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The Asus M3A78-T features the universal video decoder found on previous AMD boards,
but the IGP has been revamped, making it the most powerful ever, at least incrementally. The
southbridge has also been improved SB750 finally gives AMD users RAID-5
support out-of-the-box. In addition, it is fully loaded with almost every feature
one may desire: eSATA, FireWire, S/PDIF, HDMI, CrossFire, etc. The board is
also well-cooled Asus placed a very large heatsink on the northbridge and
more importantly, one to cool the VRMs. VRM overheating was something of an
issue on previous AMD boards that prevented the use of high TDP CPUs on some
models with the M3A78-T, this is something you won't have to worry about.
And finally as silent PC fanatics, we appreciate the ability to control three
fans without requiring to dish out for a fan controller.
The IGP is undoubtedly superior to anything else out there the level
of performance more or less matches low-end discrete cards. Keep in mind though
that it is still not great for playing modern games at higher resolutions.
HD 3300 is no substitute for a good discrete graphics card for 3D gaming. Luckily, the M3A78-T gives
you many graphics options. You can use the IGP on its own,
Hybrid CrossFireX, a single discrete card, or two discrete cards in CrossFire
the choice is entirely yours. If you do decide to onboard graphics is
enough for you, keep in mind the higher power draw compared to the 690G, 740G,
and 780G chipsets.
Overall the M3A78-T is an excellent motherboard. While we have talked a lot
about the IGP, ultimately, whether the M3A78-T is a good buy will depend on
how many of its other features will be used on a regular basis. It offers a
lot more functionality than your typical budget board, and it comes at a price.
* Fastest IGP ever
* Versatile feature set
* Well cooled
* Good HD video playback
* 3 fans can be controlled
* High power consumption
Our thanks to ASUSTeK
for the Asus M3A78-T sample.
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