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97 Reviews
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best AMD/AM3+ MoBo for this price
At around £50, this motherboard is an excellent purchase for any beginner custom build. Packaged perfectly, and also very effectively; there is a 'ledge' which holds the motherboard down into the packaging, reducing any chance of breakages. Underneath the motherboard, Asus have included a very informative motherboard manual (outlining basic system building, BIOS usage...
Published 12 months ago by Mrs C Murphy

versus
31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars First Time Builders - BEWARE!
While this motherboard functions perfectly well for AM3/AM3+ processors, and has a nice BIOS and built-in overclocking features, there are a couple of things that people should be aware of:

1. It doesn't include a motherboard speaker, which was also disappointing. Furthermore, when I added one (that I was lucky enough to have spare before the board arrived) it...
Published 22 months ago by Duncan Robertson


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best AMD/AM3+ MoBo for this price, 26 Mar. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Asus M5A97 LE R2.0 Motherboard (AMD 970/SB950, DDR3, 6 x S-ATA 600, ATX, PCI-Express 2.0, USB 3.0, Socket AM3+) (Personal Computers)
At around £50, this motherboard is an excellent purchase for any beginner custom build. Packaged perfectly, and also very effectively; there is a 'ledge' which holds the motherboard down into the packaging, reducing any chance of breakages. Underneath the motherboard, Asus have included a very informative motherboard manual (outlining basic system building, BIOS usage and other such stuff), driver software and various information concerning Asus and its M5A97 motherboard. The motherboard itself is lined in an anti-static bag, which is imperative for any custom build; remember, when you are installing parts on to your motherboard when it is not in the case, you must always, I repeat ALWAYS, place the motherboard on the anti-static bag in order to terrifically reduce the possibility of damaging the motherboard.
Overall, I would highly recommend this for any budget AMD build. For this price bracket, it can't be beat in performance by any other motherboard manufacturer.

Kind Regards.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great value AMD mobo - shame about the software, 28 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: Asus M5A97 LE R2.0 Motherboard (AMD 970/SB950, DDR3, 6 x S-ATA 600, ATX, PCI-Express 2.0, USB 3.0, Socket AM3+) (Personal Computers)
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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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars First Time Builders - BEWARE!, 6 Jun. 2013
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This review is from: Asus M5A97 LE R2.0 Motherboard (AMD 970/SB950, DDR3, 6 x S-ATA 600, ATX, PCI-Express 2.0, USB 3.0, Socket AM3+) (Personal Computers)
While this motherboard functions perfectly well for AM3/AM3+ processors, and has a nice BIOS and built-in overclocking features, there are a couple of things that people should be aware of:

1. It doesn't include a motherboard speaker, which was also disappointing. Furthermore, when I added one (that I was lucky enough to have spare before the board arrived) it failed to produce any 'beep' sounds - which seems to be a common problem with this board. This makes it harder to diagnose potential faults than would be the case with most other boards.

2. This board has no onboard video, so you'll need a PCI-E graphics card to get a picture out of it. Even if you do have a GPU, onboard graphics are still worth considering as they come in handy for troubleshooting display problems, or as a backup in the event that your main card fails.

3. While the first PCI-E slot is x16 speed, the second is only x4, which prevents this board from performing as well as a x8/x8 board in SLI or Crossfire - which is worth considering if you plan to run a dual card setup.

4. Depending on the board's serial number, you may have to update the BIOS before you can run some of the newer (Bulldozer) AM3+ processors on it.

Other than that, it's a pretty solid board. There are 6 USB 2.0 slots and 2 USB 3.0 slots built into the back panel, and a couple of expansion slots for more USB 2.0 slots for your case's front panel. It supports up to 32Gb of DDR3 RAM, at speeds of up to 2133MHz (with an overclock), and has a very user-friendly mouse operated BIOS, with backup and overclocking options. It also has six SATA 6Gb/s ports, making it a good board to use SSDs with. I'd say this is a great budget choice as a base for a gaming PC (suited to more experienced system builders and those looking to overclock, particularly), although it's worth taking the points noted above into account when considering it.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Where's the USB3 header?, 14 Mar. 2013
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This review is from: Asus M5A97 LE R2.0 Motherboard (AMD 970/SB950, DDR3, 6 x S-ATA 600, ATX, PCI-Express 2.0, USB 3.0, Socket AM3+) (Personal Computers)
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?

