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MSI A78M-E35 motherboard: review and testing

New product from the company MSI, which will be discussed in this material, is a very interesting combination of a compact microATX PCB, a number of useful technologies, as well as a good set of video outputs. This set of features allows you to pre-evaluate MSI A78M-E35 as a very interesting solution to build an inexpensive compact multimedia system.

Due to the name of novelty, it is based on chipset - AMD A78, which means that it is intended to work with processors AMD Kaveri or solutions from lineup AMD Trinity / Richland.

A special mention is given to a very useful feature of the tested model - its affordable price. Now let's take a closer look at all the features of the new device.

MSI A78M-E35

The specs:




A78M-E35 (rev 6.0)



CPU socket

Socket FM2+


AMD A / AMD Athlon

Memory frequency

2133* / 1866 / 1600 / 1333 MHz


Memory support

2 x DDR3 DIMM- slots with memory support up to 32 GB

Expansion slots

1 x PCI Express 3.0 x16

1 x PCI Express 2.0 x1

1 х PCI


AMD A78 chipset supports:

6 x SATA 6 Gb/s



1 x Realtek 8111G (10/100/1000 Мb/s)

Sound subsystem

Codec Realtek ALC887

2 / 4 / 5.1 / 7.1-channel sound

Power connectors

1 x 24-pin ATX main power connector

1 x 4-pin ATX12V power connector


1 x CPU fan connector (4-pin)

2 х system fan slots (1 х 4-pin and 1 x 3-pin)


Aluminum radiator on the chipset

External I/O

1 x HDMI

1 x DVI-D

1 x D-Sub

1 x LAN (RJ45)

2 x USB 3.0

4 x USB 2.0

3 x audio jacks

2 х PS/2 (mouse or keyboard connection)

Internal I/O

2 x USB 3.0 each with support of two USB 3.0 (19-pin)

2 x USB 2.0 USB 2.0 each with support of two USB 2.0

6 x SATA 6 Gb/s

1 x COM socket

1 x TPM socket

1 х LPT socket

1 x connector of audio output to front panel

1 x set of front panel connectors

1 x CMOS



PnP, ACPI 5.0, SM BIOS 2.7, DMI 2.0


User’s manual

Warranty description booklet

Driver and utility disc

2 x SATA cables

1 х interface panel plug

Form factor,



226 х 216 mm

Producer website

Updated versions of BIOS and drives are available on support page

Packaging and content

MSI A78M-E35

Packing of motherboard MSI A78M-E35 is made of high quality dense cardboard and decorated mainly in dark, blue and yellow colors. On the front side, in addition to the name of the manufacturer and model of the device you will find branded logo of concept Military Class 4, as well as a number of icons indicating the key features of new item:

  • Military Class 4. There are only high quality components such as solid capacitors Solid CAP with increased lifetime, Dark Choke chokes with increased stability and energy efficient operation.  
  • Military Class Essentials. In addition to high-quality circuitry, the concept Military Class 4 implies a higher degree of protection against adverse factors. This is achieved by using a multilayer printed circuit board of a special structure and a number of additional components. This reduces the negative impact of humidity, electrostatic discharge, high temperature and electromagnetic interference in the internal components.
  • Fast Boot. Using the supplied software, you can significantly speed up the loading of the operating system.

Do note the presence of three video outputs and expansion slot PCI Express 3.0.

MSI A78M-E35

The reverse side of the box has a schematic representation of the motherboard and its brief specifications, and a more detailed description of the above-mentioned advantages. Also here you can find a support for HDMI video output to output image with resolution of 4096 x 2160 pixels (4K Ultra HD) and the automatic overclocking of cooling system Genie 4.

MSI A78M-E35

MSI A78M-E35

In addition to the standard documentation and disk with drivers and utilities the delivery set of motherboard MSI A78M-E35 includes two SATA cables and interface board plug.

Design and features

MSI A78M-E35

The tested model is implemented on a dark brown microATX printed circuit board with dimensions of 226 x 216 mm. It is decorated in a traditional corporate style with blue and black colors. In general, it is worth noting a very strict appearance of new item.

