|ASUS M4A88TD-V EVO/USB3 Motherboard|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Motherboards|
|Written by Bruce Normann|
|Thursday, 15 July 2010|
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ASUS M4A88TD-V EVO/USB3 Motherboard Review
The AMD 880G Northbridge and SB850 Southbridge are two of the latest bits of chipset silicon designed to bolster AMD's position in the mainstream PC market. They were released about a month apart this Spring, as part of a full line of 800-series chips, and ASUS has wasted no time putting them into production. Key items that help make the M4A88TD-V EVO/USB3 motherboard stand out are native support for SATA 6Gb/s, USB 3.0, and AMD's latest game changer, the Phenom II X6 CPU with Turbo Core. Benchmark Reviews chose a more likely partner for this mid-range motherboard: the Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition CPU. With both Core Unlocker and Turbo Unlocker functionality built right into the board, this combination could be the magic ticket to dynamically-clocked, quad core processing on the cheap. I'll show later how ASUS one-upped AMD, by making Turbo Unlocker compatible with every AMD Black Edition processor.
The 880G features a Radeon HD 4250 Integrated Graphics Processor (IGP), which is almost identical to the HD 4200 device last seen in the 785G Northbridge. They are both based on the RS880 core and offer 40 shaders in amongst the approximately 205 million, 55nm transistors contained in the package. The HD 4250 runs 12% faster than the HD 4200, at a stock speed of 560 MHz. Chances are, you don't care that much about the IGP, and intend to run this board with discrete graphics. Choose wisely, because only one PCI Express slot is suitable for graphics cards, with an x16 connection. The second PCI Express slot is limited to x4 connectivity, which is great for a RAID controller or other medium bandwidth device, but not for a gaming-class graphics card.
ASUS has only four motherboards currently available in North America with this chipset combo, and three of them are µATX boards. For those who have a few more peripherals to plug in, this full-sized ATX model has several additional PCI and PCI Express expansion slots that are ready to go. The 880G chipset is really intended for a mainstream product, or the price range slightly below that. Its integrated graphics cover a lot of ground, especially when you consider that two thirds of all discrete graphics cards sold are priced below $100. This is one of the lowest priced AMD boards with the new SB850 Southbridge, which supports native SATA 6Gb/s connectivity, and doesn't have to jump through any hoops to do it. Your options for CrossFireX are extremely limited by the 880G, but most people opt for a single video card, anyway.
Let's dig a little deeper into all the things that the ASUS M4A88TD-V EVO/USB3 motherboard offers, and then we'll see how it performs in our challenging test suite.
About ASUSTeK Computer Inc.
ASUS, a technology-oriented company with a global staff of more than ten thousand and blessed with one of the world's top R&D teams, is renowned for high-quality products and cutting-edge innovation. As a leading company in the new digital era, ASUS offers a complete product portfolio to compete in the new millennium.
ASUS has an unyielding commitment to innovation and quality, a fact borne out by its corporate slogan-"Inspiring Innovation - Persistent Perfection"-and the numerous media, industry and governmental accolades it receives every year. In 2008, ASUS won 3,056 awards-receiving over 8 awards on average every day. The company's revenue for the same year was 8.1 billion U.S. dollars, and it topped the IT Hardware Category of the annual league table of Taiwan's Top 10 Global Brands with a brand value of 1.324 billion U.S. dollars. ASUS also ranks among the top 10 IT companies in Business Week's "InfoTech 100", and has been on the listing for 11 consecutive years.
Inspired by the diverse needs of consumers in all areas and phases of life, ASUS' foremost mission is to deliver truly innovative solutions that in turn inspire consumers to reach for greater heights of productivity and fun. By leveraging its intimate understanding of the requirements of today's digital home, digital office and digital person, ASUS has the honor of claiming many world's firsts-such as the introduction of the groundbreaking Eee PCTM, the ingenious use of renewable materials like leather and bamboo in notebooks and the incorporation of its proprietary power-saving Super Hybrid Engine technology into its notebooks and motherboards. By pioneering many new innovations, trends and technologies that have had a genuine impact on its customers' lives and the Earth at large, ASUS hopes to garner mind-share as well as market share.
To succeed in the ultra-competitive IT industry, ASUS focuses on speed-to-market, cost and service. That is why every ASUS employee strives to master the "ASUS Way of Total Quality Management" in order to fulfill the "Persistent Perfection" promise of the brand. Guided by these precepts, ASUS has developed a strong advantage in product design, technology, quality and value/cost. These advantages in turn constitute ASUS' formula for success-allowing marketing to communicate these strengths to win our consumers' hearts.