Asus M4A89GTD PRO/USB3 Review
The Asus M4A89GTD PRO has scored very highly in our tests, representing competitive performance across the board (pun not intended). Despite being an integrated graphics solution it has also presented itself as the potential basis of a performance orientated system and a logical successor to the previous generation of 790GX and 790X motherboards.
Its Overclocking capability proved itself to be in a league of its own where to this date we have not attained such Base HTT Frequencies with so little effort. Even for those who wish to stay well clear of manual overclocking, Asus’ Turbo Key II utility offered a very respectable overclock out of our Phenom II X4 965 processor.
Furthermore, the M4A89GTD holds a unique selling point (at present) against all other 890GX/SB850 boards on sale with it’s core unlocking functionality. On the basis that the success rate of a CPU Unlock is often reasonably high (your mileage may vary) and that within the next year, there could well be crippled Hex Core CPU’s in circulation, this is most certainly a must have feature.
Also, from an I/O perspective, SATA 6.0 Gb/sec support means you are able to take full advantage of today’s latest Hard Disk/Solid State Drives, more so if you have fast RAID configurations in mind.
Finally, for those who wish to utilise the motherboard’s Integrated GPU, we are able to confirm that the Radeon HD 4290 is a capable enough solution for general multimedia purposes and even light gaming. Its major advantage over it’s competition is that it can be configured to run purely on it’s 128mb GDDR3 memory and thus leaving your system memory alone.
All in all, the M4A89GTD PRO has something to offer for almost everyone, from the lower midrange to the higher end user. The board’s only limitation lies with it’s Crossfire mode restricted to dual 8x, which may restrict certain graphics cards’ performance. About the only reservation that we have with the product is the inclusion of a VGA Switch Card. We first saw these with the introduction of first generation nVidia SLI boards as a means of splitting PCI-Express lanes correctly but for years the motherboards have been doing this automatically... or at least within BIOS. I could almost get over this cost saving measure but what's truly irritating is that we were unable to operate the upper PCI-Express 16x slot at anything over a 2x rate in single card mode.
Now let’s talk price. Today it is possible to buy the M4A89GTD PRO PRO/USB3 for £119 or if USB 3.0 doesn’t take your fancy, the vanilla flavoured M4A89GTD PRO weighs in at £105. At this price point, the M4A89GTD PRO directly competes with it’s 790X/790GX predecessors making it strikingly apparent that you will not even have to pay a premium for the new technology. On the basis that it overclocks so well and is capable of delivering high end performance, we have no trouble in recommending this product.
- Superb Overclocker
- Auto Overclock functions works well
- Core Unlock Function- Native SATA 6.0Gb/sec Support
- Quiet Heatpipe Solution
- The implementation of a VGA switch card
- Must use bottom PCI-Express slot for full 16x operation. Good grief...