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Item#: N82E16813131324
ASUS M3A78-EM AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
  • AMD 780G
  • Phenom FX / Phenom / Athlon 64 FX / Athlon 64 X2
  • DDR2 1066

5 out of 5 eggs The lil' mobo that did... twice! 12/30/2008

This review is from: ASUS M3A78-EM AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard

Pros:

Everything Just Worked <tm> with Ubuntu Intrepid. For a wonder in a low-priced board it actually supports the ECC capability that's been in (all?) 64-bit Athlons all along, but is too often only warranted by the manufacturer for overpriced "server" boards. Been burned by "accepts ECC or non-ECC" weasel words from... oh, right, can't mention who in a review here.

For the adventurous, the flash with the BIOS is a cheap 8-pin serial ROM, and it's socketed for easy experiementation. Wonder if the LinuxBIOS guys know about this...

Cons:

It's so *tiny*! xfree's recent drivers do support the HD3200, but only unaccelerated at this time. fglrx weems to work - it gave about a 10x boost in a simple 3D benchmark - and the acceleration support is in the pipeline now that AMD/ATI are cooperating with getting specs to the developers. Why would I ever consider buying graphics hardware from a vendor who refuses to release any specs, just binary blob drivers?

It's really stupid that Asus's Express Gate requires Windows in order to run its installer - I'd love to see that, though admittedly it would be nothing more than a curiosity here.

Other Thoughts:

I got the first one (have two of these) with a 4850E and 2G of ECC hoping for the best, with reservations about the amazingly low cost, but figuring that it could be Cally's upgrade if it fell a little short. Instead, it worked so sweetly that I scrapped my expectation, based on looking over what was on the market perhaps a year ago, of needing a "server" board for my desktop - this puppy does all I need. The 64-bit PCI 3ware RAID card has just enough clearance in the first slot (running in 32 bit mode, of course - that's the one thing a server board would have bought me, but it would have cost more than this, the 5600+ and 4G of ECC memory did - too much for too little).

I'm not cheap, I'm frugal. :-)

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  • Martin M.
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month


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