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4.4 out of 5 stars870
4.4 out of 5 stars
Style Name: M5A78L-M/USB3|Change
Price:£47.50+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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on 25 May 2013
I run all of the IT for a SME and our equipment is 7 - 12 years old and starting to creak a bit. I got this board along with a host of other goodies to build a replacement server. Although it doesn't state it is possible, I installed windows server 2003 on the build and loaded the win XP drivers direct from device manager. The supplied software says the OS is not supported so you have to load this way. Anyway no exclamation marks in device manager anywhere and the whole thing functions perfectly.

I set it up in raid 10 with 4 WD Velociraptor 250GB disks and it gives 370GB read/write performance. You have to have a USB or virtual floppy to do get the on board raid working when you install the OS and once setup I couldn't get an additional LSI raid card to work on it but there's more than enough onboard SATA ports anyway so I wasn't worried about that. The raid monitoring software installs in Windows server 2003 and has great features and you can set it up to email you in a host of different circumstances.

The Mil spec capacitors look great and the board is stunning and is guaranteed for 5 years so you can expect at least 10 years service out of it. In terms of performance, a 700MB SQL backup which took 2 minutes 30 seconds on the old machine now completes in 10 seconds. I paired it with a 8 core 3.6GHz AMD bulldozer processor and 16GB of Corsair Vengeance dual channel RAM.

It has e-sata and USB3 and other than the fact that it is PCIE 2 then that's the only non-future proof feature though again most stuff at the moment seems to be PCIE 3 'ready' rather than true PCIE 3 and there are not a lot of devices around which saturate the PCIE 2 bandwidth anyway. Plenty of expansion ports and I installed an additional gigabit network card and set it to bridge with the onboard connection.

I have been monitoring event viewer regularly for 2 months now and no warnings have appeared. A MOBO with great raid at half the price of a decent raid card - what more could you want? If you want to cheaply build a new server based on this, my build came in at around £800.
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on 1 October 2013
The Motherboard is fantastic. I have a AMD 8350 and everything worked on the first boot. Installed the provided Drivers and all is well. i have ordered a new CPU fan as the stock fan is rather loud. The whole system runs smoothley with this board and it easily identified all my HArd drives and SSD's. The new Bios is cool and really easy to navigate. I ran 3D mark software and saw higher scores over my last asus board. The instructions are clear and precise and the 5 year warranty is also a great bonus. If you have a budget and an 4, 6 , or 8 core AMD then i would defo recommend this board. You wont regret it......
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on 7 November 2013
I recently built a new gaming rig whereby for price i compromised and originally had the Gigabyte motherboard which turned out to be very dissapointing and just failed to work (might have been just the odd one but enough to put me off it completely).

So why did I choose this board?

Build Quality:
- Robust.
- Decent size and great finishing.
- Nothing feels cheap and nasty - everything screams QUALITY.

Design and Finish:
- I love how the Sata ports are positioned, slightly raised and angled so that the cables connect in neatly but away from the board. Each Sata port has a seperate casing :)
- The general layout of this motherboards in terms of connections are well thoughtout and so helpful for custom builders.
- Enough space between the RAM slots and the CPU to add a large cpu cooler/water cooler with no struggles.

- Plenty of USB 3.0 and even more USB 2.0 ports - if your case supports USB 3.0 connection this can easily be added to the motherboard.
- Future proof support windows 8.1 and SSD its definately worth investing in.
- P.O.S.T. with LED indicator (green/red) and beep sound. Basic I know but you don't realise how many other motherboards skimp on the LED indication.
- Excellent realtek sound card (I have creative XiFi soundcard but no need for it) fantasic sound options.

- Excellent GUI and boot logo it definately looks the part of being 'TUF'
- Easy to use GUI which has three default settings for you system performance, simply click on the desired option and it will reboot. Also very quick, no lags.
- Advanced option for those that wish to overclock and tinker with the settings.
- Straight forward, no nonsense flash bios and updates via usb. You can boot os from USB too - but you can control whether you want this or not.
- Support AM3+ Processors out of the box, none of this BS stuff of updating the flash by first installing previous CPU models.

- TUF sticker
- Adapters which make easy install for power switch, hdd light etc.
- Well made - lock on sata cables x2
- Fully labelled I/O face plate for the back of the case - soo cool.
- Gold Lifetime Warranty card - cannot beat that for the price.

You cannot go wrong with this board, I should never have diverted from ASUS boards - lesson learnt.

My advice.. if your looking at this MB now to support the AMD FX processors.. look no further.. just add to basket and pay. You won't regret it - trust me.