As for the on-board elements layout, due to the absence of mounting holes on the right side of the board, the perpendicular arrangement of the SATA 6 Gb/s and 24-pin power connector will require some caution when connecting. Also note the close proximity of DIMM-slots with interface PCI Express 3.0, which can prevent you replace memory modules without turning off the graphics card.

MSI A78M-E35

The reverse side includes the standard base plate of the socket and plastic fastening clips of single radiator, which is responsible for cooling the chipset.

MSI A78M-E35

At the bottom of the board there are the following connectors: front panel audio leading-in socket, LPT port, as well as module to connect front panel.  Do note two modules for connection of USB ports: two for USB 2.0 and one for USB 3.0. Total number of USB 2.0 sockets is eight: four are internal and four on the interface panel. Also note the presence of four USB 3.0 ports: twp external and two internal. All sockets operate due to the set of system logic.

MSI A78M-E35

Due to lack of space at the bottom part, the modules TPM and COM are placed over the slots, PCI Express, near one of the connectors for system fans.

MSI A78M-E35

The capability of organizing a disk subsystem is presented by six ports 5 Gb/s. All of them operate due to the chipset. There is a support of SATA RAID 0, RAID 1 and RAID 10.

MSI A78M-E35

MSI A78M-E35 is equipped with two DIMM-slots for memory modules of standard DDR3, which are equipped with latches on both sides. Modules operating at frequencies to 1866 MHz in the nominal mode and up to 2133 MHz is overclocked mode are supported. Despite the stated support of RAM 32 GB, the actual maximum amount will not exceed 16 GB in the absence modules larger than 8 GB. However, this is more than enough to handle all the required tasks.

MSI A78M-E35

Cooling system of the product includes one aluminum radiators which provides heat removal from the chipset AMD A78. In the process of testing the following temperature indices were fixed:

  • radiator for chipset cooling – 45.6°C;
  • power subsystem chocks – 56.3°C;
  • field-effect transistors of power subsystem – 60.1°C

The results tell us that there is a stock till the critical temperature.

MSI A78M-E35

MSI A78M-E35

Processor power supply is performed via 5-phase scheme for computational cores and additional joints. Converter is based on a digital PWM controller Intersil 62773. The circuitry is collected by high-quality components which in accordance to corporate design Military Class 4 which are certified according military standard MIL-STD-810G. They include solid capacitors Dark CAP. Basic 24-pin and additional 4-pin connectors are use for power feeding.      

MSI A78M-E35

Opportunities to extend the functionality of the motherboard are represented by the following slots:

  1. PCI Express 3.0 x16;
  2. PCI Express 2.0 x1;
  3. PCI.

As you can see, here is a possibility of installing only one graphics card, which can operate in mode AMD Dual Graphics with integrated graphics core. Separately we note that when installing a graphics card with dual-slot cooling system, you will have only one free slot PCI, which imposes restrictions on the possible involvement of other expansion cards. On the other hand, if we consider only the scenario to build compact multimedia system with integrated graphics only, then this situation will not arise at all.

MSI A78M-E35

Multi I/O capabilities are based on Fintek F71878AD chip which controls the operation of system fans, COM, LPT and PS/2 ports and provides the monitoring.

MSI A78M-E35

To support network connection there is gigabit LAN-controller Realtek RTL8111G.

MSI A78M-E35

Sound subsystem of motherboard is based on the 8-channel HDA-codec Realtek ALC887 which supports audio formats 2/4/5.1/7.1.

MSI A78M-E35

Interface panel of model contains the following ports:

  • 1 x HDMI;
  • 1 x DVI-D;
  • 1 x D-Sub;
  • 1 x LAN (RJ45);
  • 2 x USB 3.0;
  • 4 x USB 2.0;
  • 3 x аудиопорта;
  • 2 x PS/2 (mouse and keyboard).

Note a sufficient number of USB ports, and the presence of the most relevant video outputs, including HDMI to output image resolution of 4096 x 2160 pixels (4K Ultra HD).

As for the features, before buying you should note only inconvenient connection of multichannel speakers.

MSI A78M-E35

Motherboard MSI A78M-E35 has three connectors for fans connection: one 4-pin is used to power cooling fan and other two (3-pin and 4-pin) are designed to connect system fans.

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