Proving the pin-to-pin compatibility of AMD’s recent SB750 southbridge on motherboards designed for the earlier SB600, Jetway’s HA04-Ultra is identical in every other way to its previous HA04-Extreme.
One of the more unique aspects of the HA04-Ultra (as well as the earlier HA04-Extreme) is its lack of support for four PCI Express x16 graphics cards. With only three PCI-Express 2.0 slots, the top slot always has 16 pathways. The third x16 slot loses eight of its pathways whenever a card is placed in the second slot. Unfortunately, slot spacing limits this motherboard to two double-slot or three single-slot cards.
Jetway is the only company to produce a 790FX+SB750 chipset motherboard with both the Ultra ATA and floppy connectors in the proper locations for reaching middle and upper bay drives. However, this isn’t an important consideration for most builders, since these types of drives are rarely used any longer.
All six of the HA04-Ultra’s SATA connectors point forward, which allows cable ends to slip easily under long graphics cards but prevents the board from being used in certain older case designs, due to hard drive cage clearance issues.
As with many Jetway motherboards, an SATA connector located internally in front of the rear-panel eSATA port is nothing more than a pass-through point. Builders are expected to run an SATA cable from the motherboard’s lower front corner to its upper rear corner, which allows eSATA devices to be plugged indirectly into one of the chipset’s six ports. Unfortunately, the extra cables and connections will probably limit eSATA cable length, and it’s unlikely that the internal ports are even capable of providing the extra voltage specified for longer eSATA cables. Furthermore, a cable running from corner-to-corner across the motherboard is not something users of windowed cases would likely appreciate.
Jetway includes power, reset, and CLR_CMOS buttons at the forward-bottom edge of the HA04-Ultra, making bench testing easy. Also seen is the POST code display, which makes diagnosing a boot failure far easier.
Though it may not be noticeable in photos, the HA04-Ultra sample we received was damaged during shipping. We were unable to test it, but would still like to thank Jetway for its continued participation in our motherboard comparisons.