Published in Motherboards
Asus shows its Absolute Pitch series motherboards
Ultimate HTPC motherboards
Asus has come up with a new "Absolute Pitch Hi-Fi" motherboard series which is, as far as we can see for now, targeting the HTCP market. The series will have, at least for now, two motherboards, the M4A785G HTPC/RC and M4A785G HTPC. Both motherboards are packed with some audio related features and are based on AMD's 785G chipset with support for AM2(+) processors.
As this series targets the HTPC market, Asus has decided to pack three quite interesting audio features on these motherboards. These features include DTS Surround Sensation UltraPC, Envy HD and BD192/24.
The DTS Surround Sensation UltraPC should provide, at least on paper, an exceptional virtual surround sound which should work with stereo speakers or heaphones, stronger and cleaner bass sounds with "Bass Enhancement" and clearer voice sound with "Voice Clarification". The Envy HD offers 10-channel HD audio, while the BD 192/24 brings lossless Blu-Ray audio with support for 192kHz/24-bit.
The bad side, if it can be considered as a bad side, is the fact that this Absolute Pitch Hi-Fi needs independant audio power via a single molex connector located on the edge of the board. This should provide a certain reduction in electronic noise and should provide cleaner sound, again on paper at least. The new Absolute Pitch Hi-Fi motherboards also feature gold-plated RCA stereo audio connectors.
As for the technical side of things, both of the new Absolute Pitch Hi-Fi motherboards are based on AMD's 785G/SB710 chipset with support for AM2 and AM2+ processors. They can take up to 16GB of DDR2-1200(O.C.)/1066/800/667 memory, have a single PCI-Express x16 slot, two PCI-Express x1 slots and a single PCI slot. DVI, HDMI and D-Sub outputs, five SATA and one eSATA port, Firewire and Gigabit LAN are also on board. The interesting fact is that the back panel I/O has no keyboard and mouse PS/2 ports which are replaced with HDMI and optical S/PDIF ports.
The only difference between these two motherboards is the fact that the M4A785G HTPC/RC comes with a remote control, a nice addition for an HTPC system. Unfortunately, neither the price or the availability date have been announced.