Published in Motherboards
Asus readying nForce 750a board
We've just gotten some more details on Asus' upcoming nForce 750a board, the M3N-HD/HDMI. It should be available towards the end of this month and oddly enough it didn't seem to have made an appearance at CeBIT. The nForce 750a is quite different from the 780a, as it doesn't rely on the N200 chip to add extra PCIe lanes.
The reason for this is that it only supports dual x8 SLI support, while the 780a does dual x16 or even 3-Way SLI by a single x16 and dual x8. The 750a should end up being far more affordable than than the 780a due to this. The M3N-HD/HDMI is different to all the other 750a boards we've seen to date due to one reason and that's because it has a HDMI rather than a DVI connector as standard.
We're not quite sure why Asus went down this route, although you could use this board for an HTPC setup, it's unlikely that you will. There are some monitors on the market that use HDMI instead of DVI and our best guess is that Asus fitted HDMI to make it work with Hybrid SLI on such a display.
The board is quite basic in terms of features and around the back you'll find a PS/2 port, six USB 2.0 ports, FireWire, coaxial S/PDIF, a Gigabit Ethernet port and 7.1-channel audio jacks apart from the aforementioned HDMI port. The board also has six SATA ports with support for RAID, a pair of x16 PCIe slots, although if both are in use you only get x8 bandwidth, two x1 PCIe slots and two PCI slots.
From what we can tell, the board will also use a new HD audio codec from Realtek, namely the ALC1200, but we don't know what kind of new features this brings. There are also three headers for six additional USB 2.0 ports and one for a second FireWire port. The general layout isn't great, especially the placement of the 24-pin ATX power connector, as this has been placed behind the CPU socket and the heatpipe cooling on the chipset and PWM area.
European e-tailers are already listing the board, but no-one seems to have it in stock as yet with availability dates towards the end of the month. Most of the e-tailers seems to be listing the board for between €125-135.