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Asus M4A785TD-M EVO review

A good performing motherboard, with overclocking headroom, but missing the latest storage interfaces

Our Verdict

Good performance and OC headroom, but lacks the latest storage and USB interfaces.

For

  • Solid all round performance
  • Strong overclocking headroom

Against

  • No USB 3.0 or SATA 6Gbps
  • Looking a little dated

Slapping a new brand name to give an old chip a leg up is a popular ruse in the PC industry. Do not, therefore, assume that the Asus M4A785TD-M EVO and its AMD 785G northbridge is necessarily old hat.

For the most part, it's identical to the supposedly newer 880G found in Gigabyte's competing 880GMA-UD2H.

The graphics cores in both, for instance, are effectively the same Radeon HD 4200 DirectX 10.1-class architecture. You get carbon-copy AMD Avivo HD video features and 40 shader cores with this slightly older Asus board. Likewise, AMD Hybrid Graphics is supported by both.

However, where the two diverge and the Asus M4A785TD-M EVO arguably falls behind involves the companion chips that provide additional functionality.

While the Gigabyte board gets the latest SB850 southbridge chip and NEC's USB 3.0 controller, Asus makes do with the older SB710 southbridge. USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gbps are not part of the package.

Asus m4a785td-m evo

In raw performance terms, the gap between the Asus M4A785TD-M EVO and supposedly newer and fancier boards, such as Gigabyte's 880GMAUD2H is measured in microns. Whether it's video encoding, professional 3D rendering or playing games courtesy of an add-in graphics cards, there's near as dammit no difference. The same applies when using the onboard Radeon HD graphics.

In both cases, it's a mixed bag of feeble 3D performance and excellent 2D hardware acceleration. At least all the important video codecs are supported ensuring buttery smooth playback of high definition video, whether stored locally or streamed from the net, without stressing the CPU.

Likewise, both boards offer support for AMD's Hybrid CrossFireX technology enabling users to switch on the fly between beefy but power-hungry discrete graphics and the more efficient integrated 3D core.

OC headroom

Shift the focus to overclocking, however, and the older Asus M4A785TD-M EVO actually carves out a small advantage achieving 270MHz to the Gigabyte's 260MHz. So much for progress.

Elsewhere, however, the Asus doesn't have it all its own way. Part of the problem is the fact that quad-core Intel chips have the edge on the fastest six-core AMD chips. Intel's six-core models are in a class of their own.

Exactly how important high bandwidth interfaces, such as USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gbps will be during the lifetime of a board bought today is hard to judge. Currently, there are few available components and peripherals that support either standard.

However, you can have both with the Gigabyte board for just eight pounds extra and otherwise offers a very similar package. So, why take the risk?

Asus m4a785td-m evo

Tech Specs

Product TypeDesktop Motherboard
Chipset ManufacturerAMD
Chipset Model785G
Multi GPU SupportedCrossFireX
Onboard VideoOn-board Video Chipset
Number of PCI Express x16 Slots1
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Processor SocketSocket AM3 PGA-941
Brand NameAsus
Form FactorMicro ATX
Processor SupportedAthlon II X2, Phenom II X2, Phenom II X3, Phenom II X4, Phenom II, Sempron
Total Processor Supported1
Maximum Memory16 GB
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityRoHS, WEEE
64-bit ProcessingYes
Number of Memory Slots4
Number of PCI Slots2
Graphics Controller ManufacturerATI
Graphics Controller ModelRadeon HD 4200
Graphics Controller Memory512 MB
Audio Channels7.1
Gigabit EthernetYes
Number of IDE Interfaces1
Number of SATA Interfaces6
HyperTransport Speed2600 MHz
RAID SupportedYes
Number of Total Expansion Slots4
HDMIYes
DVIYes
Network (RJ-45)Yes
Total Number of USB Ports6
Total Number of FireWire/i.LINK Ports1
PS/2 PortYes
Number of PS/2 Ports1
Total Number of Onboard USB Ports3
Total Number of Onboard FireWire/i.LINK Ports1
Total Number of PCI Express Slots2
Processor TechnologyHyperTransport Technology
Width243.8 mm
Depth243.8 mm
ManufacturerASUS Computer International
Product ModelM4A785TD-M EVO
Product NameM4A785TD-M EVO Desktop Board
Controller TypeSerial ATA/300, Ultra ATA/133 (ATA-7)
Manufacturer Part NumberM4A785TD-M EVO
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://uk.asus.com
Marketing Information

The M4A785TD-M EVO Desktop Board delivers a host of new features and latest technologies, making it another standout in the long line of ASUS quality motherboards. This motherboard supports AMD Socket AM3 multi-core processors with unique L3 cache and delivers better overclocking capabilities with less power consumption. This motherboard also supports AMD CPUs in the new 45nm manufacturing process.