Seven AMD 785G-Based Motherboards Rounded Up

Asus M4A785TD-V EVO: Features And Hardware

Next, we'll have a look at Asus' entry into our roundup, the M4A785TD-V EVO. This is the ATX counterpart to the microATX M4A785TD-M EVO motherboard we used in our 785G launch article. This version is to be taken seriously by power users, with 140W CPU support, 1,800 MHz overclocking DDR3 support (the highest claimed memory speed in our roundup), 128MB of SidePort on-board memory, and a 10-phase voltage regulator (twice as many power phases as any other 785G board in our roundup). This board sports ASUS' Xtreme Design designation which includes a higher standard of EMI protection, 2 oz. of copper in the PCB for better thermal dissipation, multiple power phases, and the Turbo overclocking tools.

The bundle is fairly standard, and includes an IDE cable, four SATA cables, an I/O shield, a manual, and a driver CD. But it also comes with a removable system panel and USB connectors for ease of installation.

Other features include Turbo Key (allows the power button to function as an overclocking button), Turbo V (Asus' software overclocking tool that allows BIOS-level control within the OS), GPU NOS (Asus' automatic graphics overclocking system that detects the state of the graphics card in hardware and overclocks accordingly), and Express Gate (a light instant-on Linux distribution that features a Web browser, photo access, Flash games, instant messengers, and Skype; it features a five second boot up time).

We were a little disappointed to see that the board didn't have some of the more common enthusiast-class features, such as on-board power, reset, or clear CMOS buttons.

The two PCIe x16 slots ensure dual-card CrossFire compatibility. [edit: The blue PCIe slot offers full 16x bandwidth, while the grey slot is limited to 4x bandwidth. This will likely have a negative effect on CrossFire performance compared to two 16x or even two 8x slots]

For the most part, the board is well laid out. The 24-pin ATX power cable is in an ideal central location, easily reached by standard ATX power supplies. The five SATA ports are also central, and point directly out of the board instead of to the right. Potential interference with long graphics cards is avoided by placing them all above the first x16 PCIe slot.

Our few complaints in this department include the IDE port, which is run perpendicular to the side of the board. The most irritating drawback is a CPU fan plug that seems unnecessarily far from the CPU at the very top right of the board, and is positioned so that the memory modules lie between the CPU fan connector and the fan.

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  • JohnnyLucky
    Very informative article. Nice to see there are motherboards with different features for different users/tasks.
    Just what i needed to see thanks toms!
  • bpdski
    Great article, I think this shows pretty conclusively that there is no benefit to upgrading to an AM3 based system. If you already have an AM2+ system, you can easily just drop in a new CPU and you system will be every bit as good as a brand new system with DDR3. You just need to make sure your motherboard supports the power requirements of whatever you want to drop in.
  • jonpaul37
    Hooray AMD for having cheap solutions in these hard-economic times!

    Boo @ Intel! i like the product, but my wallet & Girl do not like the cost!
  • Anonymous
    jonpaul37Hooray AMD for having cheap solutions in these hard-economic times!Boo @ Intel! i like the product, but my wallet & Girl do not like the cost!

    Girl has more money for clothes!
  • ominous prime
    Well bpdski there is no point upgrading if you're AM2, but if you're building a new PC AM3 is the way to go in terms of your computers longevity. Very informative article.
  • sonofliberty08
    thanks alot for the info , my first choice was allways asus , but now i now what i need when im going to unlock core , and now i saw the benefits of sideport memory .
  • duzcizgi
    We were successful in achieving a 900 MHz stable overclock with the integrated graphics chipset by setting the BIOS to increase northbridge voltage by +.210mV.

    Well, .210 mV = 210 microvolt. I don't think it would make much of a change. Maybe it is 210 mV or, .210 V. :)
  • doron
    "Now we're seeing another benefit for the AM2+/DDR2 boards: both the Foxconn Cinema Premium and Biostar TA785GE 128M are drawing less power than their AM3/DDR3 counterparts."

    How comes? Didn't we all agree a long time ago that ddr3 supposed to be more energy efficient out of the two? (Lower voltage and stuff?)
  • DarkMantle
    Great article, this will help a lot of people to make their AMD budget motherboard choice easier, thank you Don.
  • nforce4max
    Ah nice line up and a good review. AMD has a better platform when factoring in cost and durability compared to Intel war I end up replacing the board after a few months to a year once the cpu power stage begins to degrade. Then there is performance on the I/O end and stable and steady stream to the cpu that is unaffected by other devices compared to FSB but on the cpu end need to be improved and same for INTEL.
  • haplo602
    before reading the article ... THANK GOD errr... TOM's ... I have been waiting for a 785G mobo test since release ... all I got was crap load of P55 ...
  • haplo602
    so after reading the article, nice work. I have the cheaper MSI 785GM-E51 in my build atm, but the E65 looks very solid and worth the cost.
  • Kohlhagen
    Does the Asus M4A785TD-V EVO have x8/x8 support or x16/x4? on newegg it says x16/x4
  • msroadkill612
    Early adopters of usb 3.0 may wish to note that cards will probably be pcie x 4 (to cope with the bandwidth). Those extra slots may be good even w/o a neeed for crossfire.
  • msroadkill612
    Early adopters of usb 3.0 may wish to note that cards will probably be pcie x 4 (to cope with the bandwidth). Those extra pcie slots may be good even w/o a need for crossfire.
  • autoboy
    "The irony is that Foxconn chose Realtek's ALC888 codec to drive the Cinema Premium instead of the ALC889, which has a better signal-to-noise ratio and can be found in the Gigabyte and MSI 785G boards in this roundup."

    Actually, it makes perfect sense to use a subpar codec when the intention of the board is to use digital audio which will never touch the Realtek codec. When you use analog outputs, the benefits of DD live and DTS connect are worthless because whatever audio format the content is in will be decoded in surround sound and output over the analog outputs.

    DD Live and DTS connect are simply transcoding AAC or game surround sound into Dolby Digital or DTS surround sound where it is passed as DD or DTS over the spdif or HDMI port, never touching the realtek codec making it's quality a non-issue. The purpose of the board is digital connections only and the codec was simply added because all boards need one.

    DD Live and DTS connect are simply transcoding schemes for PC digital audio into a format that receivers can understand. If you think of it that way it is easy.
  • dragoon190
    +1 to Kohlhagen's question. It does state that the board is x16/x4 on Ausu's website, though...
  • dark_lord69
    jonpaul37Hooray AMD for having cheap solutions in these hard-economic times!Boo @ Intel! i like the product, but my wallet & Girl do not like the cost!

  • nafhan
    Just bought the ECS board from newegg... it's $70 (after rebate) right now.