Asus M4A89TD PRO
Right folks, so it's time to wrap this review up, but what do we think of Asus' latest 890FX motherboard? All in all the motherboard has exhibited very competitive performance when compared against it's little brother, the M4A89GTD PRO. You can expect typical Asus quality levels (this is a good thing) and for most of the part, the motherboard has proven to be a very stable and well designed product.
There are a few things that bother us about it though. First and foremost let's talk about pricing. Today, you can buy the Asus M4A89TD PRO for £160.99. While it is priced reasonably well against it's competitors, it is sitting perilously close to Crosshair IV Formula money, which you can purchase at just a £6 premium. Today's review product is far from sparse in terms of it's features however it inevitably lies in the shadow of it's "Republic of Gamers" counterpart. There is no getting around the fact that the M4A89TD PRO has an (arguably) inferior motherboard layout to the Crosshair IV Formula and in our testing could not overclock as well either. We were particularly disappointed to see that there were no more than two PCI-Express 16x ports. Even though the 890FX chipset doesn't support 16x/16x/16x/16x electrically, having multiple full size PCI-Express slots on a motherboard offers much greater flexibility.
So let's cut to the chase... would we buy it? For what it offers, we feel that it is a very competent motherboard that would have no trouble at forming the basis of a high performance computer. In light of it's competitors however, we strongly feel that Asus' own ROG Crosshair IV is a superior proposition for a very similar outlay. We believe that the final deciding factor will lie with your intention (or lack of) to operate graphics card's in ATi CrossfireX. If for example you plan on buying a pair of Radeon HD 5870's, you will most certainly want an 890FX based motherboard. Those who will opt exclusively for single card solutions will get by just fine with the variety of affordable 890GX examples available today. Really, if we were willing to spend in excess of £160 on a motherboard, the Asus M4A89TD PRO falls short of our expectations. Asus have done a fine job at designing this motherboard however at it's current pricetag, it will inevitably have to stand in the shadow of the Crosshair IV Formula...
- Max HTT in excess of 300MHz
- Competitive Performance
- Core Unlock Function
- Automatic Overclocking yielded poor results
- Pricing too close to it's superior sibling; the Crosshair IV Formula