It or the graphics card. :cry:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 5:41 pm 
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It appears that the board has a piece that extends the whole length of the 16x slot, so I'd say yes.


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 Post subject: MSI has an AMD 690G board in the pipeline too...
PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2007 12:29 am 
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It will be called the K9AGM2-FHI. Note the location of the HDMI connector in the photo - no PCIe x16 riser card.

It also uses the ALC888 instead of the 883 (better S/N ratio, slightly better features, etc.). However, this could be a tasty offering (aside from MSI stability issues), especially if you could get a 35W AM2 dual-core processor in there as well. :D

-Derek

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2007 12:49 pm 
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On the other hand, the MSI board has only two memory slots and a less-than-optimal location for the 4-pin auxiliary power connector. Just things to consider.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2007 12:05 pm 
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OCWorkbench.com has better pictures of the board worth checking out.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2007 5:43 pm 
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For those interested, the product page is up at Asus' test website.

http://zeus.asus.com/hq/products3.aspx? ... 690G/SB600

The chipset will be officially launched tomorrow (Feb. 28).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2007 11:39 pm 
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Just wondering do you have to buy the Supports S/PDIF out interface separate. I wish they included optical out right on the board.
Thanks


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 Post subject: Re: MSI has an AMD 690G board in the pipeline too...
PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 8:50 am 
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derekva wrote:
It will be called the K9AGM2-FHI. Note the location of the HDMI connector in the photo - no PCIe x16 riser card.

It also uses the ALC888 instead of the 883 (better S/N ratio, slightly better features, etc.). However, this could be a tasty offering (aside from MSI stability issues), especially if you could get a 35W AM2 dual-core processor in there as well. :D

-Derek


I've used several MSI boards in the past and they've all been among the best most reliable (and stable) boards I've ever owned. You shouldn't make blanket statements about a company's stability based on your own bad luck. Just my 2c. And no I'm not on MSI's payroll, just a guy who has really liked his MSI boards. For what it's worth, my current board is an Asus and I've always had good experiences with them too :)


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 Post subject: Re: MSI has an AMD 690G board in the pipeline too...
PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 11:17 am 
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Sabrewulf165 wrote:
derekva wrote:
It will be called the K9AGM2-FHI. Note the location of the HDMI connector in the photo - no PCIe x16 riser card.

It also uses the ALC888 instead of the 883 (better S/N ratio, slightly better features, etc.). However, this could be a tasty offering (aside from MSI stability issues), especially if you could get a 35W AM2 dual-core processor in there as well. :D

-Derek


I've used several MSI boards in the past and they've all been among the best most reliable (and stable) boards I've ever owned. You shouldn't make blanket statements about a company's stability based on your own bad luck. Just my 2c. And no I'm not on MSI's payroll, just a guy who has really liked his MSI boards. For what it's worth, my current board is an Asus and I've always had good experiences with them too :)


Point taken - I've just heard a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth with regards to the Neo2 Platinum series over the last few years from several co-workers. It seems that most motherboard manufacturers experience a bad run at some point in their product line(s). I won't bash on MSI any more...I promise. :D

-Derek

<joke>Now, Asus, on the other hand...</joke>

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2007 9:45 pm 
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I believe the ASUS board undervolts as well :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2007 5:59 am 
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From OCWB (and Asus website) I believe that that there is also a s-video connector on the riser. The riser offers S/PDIF - but only out (MSI has in/out, but only internal connectors - same goes for TV-out)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2007 6:41 am 
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The M2A-VM has been available at Newegg for at least 3-4 days now. Anyone bought one yet? I'm interested to know about the idle power consumption. I have a dual opteron server at home and I'm tempted to replace it with one of these and a dual core 65W chip.


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 Post subject: Power Measurements on M2A-VM Motherboard
PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2007 3:07 pm 
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I recently bought a M2A-VM MB to use as a diskless Kubuntu workstation. I installed an Athlon-64 X2 3600+CPU, and 2 GB of PC5300 DDR2 memory. This was installed in an Antec Minuet case and an LG DVD drive. A 80Gb WD IDE drive was used to install Feisty Fawn (March 28?) Kubuntu beta. I experimented with undervolting, and it was rock stable at 1.1V. I didn't try lower than this.

Power measured with a Killawatt unit showed about 75 watts during boot, but at idle runs about 50 watts. I'm not sure the BIOS undervolting really stays active, since I seem to measure the same power at 1.3V core voltage as well. It's not clear yet whether the 2.6.20 kernel supports dynamic voltage adjustments on the AMD AM2 CPU's yet. I figure the power should drop to 40 to 45 watts once I can yank the disk drive.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2007 3:15 pm 
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I just spent most of the day researching on this forum (which is awesome!) and planning my order. The ASRock ALiveNF6G-DVI had just gone out of stock when I started adding parts to my cart.

While looking at the alternatives, I thought the 690G was an outdated chipset until I dug further. So I've ordered the M2A-VM and Sempron 3200+ and hope to report on my undervolting experience soon. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Power Measurements on M2A-VM Motherboard
PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2007 8:37 am 
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jmccluskey wrote:
I recently bought a M2A-VM MB to use as a diskless Kubuntu workstation. I installed an Athlon-64 X2 3600+CPU, and 2 GB of PC5300 DDR2 memory. This was installed in an Antec Minuet case and an LG DVD drive. A 80Gb WD IDE drive was used to install Feisty Fawn (March 28?) Kubuntu beta. I experimented with undervolting, and it was rock stable at 1.1V. I didn't try lower than this.