EDIT
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'.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars asus m5a97, 3 Dec. 2013
This review is from: Asus M5A97 LE R2.0 Motherboard (AMD 970/SB950, DDR3, 6 x S-ATA 600, ATX, PCI-Express 2.0, USB 3.0, Socket AM3+) (Personal Computers)
took me a couple of weeks to get round to building my sons computer but it was easy to set up once i figured out there was a problem with the hard drive. he is very pleased with it and i would recommend this board at the price.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quality, 3 May 2013
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This review is from: Asus M5A97 LE R2.0 Motherboard (AMD 970/SB950, DDR3, 6 x S-ATA 600, ATX, PCI-Express 2.0, USB 3.0, Socket AM3+) (Personal Computers)
A quality MoBo at a reasonable price, installed without fuss or having to fiddle about with the bios, this is one for those of us that are not computer geeks or techies.
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4.0 out of 5 stars It works well but,, 7 May 2014
By 
ecc83 "dave" (northampton uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Asus M5A97 LE R2.0 Motherboard (AMD 970/SB950, DDR3, 6 x S-ATA 600, ATX, PCI-Express 2.0, USB 3.0, Socket AM3+) (Personal Computers)
I have an issue with Asus. I have a problem with Resource Monitor, not their fault I know but I cannot get the MOBO to boot into safe mode. When I tried to fill in the long and tortuous form for support I hit a "Server error" snag with a mandatory question. Thus I cannot get support. Catch 22.

I am in contact with a lady from Asus but she tells me Asus HQ will not email me directly due to "security issue" Yeah! THAT old chestnut. Asus should get over themselves, plenty of companies bigger than they talk to people via email.

One BIG surprise when I had it all screwed in and ready to test? No VGA port! I have never seen a modern MOBO without graph support. I had to spend another £30 at Maplin for a Graph card!

But other than the lack of VGA support and a snotty support department it is very good value.
Dave.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Be aware of this Gotcha!, 9 Jan. 2015
By 
M. Howell - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Asus M5A97 LE R2.0 Motherboard (AMD 970/SB950, DDR3, 6 x S-ATA 600, ATX, PCI-Express 2.0, USB 3.0, Socket AM3+) (Personal Computers)
Just a note to all potential buyers. When I first fired up this motherboard I got CPU fan failure. After checking with other CPU fans I came to the conclusion the the motherboard was faulty. It would not boot past this error.

I was about to dismantle when I had one more look at the manual and discoverd. Although every MoBo I have had to date has the CPU fan header next to the cpu. However this one still has a header next to the CPU but that is actually Chassis fan 1 !!!

The CPU fan header is carefully tucked away at the side of the Mobo right in the middle of another two chassis fan headers.

Why!! was it done deliberatly to confuse me?

After shoving CPU fan plug in the right hole, all was fine.

Lesson learnt? Not only RTFM, but RTFM VERY CAREFULLY

Bah Humbug (written just after christmas)
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good for the price but ..., 16 Sept. 2014
This review is from: Asus M5A97 LE R2.0 Motherboard (AMD 970/SB950, DDR3, 6 x S-ATA 600, ATX, PCI-Express 2.0, USB 3.0, Socket AM3+) (Personal Computers)
Nice board however not compatible with some PCI devices like Sound Blaster Audigy sound cards. In my case the motherboard hangs if I connect it to second PCI. Thought it was the BIOS however same thing happens after update. Another weird thing is that my monitor switches from digital to analog few times before it decides which one is correct - I think this is caused by motherboard compatibility with GeForce 440 GT. Both Audigy and GPU work perfectly fine with my old MSI board. From the other hand both cards are quite old so maybe this is the reason however nobody tells you such things so always better google it first :)
Another thing worth to mention is that native BIOS update software can't connect to the update server so no joy here either.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great value for first builds!, 27 Jan. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Asus M5A97 LE R2.0 Motherboard (AMD 970/SB950, DDR3, 6 x S-ATA 600, ATX, PCI-Express 2.0, USB 3.0, Socket AM3+) (Personal Computers)
In terms of value this is a great Motherboard for a first build. It has all the basics you need and its is slightly smaller than the old ATX MBs. Installation was easy was easy including hardware and software.

The software provided is very handy, I especially like the Realtek Sound program. It helped with splitting the rear audio ports to the front audio ports so that I could separate headphone sounds from speak sounds.

My personal preference would be that I spent a tad more and got a model up that included USB 3.0 for the front of the case, whereas this one only includes the ones that are on the rear of the motherboard.
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