Top critical review
22 people found this helpful
Where's the USB3 header?
on 14 March 2013
Excellent 'budget' board that requires stand alone PCIe graphics card. That in itself will greatly assist durability. Solid capacitors all round and SATAIII, USB 3.0 and AMD FX cpu capable. But oh, why ASUS? Why did you not put a USB 3.0 header on the board (the space on the circuit board is there and begging for it)? Consequently if you have a case with a front panel that is USB 3.0 wired (e.g. Antec 300 Two), then you have to buy an adapter to join the lovely blue front panel USB 3.0 ports to the USB 2.0 headers, downgrading the front panel ports to USB 2.0 and making the wiring 'bodgey' in appearance. Why nobble an otherwise excellent board?
Why indeed, well I've been a bit dim looking at this purchase. You need to check the detailed specification to find the words 'front panel USB 3.0 header'. If it doesn't say that then don't assume that 'latest USB 3.0' will cover that. If you want a USB 3.0 front panel header go for the 'Asus M5A97 R2.0' board or the EVO variant, sounds very similar but does not have the 'LE' qualification. You can use the link below and then use the Asus compare feature to tease out the differences.
[uk dot asus dot com/Motherboards/AMD_AM3Plus/AMD_970SB950]
Why have Asus done this? It's a question of power requirement through the motherboard. The USB 3.0 standard demands 0.9 watt per port whereas the USB 2.0 standard is 0.5 watt per port. (...and it's all about to change again) To go for a front panel USB 3.0 header means that an extra heatsink is required to help cool the board down. This heatsink (on the power phase control) happens to be right alongside a big case fan in an Antec Three Hundred Two so not an issue. Do check your case and front panel before deciding which board to buy.
Last but not least, Amazon, you have been brilliant, swopping out the LE board I had purchased, opened and put in the case before I noticed the lack of USB 3.0 header. That is 'Super' service! Asus, you have to make it clear that there is no USB 3.0 header on the LE, not simply state 'latest USB 3.0'.