Enjoy :)
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on 16 February 2015
Good little board, ideal for an all-in-one home server.

I run Server 2012R2 on mine, along with HyperV. I have no problems with speed, and thanks to the 4 DIMM slots it can take 32GB RAM. It's also working perfectly with ECC RAM, the ECC function fully working. This is the great feature of AM3+ boards, they're less than a third the price of an Intel C2xx board which you need for ECC on Intel chips.

The BIOS is a bit antiquated, nowhere near as good as the modern UEFI BIOS screens on more recent boards, but everything is there including Easy Flash (just put the BIOS update file on a USB stick and flash the BIOS easily from the BIOS screen).
The Realtek 8111D NIC is just OK too, it works fine but it's no Intel. It's not even the most modern Realtek chip.

Finally, the top PCI-E 1x slot is very close to the chipset heat sink. They've cut a slot out of the sink for the card, but you need to be very careful with cards that have components on the back, as they could short against the heat sink, or get knocked off while inserting the card. My Intel Pro/1000 PT card has some inductor coils on the back which rest against the heat sink. I used a little electrical tape to insulate the two. It's not a massive problem, just something to be aware of.

For the money, it's a great board. I like it more than the Gigabyte 78LMT/USB3, which is a similar sort of board, but has one less SATA port and the addition of a useless PATA port. The Gigabyte does have a front USB3 connector, too, but it's USB3 is run off a terrible JMicron controller. The Asus uses an AsMedia which seems to work very well in my limited testing.

Spec of my machine:

M5A78L-M/USB board,
FX8320E 95W 8-core 3.2GHz
Artic Alpine 64 Pro heat sink (AMD's retail cooler is terrible)
2x8GB Kingston DDR3L-1600 ECC RAM
2x180GB Intel Pro SSD 1500 (OS and VM stores)
4x5TB WD Red (media storage)
Supermicro 731D case
Corsair CS450M PSU
44 comments|9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 24 January 2013
Nothing bad to say about this motherboard, does everything it says.
Good points are:
-It has an AM3+ socket for the CPU which will work with any of the bulldozer processors (e.g. amd fx6200 and fx8350).
-It has 4 slots for RAM, which means you can have up to 16gb of ram, although i've got 8gb and never used all of that.
-It has USB 3.0 at the back of the motherboard, meaning faster data transfer on usb 3.0 enabled devices.
-It comes with a disk with software which can monitor your cpu and motherboard temperatures, which is useful if you want to do benchmarks etc.
-under £50 and has all the above features, which is brilliant!

Bad points are:
-Nothing at the price it is. There are better motherboards out there which have enough slots for 2 or 3 graphics cards and stuff but those cost £150, which is way above my price range and many other people's!

This is a great motherboard which has everything a computer needs to have, don't hesitate on buying this if your CPU had an AM3+ socket!
33 comments|45 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 4 April 2014
Good board and an upgrade from an older AM2+ asus one for me.

Plenty of expansion slots, and decent placement of them so the inside of my case doesn't look like spaghetti junction any more!

You get 2 x USB 3 ports on the back of the board and a connector on the board to add a few more - Shame they don't supply the lead and the header with the board though!

The BIOS is also the newer UEFI type which can cause problems if you don't know what you're doing - Do your homework if you've never used this type before or you'll be scratching your head or thinking the board is broken when it isn't!

What else.. Oh, no IDE connectors on this board so if you still have any of those drives floating about, you'll either have to get an expansion board or transfer the data to another drive.

So far, the board is extremely stable. I run with AMD cool n quiet enable along with turbo which all works all ok.

Important thing to do after getting this board - Update the bios to the latest version (either old school way or through the Asus Live program) and Get the latest drivers for the on-board network controller as the driver that is supplied causes stupidly high latency issues! This is more noticeable is you use one of the newer generation of GFX cards with on-board audio and not the motherboards audio.
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on 20 June 2014
For anyone that gives this board less than 5 stars is an idiot, I thought my 990fxa-gd80 was good, WOW this thing creams it in every way

Sure its 970 and not 990 chipset but that really doesnt matter, the components and especially the vrm section of this board is stellar, its a 7+1 design not 6+2, this board shines with 95w cpus, to me the best FX cpu ever made was the FX8300 its 95w TDP and is the best overclocker of the lot.

It supports the 9 series cpu but i cant see the point in them with a power draw of 220watts, thats just silly, stick to the 95w cpus and you will get massive overclocks with this beasty board in most cases outperforming the FX 9590.

