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Asus M3A78-T AMD 790GX Motherboard - More Features, Less Money

written by: Jesma•edited by: Lamar Stonecypher•updated: 3/31/2009
4

Why spend $200 or more on a fancy "flagship" model motherboard when you can get the same features and new hardware support for less coin?

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    Overview

    It takes patience, diligence, and creativity to perform a massive upgrade on your computer for less than $200. Finding the perfect motherboard that has everything you need, nothing you don't need, and "forwards-compatible" is definitely the key. In my most recent upgrading adventure, I bought this motherboard with a little bit of hesitancy amidst reviews of "DOA", excessive heat, and other problems. Asus has never let me down before, though, and they certainly didn't this time! This motherboard offers some of the most up-to-date features without breaking the bank - what more could you ask for?

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    Features

    Rating Average

    Near-Universal Modern AMD CPU Support - What attracted me most to this motherboard, besides the price, was the fact that the CPU that I currently had (Athlon 64 X2 4000+), the CPU I was buying with it (Athlon 64 X2 2.7GHz Kuma BE), and the CPU that I want (Phenom II x4 940 Deneb BE) are all supported. That way I knew that I could both keep using my old processor if something happened to the Kuma, and also be completely future-ready when I got the money for the Phenom II x4.

    Gaming Rig Features - Since I use my computer primarily for gaming, I knew I wanted a board that would let me keep adding and upgrading down the line. This motherboard had every feature I was looking for, including support for 16 GB of RAM and Triple Crossfire configuration. The fact that it also includes advanced RAID configurations, on-board HDMI, gigabit LAN, and 8-channel HD audio is an incredible bonus, too.

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    Performance and Quality

    Rating Average

    I've been using this board for a couple of months now, and have experienced quite a nice performance boost. Part of that, of course, is also related to the CPU upgrade I did at the same time. I was hesitant to upgrade to this board because of just how much I loved my old ASUS board, but the only feature I lost was built-in wireless client and access point abilities, which I rarely used anyway. At no time during installation, configuration, or since then have I experienced even the slightest hiccup with this board. The BIOS allowed me to easily overclock my CPU a drastic amount and the passive cooling, even when combined with my CPU liquid cooling solution, has been more than adequate. This motherboard isn't flashy or fancy, it just does its job and does it well. If I were to make any complaint about this board it would be that its simple, muted design belies its impressive power and capabilities.

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    Overall

    Rating Average

    Overall, I am very happy to have spent $140 on this motherboard. Considering the fact that I got a newer chipset, "future-proof" features, and an incredible amount of potential, I have no complaints. Included with this board was also the AMD OverDrive utility, which I used to quickly and easily overclock my CPU, Memory, and Bus Speeds. Asus makes incredibly long-lasting motherboards that will never let you down. For those that have had problems with Asus boards, I challenge you to find any electronics manufacturer that doesn't have the occasional DOA, and then I challenge you to find a motherboard company that can match the features, price, and overall customer satisfaction rate that they manage on nearly every product they release!