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MSI A78M-E35 Versus Gigabyte GA-F2A78M-D3H

Today we look at two AMD A78-based motherboards (MSI's A78M-E35 and Gigabyte's GA-F2A78M-D3H), to determine how they stack up against A88X.

Conclusion

As the data shows, the A78 platform is consistent. From a chipset perspective, both of our samples perform well, making it hard to pick a favorite. Setting the Intel versus AMD debate aside, I really like AMD's A78. When I compare what Thomas did with A88X to my experiences with A78, the A88X does appear faster. And the flagship's added features open the door to a more sophisticated CrossFire configuration, more storage in RAID and better overclocking options. But are those features worth an extra $30 or so? Can you live without aggressive overclocking or CrossFire? For a lower price, I believe the A78 is a solid choice for many builders. 

Rather than give any awards in this article, I will consider this data once I get a chance to look at some competing hardware. In the meantime, I'll give you my final thoughts on each product.

If your goal is to build an HTPC or small office box and you have no intentions of overclocking aggressively, MSI's A78M-E35 will work well. I enjoyed its layout more than Gigabyte's, though the UEFI was harder to navigate. Of the two boards I reviewed, MSI's motherboard is more in-line with what AMD's APU was designed for.

If you are building an A88X clone but don't need the additional PCIe lanes, Gigabyte's board shows some real potential.  Given the right tuning, air flow and memory selection, I think this system could compete with similarly-equipped A88X systems. If the durability claim holds water, this would be even better for a tuner's system. This board also works in larger HTPC cases, but the odd fan header placement might make cable management a challenge.


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Jacob Terkelsen is an Associate Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware, covering Motherboards.

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