How to Build a Green Instant-On PC
Motherboard and Chip Set
When it comes to selecting the major components of a PC, reliability reigns supreme, but that reliability should not come at the cost of performance and features—also very important in any motherboard.
Asustek Computer is well known to system builders and has a deserved reputation for reliability and innovation. Asus' latest motherboard exemplifies the company's commitment to excellence and serves as the foundation for our instant-on PC.
The M3A78-T motherboard is one of the first to market using the AMD 790GX chip set, which incorporates a variety of features that enhance performance, yet offers significant energy savings. The 790GX chip set features the current fastest integrated graphics core (the Radeon HD 3200 at 700MHz), energy efficiency from the advanced 55-nm fabrication technology used, AMD's new SB750 southbridge chip (which supports RAID 5) and an ACC (Advanced Clock Calibration) feature that enhances overclocking for Phenom processors.
The 790GX further enhances performance by incorporating sideport memory support into the video subsystem, which acts like a performance cache for video memory. Of course, the 790GX chip set is the heart of Asus' $149.00 M3A78-T motherboard, which is an ATX mainboard that supports socket AM2 processors with 2000/1600 MT/s FSB. The board features two PCI, one PCI-E x1, three PCI-E x16 slot and four DDR2 (double data rate 2)-1066 DIMM (dual in-line memory module) sockets. Rear panel I/O ports include one HDMI, six USB 2.0/1.1, two RJ45 LAN, one IEEE1394a, one Optical S/PDIF and eight-channel audio jacks.