Power measured with a Killawatt unit showed about 75 watts during boot, but at idle runs about 50 watts. I'm not sure the BIOS undervolting really stays active, since I seem to measure the same power at 1.3V core voltage as well. It's not clear yet whether the 2.6.20 kernel supports dynamic voltage adjustments on the AMD AM2 CPU's yet. I figure the power should drop to 40 to 45 watts once I can yank the disk drive.


I built one for a friend. I used an x2 4200+ CPU (90nm, EE), and 2x1gb, 1x250gb, dvdrw. The system power draw booting windows XP was around 67-75W (using a killawatt), and at idle, it was about 55-60W. I tried undervolting the CPU to 1.1V, but the power usage at idle was 5W higher than with cool n' quiet. So I left it with cool n' quiet enabled.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 2:50 pm 
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I am using this board for my file server atm.

Slap on an AMCC/3Ware RAID5 card on the PCI-express 16 slot, 5 HDD, 3200, 2GB DDR2 memory. Idles at about 70W with CnQ enabled. Haven't tried to undervolt yet but I do not think it will produce any significant results vs. enabling CnQ.

BTW, the downside of M2A-VM is that it doesnt support SpeedFan, so you would need to spend couple more $$ to get Fanmate. Oh, and the layout of the case/CPU fan connectors is wierd. Case fan at the bottom edge?!?!

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 Post subject: HDMI
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 6:02 pm 
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so has anyone hooked up an HDCP monitor, or is it too soon and you are just ironing out other things?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2007 3:59 am 
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vitaminc, can you say something about the clarity of analog audio in this board? Would you deem it "good enough" for a common set of stereo speakers?


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 Post subject: Re: Power Measurements on M2A-VM Motherboard
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 3:13 am 
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jmccluskey wrote:
This was installed in an Antec Minuet case and an LG DVD drive.


how do you find the Minuet? also, how are you running diskless (what is the OS stored on)?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 8:29 pm 
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Hmm, nice report... looks like the M2A-VM might be the board to get vs. its current competition.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2007 8:30 pm 
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I got the non HDMI version as I'm using it as a desktop board with no media center duties involved.

Speedfan is picking up the CPU core and one other Temp sensor labeled ACPI which I'm assuming is the 690G chipset temp?

I'm not getting any fan RPMs at all from speedfan. The BIOS shows 3 RPMs and 4 temps if I remember right.

Does anybody know a way to get more info out of this while in windows?

One other thing, the video driver doesn't play nice with my AL1916W. It'll do native res (1440x900) at 60hz but at 75hz it freaks out. My NVidia cards drive the same monitor at 75hz no problem. I haven't found a way to make the driver lockout the 75hz during the PNP process so I have to keep a CRT hooked up to the analog port so I can use the LCD as a secondary display.

I must mention that the OS was originally installed on a Nforce4 MB with a discrete graphics card. It is possible that a fresh install of windows would address this issue. Either way, I'm assuming a newer BIOS or video driver will fix this but it is annoying currently and I'm not in the mood to format my drive and start over just to see if that is it or not.

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 Post subject: Re: HDMI
PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2007 8:15 pm 
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Greg F. wrote:
so has anyone hooked up an HDCP monitor, or is it too soon and you are just ironing out other things?


Lots of Moniters are HDCP compatible. Usually ones 20" and above are. The only way to really test out the HDCP is if someone gets a Blu-Ray Drive or HD-DVD drive in their HTPC. Isn't that what HDCP is for? To decode copy protected media like BD discs and HD-DVD discs.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2007 2:05 pm 
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Does anyone know if a scythe ninja rev.B would fit in this motherboard?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2007 3:19 pm 
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Quote:
so has anyone hooked up an HDCP monitor, or is it too soon and you are just ironing out other things?

Remember that HDMI is single-link DVI with a different pinout, and audio, so you can expect performance to be identical.

Quote:
I got the non HDMI version as I'm using it as a desktop board with no media center duties involved.
. . .
One other thing, the video driver doesn't play nice with my AL1916W. It'll do native res (1440x900) at 60hz but at 75hz it freaks out. My NVidia cards drive the same monitor at 75hz no problem. I haven't found a way to make the driver lockout the 75hz during the PNP process so I have to keep a CRT hooked up to the analog port so I can use the LCD as a secondary display.

I had similar problems until I tried using the X1250 driver instead of the (correct) X1200 driver. Then it was just fine. Don't ask me why.

Quote:
Does anyone know if a scythe ninja rev.B would fit in this motherboard?

It will but it's a tight fit. The AM2 clips scrape the top of the chipset heatsink. I currently have a Mine installed on one, I'll post a photo.

It holds, and you can of course replace the heatsink with any clip-mounted chipset heatsink. Which it does get really hot without a lot of case airflow (to the touch, not to instability).

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2007 3:28 pm 
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Image

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2007 4:05 pm 
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Thank you Max, I see that it fits with some effort. I will try it :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2007 1:58 am 
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I've just done an Asus M2A-VM HDMI build:

Asus M2A-VM HDMI
Athlon 4800+ 65nm
WD3200AAKS (320GB SATA)
Pioneer DVR-212
Antec SU-380 (stock in Antec NSK-3400)

Total system idle power is 49W with the case fan running at high speed on 5V. One concern is that the northbridge heatsink gets burning hot.

I'm running Ubuntu 7.04 on it (Feisty Fawn), and seems to be stable so far. It seems the open-source ATI drivers don't work with the chipset though, so I need to use the binary drivers - which don't seem to have any xvideo support at this stage.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2007 5:57 pm 
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I am concerned about that northbridge getting so hot. What chipset coolers can be used in this motherboard?
Max Slowik said any clip-mounted one, so which ones use that retention mechanism?


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