Asus M3A78-T Motherboard Review ~ HD 3300 IGP Overclock Fun

Motherboards/AMD AM2+ by massman @ 2009-05-06

Today, we have a look at the Asus AM2+ motherboard, the M3A78-T, which is one of the higher-end motherboards from their AM2+ series. It comes with HD3300 onboard GPU which we overclocked to the limit… and beyond, running Crysis at 1280x1024 at 30fps!

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Pictures of box and bundle

Madshrimps (c)

ASUS, a technology-oriented company blessed with one of the world's top R&D teams, is well known for high-quality and innovative technology. As a leading provider of 3C (computers, communications and consumer electronics) total solutions, ASUS offers a complete product portfolio to compete in the new millennium. In 2006, the company shipped 55 million motherboards, which means one in three desktop PCs sold last year was powered by an ASUS motherboard. Our 2006 revenues reached US$16.5 billion, and is expected to garner US$23 billion in 2007. ASUS products' top quality stems from product development. It's like learning Chinese Kung-Fu; one must begin with cultivating the "Chi" and inner strength. Besides innovating cutting-edge features, ASUS engineers also pay special attention to EMI (electromagnetic interference), thermal, acoustics and details that usually go unnoticed to achieve complete customer satisfaction. ASUS notebooks are the first TCO'99-certified notebooks worldwide. The requirements for this honor include radiation emission control, energy (battery consumption), ecology (environment friendly) and ergonomics. To succeed in this ultra-competitive industry, great products need to be complimented by speed-to-market, cost and service. That's why all 100,000 over employees of ASUS strive for the "ASUS Way of Total Quality Management" to offer the best quality without compromising cost and time-to-market while providing maximum value to all customers through world-class services. With unyielding commitment to innovation and quality, ASUS won 2,168 awards in 2006, meaning on average, the company received over 5 awards everyday last year.

Previous reviews containing Asus motherboards:

  • 7 Intel Core i7 X58 Motherboards Tested and Compared
  • Asus P6T-Deluxe X58 Nehalem Motherboard Presentation
  • P45 head-to-head: MSI P45 Platinum and Asus Maximus II Formula
  • 4-Way Intel P35 Motherboard Overclocking Roundup
  • Asus Blitz Formula S775 P35 Motherboard OC Review
  • Asus P5ND2-SLI Deluxe Intel nForce4 SLI Overclocking Review
  • Asus A8V revision 2.0: Exploring Max HTT Adventure


    Madshrimps (c)

    Madshrimps (c) Madshrimps (c) Madshrimps (c)
    (Click for bigger version)

    Looking at the box, I remember the Cebit '08 convention where almost everything was about green computing and efficient use of electricity. The list of accessories that come with this motherboard is not extremely extensive, but without any doubt, you receive everything you need to get a basic desktop computer started.

    Below you’ll find a list of everything inside the package.

  • 2 x SATA cable
  • 1 x 3 in 1 ASUS Q-Connector Kit
  • 1 x UltraDMA 133/100/66 cable
  • 1 x Floppy cable
  • 1 x Molex-to-SATA power cable
  • 1 x Molex-to-two-sata power cable
  • 1 x 2-port USB2.0 + IEEE 1394a module
  • 1 x I/O Shield
  • 1 x User's manual
  • 1 x Support DVD


    Madshrimps (c)

    Madshrimps (c) Madshrimps (c) Madshrimps (c) Madshrimps (c) Madshrimps (c) Madshrimps (c) Madshrimps (c)
    (Click for bigger version)

    The brownish PCB colour already tells you exactly what you need to know about this board: it's meant for daily usage and not for gamers or enthusiasts. This mainstream motherboard is what you’d expect it to be: complete with all necessary features, but not that much extra. I can appreciate the third x16 PCIe lane, but sadly enough it's misplaced to be really useful for a CrossFire-X configuration with three high-end (dual slot) video cards. More importantly is probably the choice for a 4-pin 12V power connector instead of the more common 8-pin connector. Especially since the Phenom-II's are quite good for overclocking purposes, I wonder if this will have any effect on the overclockability.

    Underneath a list of all features:

  • 6 x USB 2.0/1.1
  • 1 x PS/2 Keyboard/Mouse
  • 1 x S/PDIF Out (Optical)
  • 1 x HDMI
  • 1 x DVI
  • 1 x D-Sub
  • 1 x External SATA
  • 1 x IEEE 1394a
  • 1 x RJ45 port
  • 1 x 8-Channel Audio I/O

  • 3 x PCIe x16 (x8/x8 or x16/x4 and x8/x4/x8)
  • 1 x PCIe x1
  • 2 x PCI 2.2

  • 5 x SATA connectors
  • 3 x USB connector (6 ports)
  • 2 x Chassis Fan connectors
  • 1 x Floppy disk drive connector
  • 1 x IDE connector
  • 1 x CPU Fan connector
  • 1 x Power Fan connector
  • 1 x Front panel audio connector
  • 1 x IEEE 1394a connector
  • 1 x S/PDIF Out Header
  • 1 x Chassis Intrusion connector
  • 1 x CD audio in
  • 1 x 24-pin ATX Power connector
  • 1 x 4-pin ATX 12V Power connector
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