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Asus M3N78 Pro review

Alan Lu
24 Feb 2009
Expert Reviews Recommended Logo
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
90
inc VAT

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Specifications

AM2+, ATX, Nvidia GeForce 8300 chipset, supports: Sempron, Athlon 64, Athlon 64 X2, Athlon 64 FX, Phenom, Phenom II

Asus's M3N78 Pro motherboard looks sparse next to the feature-packed boards from MSI and Foxconn, but it's also around £30 cheaper than MSI's DKA790GX Platinum.

Like other AM2+ motherboards, it supports the backwards-compatible Phenom II processor and did remarkably well in our tests, although it performed disappointingly in the important Overall test.

It's the only motherboard here without an AMD chipset. Instead, it uses an Nvidia GeForce 8300 chipset, complete with integrated graphics. It has only a single HDMI video output, although it comes with a slightly unwieldy HDMI-to-DVI converter cable and a VGA header bracket. The minimalist approach to video ports is reflected in the layout of the rest of the board, which gives you plenty of uncluttered space to build in.

There's also a single PCI Express x16 slot, so you can add a dedicated graphics card if you're interested in gaming. The positioning of the slot could also restrict access to some of the six SATA connectors if you buy a long or bulky graphics card.

This is the only motherboard in the group that can handle 16GB of RAM, although you're unlikely to need that much in the foreseeable future. With recent sharp increases in the price of computer hardware, the M3N78 Pro isn't as cheap as it was earlier in the year, but it's still an excellent motherboard at a fair price. If you are looking to build a decent computer on a reasonable budget then the M3N78 Pro is a great choice.

Basic Specifications

Rating****
Processor socketAM2+
Form factorATX
Size305x244mm
Processor supportSempron, Athlon 64, Athlon 64 X2, Athlon 64 FX, Phenom, Phenom II
Processor external bus266MHz (1,066MHz quad-pumped FSB)
Chipset north bridgeNvidia GeForce 8300
Chipset south bridgeN/A
Passively-cooled north bridgeyes
Integrated graphicsYes
Supported memory typeDDR2 667/800/1066
Maximum memory speedPC2-8500
Memory slots4
Maximum memory16GB
Dual-channel supportyes

Buying Information

Price£90
Supplierhttp://www.kikatek.com
Detailswww.asus.com

Internal Ports

Power connectors1x 24-pin ATX, 1x 4-pin ATX
PCI-E x16 slots1
Dual graphics architecturenone
PCI-E x4 slots0
PCI-E x1 slots2
PCI slots2
Fan headers3
Floppy ports1
IDE ports1
Serial ATA ports6
RAID chipset (max disks)Nvidia GeForce 8300 (6x SATA II, RAID 0, 1, 0+1, 5, JBOD)

Features

Wired network ports10/100/1000
Sound (ports)Realtek ALC1200 (coaxial S/PDIF, 6x analogue out)
USB2 ports / headers6/6
Firewire ports / headers1/1
Legacy ports1x PS/2, serial header
Other portsHDMI
Cables included2x SATA, 1x IDE, 1x floppy, 2x Molex to SATA power, 1x HDMI to DVI
Brackets included1x VGA
Software includednone

Setup and Overclocking

Voltage adjustmentCPU/RAM/Chipset
CPU clock max adjustment600MHz

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