Asus M3N78-EMH HDMI

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Features

  • Form Factor
Micro-ATX Form Factor 9.6 inch x 9.3 inch ( 24.4 cm x 23.7 cm )
  • Socket
AM2+ backward compatible with AM2 Processors
  • Processors Supported
Phenom
Athlon64 FX
Athlon64 X2
Athlon64
Sempron processors
  • Support CPU up to 65W
  • HDMI output
  • NVIDIA GeForce 8200 graphics chipset on-board
  • 8 channel audio
  • 6 SATA inputs

This motherboard is relatively cheap and provides most of what you'd need for a frontend/backend box. The included HDMI output really sets this up for HD video, but I have not tested that yet. It would've been nice to see another set of video outputs - it has VGA and you can choose from DVI or HDMI via a jumper on the motherboard.

Issues

Note: I am running Debian Lenny on this system. If you're running a different distro, you might have a different experience.

Ethernet support

The only problem I ran into was that the kernel that came with Debian Lenny didn't have support for the built-in ethernet. To get pas this, I downloaded these two packages from debian to a USB disk and installed them manually using dpkg:

linux-image-2.6-amd64 (2.6.26+15)
linux-image-2.6.26-1-amd64 (2.6.26-3)

X

I needed to install the nvidia drivers to get X working.

Download the drivers

wget http://us.download.nvidia.com/XFree86/Linux-x86_64/173.14.12/NVIDIA-Linux-x86_64-173.14.12-pkg2.run

Download the necessary utilities

sudo apt-get install binutils gcc make gcc-4.1 linux-headers-2.6-amd64

Change CC

export CC=/usr/bin/gcc-4.1

run the installer

chmod +x NVIDIA-Linux-x86_64-173.14.12-pkg2.run
./NVIDIA-Linux-x86_64-173.14.12-pkg2.run

GLX

Some packages replace the /usr/lib/xorg/modules/extensions/libglx.so link with a real file. If that happens, the GLX module won't load - see the /var/log/Xorg.0.log and look for GLX. You can restore the link by linking to whatever versioned file is in that same directory.

sudo mv /usr/lib/xorg/modules/extensions/libglx.so /usr/lib/xorg/modules/extensions/libglx.so.orig
sudo ln -fs /usr/lib/xorg/modules/extensions/libglx.so.173.14.12 /usr/lib/xorg/modules/extensions/libglx.so

Links

ASUS product page