LED light show is just beautiful, even though my massive watercooled hd5970 with a huge custom alloy heatsink on the ramplate covers the top half of the southbridge chipsink, yes i know its a six year old card but to this day it still beats the R9 280 by a big margin.

ASUS have a winner here theres nothing bad to say about this motherboard at all MSI can KMA i will never buy another msi board again, had 3 in a row go bad on me now all VRM related.

I have no plans to upgrade to ZEN this board will last me years, im not a pc whore that has to constantly keep upgrading like sheep, this stellar board does the lot, theres even a M.2 slot for the fastest boot drive speeds around.

Im also sick of intel fanboyism, the fx 8 core will destroy an i7 for multitasking thats what it was designed for in the first place, the fx 8300 beats the intel i7 980x by a country mile even though its quite an old cpu now, and that intel cpu is still being sold for stupid money.

Just grab one of these boards for your awsome fx cpu, will be the best pc purchase you will ever make
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on 4 May 2013
This mobo was central to my budget home built music PC as for the price, it is a good performer with good specs. Asus have a good reputation for motherboards and this one is no exception. I was also pleasantly surprised that the RAM limit was not 8GB as I was led to believe but 32GB, which is brilliant. Although i5 and i7 CPU's are recommended for music recording, they tend to be more expensive and for the sort of music I intend to do are not strictly necessary, and the AMD Phenom II 4core black CPU I installed was about £100 cheaper than the Intel alternative. The extra cash saved was used to buy a SSD which has improved loading speeds considerably. With 10 x USB 2.0 ports and 2 x USB 3.0 ports this board can deal with all my peripherals without having to buy an additional USB expander. The USB 3.0 ports should deal with any future expansions. The six SATA ports are also good, although once an SSD, DVD drive and a couple of HDD's are installed it only leaves 2 ports free for future use. My only criticism is that the SATA ports are 3GBs instead of the faster 6GBs, but this is a mid-range board and the difference in speed would be hard to notice. The 4 expansion ports are okay and the on board sound and graphics are good and, as a music PC doesn't require state of the art graphics or sound (we use an external audio interface) upgrades are not necessary, unless you want to play top rate games. All in all a great motherboard for the money which has enabled me to build a well specified music PC for under £500.
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on 28 January 2013
Let's face it, there is no point in buying a motherboard with an on-board graphics chip. You will want to buy a PCIe VGA so just get the best featured mobo you can for the available cash. I looked at the market and concluded that this one had the lot. It handles AMD FX processors up to 8 cores/140W and the latest 32nm AM3+ technology (I went for the budget FX4100). It also supports SATA III 6Gb/s and USB3.0 and it has an 8-channel Audio chip on-board. Pretty impressive for a £65 mobo. Memory is not an issue either with 4 DIMM slots totalling 32Gbytes and it runs Windows 8 without a hitch. The card is equipped with connections for a CPU fan and up to three chassis fans - all 4-pin PWM - so you can have a whisper-quiet system if you use Noctua PWM fans.

The one detraction is the awful Asus utility - AI Suite II - this is actually a collection of utilities that you can use to tune system performance. It has major problems with stability and one of the utilities (Network iControl) will cripple your on-board Ethernet performance unless you remove it. Fortunately, you can select which utilities to activate - I have just Fan Control and System Information running.

I have given it 5 stars despite the AI Suite II problems because the card itself is fast and cool and quiet and the utility is just a waste of two days time - but now you know that, you will not have that problem...
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on 7 January 2013
This motherboard is amazing, its heavy which is a good sign. Its packed with soo many features that I still have to discover. there are 3 PCIe Slots which is Excellent. all the connections are located in a perfect area for easy cable management. There are a total of 5 PWM fan connectors which is VERY GOOD. I've connected 4 fans including the CPU Fan (arctic cooling F12 120mm Case Fans). If you use the bundled fan xpert software from asus these fans are controlled from within windows.

I had to pick between many manufacturers and having previously owned a faulty motherboard from ASUS, as it was out of warranty they didn't help much, though i felt they should have at least offered a payed repair. I've now looked past this with this motherboard. I'm really glad I bought this motherboard and non of the motherboards from MSI, ASROCK or GIGABYTE or other manufacturers as this comes with lots of bundled software and features.

I installed this inside my XIGMATEK Asgard Case, with 2 X 4GB Corsair Vengeance ram, AMD Phenom ii 965 BE, arctic cooling freezer 13 pro, ASUS Radeon 6670 and a 600W OCZ ModXstream PSU. All work amazing with no blue screens, errors etc. Also I purchased all these from Amazon apart from the Case and Graphics card.

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