This relatively cheap AM3 motherboard doesn’t have SATA3 and isn’t as fast as some of its rivals, but it has all the other key features we want and is great value.
AM3, ATX, AMD 880G chipset, supports: Athlon II, Phenom II, Phenom II X6, Sempron
Asrock’s 880GXH-USB3 is slimmer than most ATX boards, measuring 305x224mm. It’s also somewhat short of ports and uses the budget AMD 880GX chipset. The price is right, though, at around £70.
All the more expensive AMD 890 and 790 boards we’ve tested to date with our AMD Phenom II 975 processor produced an Overall score of 120 in our benchmark tests, while the 880GXH-USB3 got just 111. The difference isn’t massive, though, and it’s easy to overclock your processor and memory to improve your PC’s performance with a convenient range of settings and profiles in the BIOS.
There’s only one PCI-E x16 slot, but there’s little benefit to be gained by using two PCI-E graphics cards. Most other expansion cards will fit into either the two PCI-E x1 slots or three PCI slots elsewhere on the board. Installing a double-height graphics card won’t block any of the other ports, so none are wasted. Other key features include five SATAII connectors and four memory slots capable of taking up to 16GB of RAM at 1,800MHz.
At the back, you’ll find an eSATA port and six USB ports, including one USB3 port. Confusingly, both the USB3 port and one of its USB2 neighbours are coloured blue. There are five 3.5mm analogue audio ports and an optical S/PDIF port. You can also output audio along with video from the board’s HDMI port, which the integrated ATI Radeon HD 4250 can use to output full-quality Blu-ray audio and video. It’s not up to modern 3D gaming, though, and managed just 3.8fps in our CoD4 benchmark.
The 880GXH-USB3 isn’t the fastest motherboard around and only has a one-year warranty, but it’s cheap, with lots of features for a surprisingly low price. If you don’t need SATA3, it’s a great way to save a bit of money.
|Processor support||Athlon II, Phenom II, Phenom II X6, Sempron|
|Processor external bus||260MHz (2.6GHz HyperTransport)|
|Chipset north bridge||AMD 880G|
|Chipset south bridge||AMD SB710|
|Passively-cooled north bridge||yes|
|Supported memory type||DDR3 800/1066/1333/1600(OC)/1800(OC)|
|Maximum memory speed||PC3-14400|
|Power connectors||1x 24-pin ATX, 1x 8-pin ATX|
|PCI-E x16 slots||1|
|Dual graphics architecture||N/A|
|PCI-E x4 slots||0|
|PCI-E x1 slots||1|
|Serial ATA ports||5|
|RAID chipset (max disks)||AMD SB710 (RAID 0, 1, 10, JBOD)|
|Wired network ports||1x 10/100/1000|
|Sound (ports)||Realtek ALC892 (5x analogue out, optical S/PDIF)|
|USB2 ports / headers||6/3|
|Firewire ports / headers||0/0|
|Legacy ports||PS/2, serial header|
|Other ports||1x eSATA, 1x USB3, VGA, DVI, HDMI|
|Cables included||2x SATA, 1x IDE|
Setup and Overclocking
|CPU clock max adjustment||500MHz|