The ECS A785GM-M is a micro ATX motherboard and for the most part its layout is conventional. In the upper right hand corner are four DDR3 DIMM sockets that support speeds up to DDR3-1333MHz in a dual channel configuration. Positioned between the DDR3 sockets and the edge of the black PCB is the single ATA-133 IDE connector as well as the 24-pin ATX power connector.
Moving towards the bottom edge of the motherboard is the AMD SB710 Southbridge that is cooled by a passive, aluminum heatsink that is secured to the PCB via pushpins in opposing corners. Next to the SB710 along the edge of the PCB are six Serial ATA 2.0 ports that are rotated 90 degrees. Also found in this vicinity of the motherboard are three USB 2.0 headers, one IEEE-1394a Firewire header, one 3-pin fan connector, and the front panel headers. Built onto the PCB itself are also power and reset switches, which are very convenient for people like us that frequently run the systems as an open-air testbed.
The expansion slots on the A785GM-M include two PCI Express x1, one PCI Express x16 (v2.0), and one PCI slot. The PCI Express x16 slot is PCI-E 2.0 and is compatible with ATI's Hybrid Graphics technology for splitting the rendering workload between a discrete GPU and the integrated ATI 785G. Covering the 785G Chipset itself is another aluminum passive cooler and there is a third passive cooler that assists in driving heat away from some of the main power circuitry. It is also important to note that with this ECS motherboard there are all solid capacitors.
The AM3 CPU socket is positioned closely next to the two passive heatsinks while the 8-pin EPS 12V connector is positioned above the top heatsink. Supported by this motherboard are AMD Phenom II processors with Hyper Transport 3.0 support. The connectors at the rear I/O panel include VGA, DVI, HDMI, six USB 2.0, one IEEE-1394a Firewire, two eSATA 2.0, one Gigabit Ethernet, and six audio connectors. Seeing VGA, HDMI, and DVI all on this motherboard is very nice and certainly convenient.