Asus joins the race with two new socket AM1 motherboards.
Asus has announced two new motherboards – the AM1M-A and the AM1I-A. These motherboards, as their names indicate, are both based on AMD's new AM1 platform. Both of the motherboards are largely identical, with a couple of differences in format and connectivity.
The AM1M-A is based on the Micro-ATX format, though it is a little bit narrower and is missing one expansion slot. The AM1I-A is a Mini-ITX board. The little boards are rather simple, but carry everything you'll need in a basic PC.
Both of the boards are equipped with two DDR3 DIMM slots and carry two SATA3 (6 Gb/s) ports. The Mini-ITX board features a single PCI-Express x4 slot with an open end, so you'll still be able to plug in a graphics card; you'll just be limited to four lanes rather than sixteen.
The bigger board comes with a full-size PCI-Express x16 slot, as well as two more PCI-Express x1 slots for added expansion.
With regard to rear I/O connectivity, both boards are largely identical but have a couple of differences. Both of the boards feature two rear-accessible USB 3.0 ports, four USB 2.0 ports, a DVI port, HDMI port, VGA port, along with stereo audio and Gigabit Ethernet. The Micro-ATX board features a single legacy PS/2 connector, while the Mini-ITX version carries an extra along one with a Serial COM port. Overall, one could say that the Mini-ITX version is targeted more at kiosks and embedded applications.
There was no word on pricing or availability, but given AMD's objectives with the AM1 platform, we can safely say that these boards will be very affordable.