With the AM3 platform finally launched, we would almost forget that the newest AM3 processors also work on AM2+ motherboards, which are in general more cost-effective than their bigger brothers. In other words, for those who are looking for a less expensive and silent AMD setup, we can still take into account the AM2+ 790GX motherboards. In the past, we have already tested a sample of DFI and Foxconn, today we'll be having a look at Asus' M3A78-T motherboard.
Frankly, I should've tested this motherboard a long time ago since it was sent to me along with the Phenom II X4 940 processor, which was back then still under NDA. However, when the X4 940 arrived, I had already tested the two other AM2+ mainboards and was, in other words, already familiar with the bios and overclocking behaviour in general of these two motherboards. Since I had a very tight schedule at that time, I wanted to see if all the fuss regarding coldbug or no coldbug was about and decided to put this motherboard on the 'to-test' pile.
As already mentioned, we are again testing a motherboard with IGP, which stands for integrated graphics processor. Last time I tested a HD3300 GPU (the most high-end IGP of ATI currently available) I was positively surprised by the noise level this desktop computer was producing. Agreed, the HD3300 doesn't give you the best of performance in newer games, but since it's fully integrated and cooled with just a heatsink, the silence you have is priceless. Especially since I'm more often confronted with highly noisy cooling, this was a pleasant product to test.
We will be comparing the Asus M3A78-T to the DFI Lanparty DK 790GX-M2RS and Foxconn A7DA-S, which were both still in our test labs. For overclocking performance, we'll throw in our AM3 Phenom II X3 720BE and compare to the overclocking data from the AM3 motherboard shootout.